Marketing & Advertising

Navigating Marketing During a Pandemic

Overview Marketers are faced with a period of change as companies redefine their strategies in the face of COVID-19. How is the marketing world shifting to accommodate the gravity of the global health emergency?

The novel coronavirus outbreak has taken the world by storm, putting pressure on companies and industries across the globe as we shift and adapt to a new normal for the foreseeable future.

During a period of change that may be new to many of us, and may remind others of previous seasons of change and adaptation the world has gone through, it’s important to consider the ways our businesses can support our customers and help address their concerns.

Beyond initial outreach emails that have flooded our inboxes, many companies are changing their marketing strategies; pivoting to meet the new questions, concerns and needs of their audiences; and accounting for new realities.


Marketing with Heart

As audiences look for hope and sources of optimism while staying informed, we as marketers have been thrust into a role where we have the unique privilege to extend compassion through doing what we do best: communicating.

Approaching customers from a place of empathy and sensitivity to all situations is key at a time where stay-at-home experiences are far from one-size-fits-all.

With a constant stream of updated information, marketers are now tasked with on-our-feet agility and responsiveness, making appropriate and tone-sensitive messaging updates for digital content, websites, sale messages, social media and more.

This reminded me of what Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of Procter and Gamble (P&G), said during the P&G C Space Storyteller session at CES® 2020: “We have an opportunity to use our voice responsibly.”


Data Drives Decisions

Consumer surveys and feedback, as well as data about company products and services, can help marketers navigate the new landscape by offering transparency. Companies are meeting their consumers where it matters, with retailers and grocery stores keeping websites and storefront signs updated on the availability of resources, and industry leaders providing insights on what the pandemic means for businesses across the world.

Personalization, a marketing guiding star for many years, is more important than ever as we aim to share content that will make a concrete difference.

We have an opportunity to use our voice responsibly.

Marc Pritchard
Chief Brand Officer, P&G

The Changing Business Model

Many companies, such as Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® member company Nomad, are changing their businesses to adjust to the sudden and vital need for medical supplies and services.
Other companies are making sure their resources are reinforced and supporting as many people as possible, addressing concerns like overall mental well-being and feelings of isolation for older adults.
In the events world, many of us are shifting to virtual conferences. Brands all over the world are quickly making moves to help their audiences cope and thrive as much as possible.

On the CES 2020 keynote stage, Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, said “If there is one reason for the enduring success of Unilever, it’s the trust that we’ve built up, having a model that shows that we care about things beyond profit.”

The novel coronavirus outbreak is an opportunity for marketing professionals to step up and share the ways companies are contributing, opening up access to and awareness of resources.

In the changing climate, every business is taking up the responsibility to innovate and tackle consumer needs, doing what they can to make meaningful contributions. The pandemic may very well change the marketing landscape for good, and along the way, we’ll continue adapting, the way marketers are known for.

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