During a crisis, everyone’s priorities tend to change. What was important to people last year may not even feature in the top ten list this year – for individuals or businesses.
But regardless of what’s going on in the world, some things remain the same. People still need solutions to their problems, and businesses need to stay profitable.
That means marketing does go on during a crisis, albeit differently than during “normal” times.
The need for a different approach is often what trips us business owners up. Many of us are unsure of how to approach marketing during a crisis. We are afraid we might come across as tone-deaf, or have simply buried our heads in the sand in survival mode.
But the truth is that people have money and are still spending it. They need to know why they should spend up with you!
If you have been hesitant about marketing during a crisis, now’s the time to step up to the plate. Here’s how to do it well.
How To Handle Marketing During a Crisis
Be Led By Your Purpose
Purpose-led businesses were growing in popularity well before the pandemic turned consumer priorities upside down. More than ever before, people aren’t just looking for the right product or service to meet a need. They are looking at the greater purpose, mission and vision behind their purchase.
This is the ideal time to take a long, honest look at your brand’s values and vision. Are you reflecting this in all aspects of your business? Are you communicating your purpose well to your customers?
Understand that everyone reacts differently to a crisis. Some put on a happy face, others may be afraid or angry. But we are all stressed, and many people are suffering and grieving. These emotions affect buyer behaviour, meaning we can’t always rely on the metrics we used before things changed.
Rather than forcing us to freeze all our marketing plans, these changes encourage us to act with empathy and understanding in our marketing. It may mean a shift in your tone or an adjustment to your strategy to accommodate difficult times.
A stronger focus on customer communication and personalisation may be called for.
Check For Tone-Deafness
As marketers, it’s always essential for us to “read the room” before delivering our content – now more than ever. Spend time reviewing the images and language you use across your marketing channels and make sure they are not tone-deaf to the current crisis.
That isn’t to say you can’t acknowledge the current climate, you just want to do it in an appropriate way. You don’t want people to think you are capitalising on a bad situation!
Hone Your Focus
Depending on the crisis and what’s going on, some of your products may be less relevant than others. Instead of trying to pitch services or products that may fall flat, focus on offering solutions that will be well received. If you don’t have any, now is the perfect time to create some!
Simplify Your Marketing During A Crisis
Many businesses may be struggling to stay afloat, making marketing one of the lower priorities in the budget. But this doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely. There are many ways to market your business that are free or low cost.
Spend time looking at the data from your different channels and focus your energy on those that give you the highest ROI. They don’t even have to be paid channels. You can gain plenty of brand awareness and engagement from simply posting on social media or using your email database.
Any effective marketing strategy revolves around the solutions you offer your customers. Instead of thinking about how much money you can make or trying to hard-sell your services or products, talk to your audience about how your business can help them.
Remember, marketing your business isn’t only about promoting your services and scoring a sale. It’s also about building your brand reputation, increasing customer engagement, encouraging customer loyalty, and growing your authority within the industry. Create engaging, informative, and helpful content that’s not all about the hard sell.
Don’t Cash In On The Crisis
Don’t use the crisis as a marketing tool by adding to the fear and panic that’s out there. Using fear as an incentive to sell is just not cool.
Instead, you can help keep people informed, be proactive about playing a valuable role in the current climate, and never plan a “COVID-19 sale!”
Marketing during a crisis can be daunting, but there are many ways you can continue to grow your business without being inappropriate or off-tone. By being authentic, connecting with your brand values and purpose and listening to your customers, you can – and should – continue to communicate with your audience about your products and services.
If you are feeling a bit stuck with how to get your marketing across to your audience right now, then jump on a discovery call with me today. Together, we can create a genuine and authentic message that will help you empathetically market during this crisis.