How to do Marketing during the Corona Virus.

marketing to consumers during corona virus
Shops are shut but can you still market to consumers?

When the shops are shut and people can’t go out is there Is there any point to marketing during the Corona Virus?

Are you looking enviously at those businesses with products currently flying off the shelves? Are you secretly wishing you had a niche in food logistics? Or wondering is there any point to marketing during the Corona Virus? You won’t be the only business owner or MD quietly thinking those thoughts. However, though things may feel dead at the moment, the good news is that there are actions you can take now to ensure your brand fares well when all this madness is over. So don’t lose heart!

Brands are remembered for what they do during a crisis

The M&S World War II effort is being remembered again and again at the moment. But in truth, it’s going to be hard for many medium sized enterprises to hit the headlines with the promise of producing reverse-engineered breathing aids by mid-April; though hats off to Mercedes F1 for that achievement! But that doesn’t mean all is lost.

Did you know, firms that invested in their branding during the last significant economic downturn (AKA banking crisis) recovered eight times faster than those that didn’t? It’s food for thought, eh? And it highlights just how constructive you can be with your time at the moment. Here’s how…

Stay true to your brand values

Authenticity is key when it comes to branding and never more so than during a crisis. People remember how you make them feel, and if they feel even a single drop of disingenuousness about a brand that feeling will linger long past when things shift back to normal. We don’t need to bang on about Weatherspoons or Virgin too much for you to understand what we’re saying. So, if you’re not in one of those industries that can currently sing about a role in the war effort, what can you do?

Empathise to strategise

  1. Look after your staff as best you can. They are your ambassadors.
  2. Be helpful. If your products, skills or services aren’t currently in demand, your office block, fleet of cars, or the telephone calling capacity of staff might still be of use to a frontline effort.
  3. Entertain your market with engaging social media content. The background history of your company or industry may well be of interest to many bored and browsing. 
  4. Think about morale. Wherever your market sits, start providing fun content to entertain their children, lift the mood of the severely vulnerable stuck home alone, and soothe the concerns of those worried parents fearing for their family’s future.
  5. Map out scenarios for the next few months and plan how you’re going to respond quickly to each one. Make sure it’s all about your brand being seen to be responding positively, supportively and constructively, and don’t be tempted to go for the quick sale unless you’re really sure it’s going to work in your favour in the long run.
  6. Consider your brand values and ensure they are reflected in EVERY communication you send out. Draw on those values and use them to inform what you post, advertise, write about and promote. In essence, do all that you can to ensure your business values are firmly embedded in the mind of your audience so when it’s time to press the button and get going again… they’re already engaged.

Rishi Sunak (Chancellor of the Exchquer) said in his benchmark speech, “Now, more than any time in our recent history, we will be judged by our capacity for compassion. Our ability to come through this won’t just be down to what government or business can do, but by the individual acts of kindness we show one another… We want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort – and we stood together”.

A business and a brand can present as a distinct individual just as much as Joe Bloggs can here. And now’s the time to make the most of all the hours, budget and effort you’ve spent in the last few months and years developing your mission and values to get the message meaningfully out there.

Don’t worry… this WILL pass

But you need to be ready to hit the ground running when it does. So don’t ignore what’s going on and instead, at the risk of sound clichéd, embrace it. Have some fun creating original and stimulating social media content. Try to engage with your audience and get some supportive friendly chatter going. Be helpful rather than trying to sell. Inspire others to grit their teeth and keep going. Lead by example, and they’ll be following you long after the dust has settled. Short term proactive reactivity will pay long term dividends.

If you’d like a little extra help and support in pulling together a plan for the next few weeks, please do give us a ring. The Gingertree MOT is an ideal way to quickly assess your current situation, consolidate some great ideas, AND swiftly put them into action. Let’s get through this together!

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