A global pandemic raises new questions for marketing and communication leaders. Are our marketing messages still relevant? Should we be spending dollars on ad buys? How do we use social media in the new normal? The pandemic has created tremendous uncertainty in every corner of the world. But one thing is clear. The old rules don’t apply. Communication is now more important than ever. We must hit the pause button on our marketing plans and pivot to re-assess priorities. To help with this challenging transition, here are some suggestions from Cavanaugh Creative:
• Increase communication – Now is the time to increase communication with internal and external audiences. Create a 90-day action plan to engage key audiences and raise brand awareness in the process. The actual making of the plan may alleviate some stress. Having a plan in place is extremely helpful, even if you need to continually modify it.
• Rewrite key messages – Do your marketing messages still ring true? Do your photos and graphics reflect the current state of the world? While staying true to your brand, take the time to rewrite key messages for your audience segments. Transparency is especially important during this time. Be sure your language displays empathy, concern, and gratitude for front-line caregivers.
• Leverage social media and email – Social media and email are your best communication tools during a crisis because you can quickly develop fresh, new content that reflects the time we’re living in now. Post useful information to dilute a steady stream of branded content. Look ahead to scheduled posts and change the mix to reflect a new strategy.
• Reinforce Covid-19 relief efforts – Is your brand providing Covid-19 relief to your community through helping local caregivers, teachers, restaurants, and small businesses? Spread the word on social and share the stories with news media sites. Take advantage of photo and video opportunities. When your organization makes a commitment to a cause, that action elevates the brand, increases loyalty, and inspires the public to do the same.
• Review your marketing plan – Meet with senior leaders regularly to understand revised strategies and objectives for the organization. Inventory your current creative and measure it against new objectives and timelines. Leverage the ability to pause current campaigns, turn to new ones, and explore emerging digital strategies that may be more relevant today. Begin to plan for what happens after Covid-19. Have campaigns ready to go for when shelter-in-place lifts and people begin to return to work.
• Reassess the budget – You can always renew a campaign, but you can’t always rehire your best employees. Your team comes first. Retain talent as much as you can, making budget cuts elsewhere whenever possible.
Remember that COVID-19 will end one day. We are in a temporary situation and remaining flexible is a key strategy. Stay safe. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Please reach out if you’d like to connect.