Marketing During A World Crisis
The outbreak of and subsequent panic following COVID-19 has turned the entire world on its head. Brands and businesses are frantically trying to regroup to deal with the strain that the virus and the worldwide call for quarantine are placing on the economy. We’re no exception – we’ve had to re-evaluate our business model, our contingency plans and general morale. We know that there are thousands of other SMEs that might benefit from hearing our advice, even if it’s just to confirm their own beliefs. Here are a few things that we’d like our peers, clients and competitors to keep in mind in the midst of COVID-19.
Have a Contingency Plan
Most businesses have a plan in place to deal with emergencies – although few if any of them could have planned for a world-wide quarantine without an accurate end in sight. We suggest that businesses treat this like they would a severe blow to their nation’s economy. Cut all unnecessary costs and expenses and communicate with your staff about any changes or restructuring happening within your business.
Don’t Exploit the Situation
You might be remembered for a witty COVID-19 ad that you shared on Facebook – but not for the right reasons. Although South Africans seem to approach stressful or worrying times with humour and community, it doesn’t mean that your business should make light of a situation that has cost thousands of people their lives. Using a world crisis like COVID-19 to draw attention to your brand for profit is distasteful and according to us, simply unethical. Avoid making jokes, mocking or trying to leverage your brand through the coronavirus.
Roll with The Punches
The first thing that a business should do to survive and hopefully recover from a crisis like this is to accept that the way you do business is about to change drastically. There are no concrete plans or strategies that can prepare your business for every challenge that this virus brings, but you can control how you approach them. Play open cards with your clients, employees and stakeholders about what’s going on in your business at the moment and let them know what you plan on doing about it. We know that a positive attitude might not change the world, but it could make it easier to face new challenges in the morning.
Do Your Part to Help
This crisis affects us all – whether you’re the owner of the business or the person cleaning the building. The only way to make sure that we can all get through it is to work together to educate others on good sanitation and safety precautions. Take a look at how your brand can help the public get through this a little bit easier. For example, you could share an informational post, video or article on the corona-virus, or you could reach out to your local shelters and communities to help those in need during this difficult time. We wish our readers good health and patience – we know that we’ll come out stronger because of it.