We are now about six weeks into the lockdown. Governments all across the globe have been closing educational institutions and postponing major sporting events to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
As a result, consumers have displayed yet unseen habits, making marketers and brands, in general, uneasy in their approach during these uncertain times.
The previous month was enough of a timeframe to notice some patterns in consumer and advertiser behaviour. The thing that remained largely the same, as brands point out, was their swift business decisions — albeit being much faster than usual.
This is the time for quick wit and more decisiveness, and the majority of brands are aware of that. This is why most of them choose to create new plans every day and stay hand-in-hand with the times.
For instance, video content was already ruling supreme when it came to advertising, and now, during quarantine, its usage went through the roof. This is a low-hanging fruit that should, above all, be used by advertisers everywhere.
As it is to be expected, the majority of companies turned their retail efforts to their online stores. Food stores that were not closed started using their websites and apps to allow customers to order their goods and pick them up in-store quickly without the need to spend more time than necessary on the premises. This is a smart move, as there is less risk of spreading the disease.
Amazon, the world’s prime online retail, is sure to step up its game during this period. According to the company, they are doing a lot both for their workers and customers alike.
Namely, since March, the company has employed some 175,000 people and increased the hourly pay for fulfilment workers, shippers, and other essential workers by CA$2 (in Canada), $2 (in the United States), and €2 (in the EU), plus paid double time. The company is also donating tens of millions of dollars to COVID-19 research centres, public schools, Feeding America, and others in need.
As we saw first-hand during the COVID-19 outbreak, fact-checking and spreading nothing but the absolute truth is crucial. Public health can get severely impaired by misinformation and rumours — which is why numerous trustworthy news portals chose to give up their paywalls during the pandemic, so as to allow everyone complete access to the latest information. News websites like The Canberra Times and The Courier have done so and made it possible for Australians everywhere to follow the latest developments of the ongoing coronavirus crisis in their country free of charge.
Also, even though all sports activities have ceased, numerous news websites follow the current state of events and report on planned continuation of larger sports events around the world that should have happened this year, the Olympics included.
As brands have massive audiences, they should definitely be in on the conversation. Many of these brands choose to point to the obvious and say everything atop of the audience’s minds. This is not wrong, but a brand’s message needs to be smart, well thought out, and of course, it has to resonate with the public to inspire brand loyalty.
Also, brands have to ask themselves — should they profit from this situation? The answer is yes, but not in ways you would presume. Now is the time to be charitable, to pay their dues, to help those in need, and in return, gain their customers’ trust.
As most people work from home at the moment it is crucial for brands to realize in which ways they could cater to those locked up in their homes, and make their days a bit more bearable. Interestingly, this also reveals the financial benefits of working from home.
Finally, brands need to remember that, in their statements relevant to the crisis, they need to build a firm sense of community and inspire everyone to push solidarity in trying times.
Guest Blog Post by:
SEO Director Seotribunal