The Covid 19 pandemic has truly taken the whole world by storm. Everywhere you see, whether it is the local news or social media updates, there’s only one thing that people are talking about, and it is this. Every continent has been hit, and people all around the world are grappling to deal with it, especially when we think of essential service providers and medical care professionals. Scientists and doctors are slowly moving towards a cure, but the situation right now is still bleak at a macro level.
And it’ s not just individuals who have been impacted, businesses are bearing the brunt of it all as well. Some industries like travel, hotel management and supply chain and logistics have taken their worst hit of the decade, while are also trying to make ends meet.
This pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the global economy (and India’s economy as well, if we look into it), it has transformed the way corporates have been functioning and forced business leaders to think about what’s really important. In the middle of sealed international borders, nationwide lockdowns and travel bans, work from home policies have been implemented almost across every business.
Priorities have changed, consumer expectations have changed and the way brands and businesses interact with consumers have also changed. This is our new normal, even though no one really anticipated such a situation before. Organic traffic on digital has declined, and media spends are the worst hit. Amongst the most impacted business functions, marketing definitely makes it to the top 5, and it is in light of recent events that marketing and advertising professionals really need to pull their socks up to ensure that business continues as usual. Here are a few things to focus on that can help bring some stability in these uncertain times:
- Be empathetic
This is not the time to exploit the situation and capitalize on the emotion pretty much all of us are dealing with right now, i.e. fear. It might work out for a shorter period of time if you consider revenue and return on investment, but it will decrease the credibility of your brand and prove to be nothing short of a nightmare in the longer run. This is the time when brands should step forward and really listen to what their consumers are saying, and showing them that you truly care, not the time to make a quick buck. And while you are doing this for your consumers, it is also important that business leaders do the same for their teams. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
- Pivot the client’s business through creative engagement ideas
No one knows what is happening, or what is going to happen in the near future. Like we said, this is a blank canvas for marketers to explore, so look at this as an opportunity and go all out in terms of the services you offer to your clients. Upskill your teams and explore how you can best use both online and offline mediums to spread your brand message across. Keep in mind the sentiment of your target audience, and work your way up from there!
- Communicate more
These are volatile times to say the least, and your clients will be dealing with their own sets of business constraints. Make sure to communicate more with your clients, partners and teams more than ever before, especially in times of social distancing, quarantine and lockdowns. Keep them informed, keep your processes as transparent as possible, and reach out. It makes all the difference in the world when you know someone’s got your back, and clear communication always wins!
- Go digital
Social distancing is something we all need to practice to stay safe, but that also means working in the lack of physical presence. Offline communication mediums have taken a huge hit due to this, and while digital has been on the rise for a few years now, never has it been more necessary. It’s not a good to use option anymore.
Digital and social media channels are the perfect bridge between your brand and the consumer today so make the most of it. Cut off superfluous marketing spends and use them to upskill your teams on digital. We are already seeing artists perform live through their personal social media handles, TikTok campaigns to educate consumers about Covid and sales meetings running through Zoom. That’s not even the tip of the digital iceberg, there are thousands of other things you can do with digital if you put your mind to it. It is fast, efficient and fun to use, and brands that can use it creatively in times of adversity will be remembered long after the pandemic.
No doubt this is a strange time for us all, but we are confident that as long as we all stick together, we will make it through this, safe and sound!