Most businesses have never experienced anything like the current pandemic, especially the shutdowns and economic distress that go along with it. Marketing and innovating can feel scary at a time like this. Some people’s instinct is to lay low and hope the trouble blows over. But staying top-of-mind during this time is actually more critical than ever.
Consider Amazon. During the deep recession of 2008-09, Amazon (which was only a sliver of the force it has become today) accelerated its marketing and innovation, to improve sales and grow market share. As a result, sales grew 28% at a time when consumer spending was down and many businesses struggled to stay alive. Amazon’s boldness in a downturn helped it leap far ahead of the competition, and it never looked back.
Ways to Stay Top-of-Mind with Your Consumers Right Now
There’s an old saying in politics: Never let a crisis go to waste. Yes, it’s tempting to pull back on marketing during tough times, to save money. But the truth is, you may never have a greater opportunity to grow your brand and build a permanent competitive advantage than right now. Consider doubling down on advertising frequency to stay top-of-mind and accessible to your customers.
Keep your ads in front of your existing customers. Make sure they continue to see and hear you. If you're still open for business, let them know what options you're able to offer today. If you're temporarily not open, to keep your customers informed as to when (or how) they can do business with you again.
Utilize multiple platforms. Consider all media channels your customer is likely to use. Integrate your messaging across multiple platforms to create additional touchpoints, increase message frequency, and stay top of mind.
Remaining Top-of-Mind the Right Way
Staying top of mind with customers is a great thing, but only if they are thinking positive thoughts about you. Make sure your advertising is creating a positive impression. Keep these ideas in mind.
Tweak your messaging to be timely, aware, and relevant. Your ad message today must show that you get what’s going on in the customer’s life, and how you’re responding to it. Consider what you want to hear as a consumer, and incorporate that into your messaging.
Provide specifics about how you're adjusting to the crisis. Many businesses are remaining open and offering tailored experiences for their consumers. Are you offering curbside pick-up options, or providing delivery within a certain radius? Maybe you’re cleaning your store more often, or instituting specific measures to maintain social distancing. Tell your customer precisely what you're doing for them--and how you're helping the community.
Be sensitive to what's happening in their lives. Show awareness of what your consumers are most likely facing. Has a major local employer cut jobs, or instituted furloughs? Does your customer base include many front-line workers who are out there every day? Be sure to consider these facts as you adjust your message.
Your marketing now should be helpful, timely, and also encouraging. Think of it not as a sales pitch, but rather a source of important information your consumers can rely on as they make decisions and meet their needs at this moment.
How It Will Help Business Later On
Advertising right now will help your business both today and as we settle into the new “normal.” Companies that stay out front now will have an easier lift once things calm down. The more you stay top of mind and relevant to your consumers today, the more successfully you’ll return to regular business operations.
This is the time to create stronger, deeper relationships with your customers. By being available now, and showing you understand their needs in this moment, you’ll build trust and credibility for your business that can boost your results for years to come. As you listen carefully and adjust quickly, you’ll gain a better understanding of what your consumers need most--and how you can best deliver it.
Take advantage of the chance to do good in your community. People are paying attention to who’s helping whom right now. The steps you take to provide for your community to make a difference in people’s lives, and they also build your company’s reputation. As you reach outside your doors to help, you raise brand awareness and make an indelible first impression with new prospects who may not have known you before.
Marketing during a crisis presents rare opportunities to boost top-of-mind awareness. It can give your customers positive stories to remember you by. It increases your ability to recover quickly once this season has passed. If you need help tailoring your message to be timely and appropriate, or if you want help reaching the right audience within your community, an experienced media company can help you create and deliver those messages. Being bold, and staying top-of-mind with a fine-tuned message will see you through to the other side.