I get it. When times are tough it’s only natural to think about cutting costs – and marketing is seen as an easy target. But it’s precisely at times like these we need to market our businesses more, not less. It’s essential to maintain online visibility and brand presence during this pandemic. Or, when lockdown ends, we may find we have no business left to go back to.
What must change though is the way we communicate. We must be sensitive to the fact that coronavirus or COVID-19 has turned everyone’s business and personal lives upside down. We’re all trying to keep our families safe while, sadly, many of us are also struggling to keep our businesses afloat. This needs to be reflected in our communications. In a nutshell, the tone of voice we use in our messaging has never been more important.
We’ve all read the heartwarming stories of companies that have pivoted from their normal business activity to respond to urgent calls for help. Businesses that have helped others during this crisis will boost their brands.
Take Burberry, H&M and John Lewis among many others who have put profits aside and pitched in to make PPE for healthcare workers on the frontline. The numerous small craft distilleries that have diverted production of gin and the like to make hand sanitiser. And the big names such as Aston Martin, Babcock, Dyson, INEOS, McLaren and Nissan that have set aside traditional rivalries to heroically join forces in the VentilatorChallengeUK.
These are surely the names we will remember once this crisis is over.
In contrast, those companies that ignore the situation or, worse, appear to be cashing in on others’ misfortune will be seen as mercenary, uncaring and woefully out of touch. Their brash, uncaring and, frankly, irrelevant communications will inevitably be deleted – but not before they’ve done untold damage to your reputation.
If you’d like help with your marketing messages to avoid striking the wrong note in these difficult times, please get in touch.