5 Thoughtful Strategies for Advertising During the Pandemic
If you’re like many people, you’ve probably been more conservative in your spending lately. Recent research shows that, during the pandemic, many people were rationing food to save on expenses and grocery runs, and 23% of people were eating more plant-based meals.
Discretionary spending has decreased, and consumers are shifting to digital solutions and reduced-contact channels to receive services. On a larger scale, consumers worldwide say they expect the pandemic to affect their routines or spending for at least two to four months.
A Shift in Content & Scope
In recent months, many companies have shifted the scope and content of their marketing efforts as well. Instead of pushing products and promotions, proactive businesses have focused on building relationships and adding humanness to their brand, including inspirational direct mail newsletters, heartfelt emails, and down-to-earth videos.
In one example, eBay championed small businesses that power the nation with its “Stronger as One” ad. Other companies highlighted safety changes and customer convenience options, like this “Call In/Pull In/Pick Up” curbside delivery ad: “During these challenging times, we are here for you. We are making changes moment by moment to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. And what matters most is doing this together, for the community that we all call home.”
A Vision for Marketing Beyond COVID-19
Beyond connecting and empathizing, what is next for marketing beyond coronavirus? For starters, you’ll need a commitment to move forward. Research shows that 92% of consumers believe brands need to keep advertising.
Ads offer people a glimpse at a prosperous future or something hopeful to look forward, and your marketing gives people a welcome taste of distraction, entertainment, and normalcy. Also, if the firms competing against you have lowered their ad output, now is a great time for you to invest more. As others scale back, your ads are more visible, allowing you to gather leads with a lower cost-per-acquisition. And even if the economy seems shaky, pulling back now may actually lengthen the time it takes you to recover.
If you need to tighten expenses, don’t turn off your marketing. Instead, look at ways you can rethink intake, client services, or business expenses in general. Need some concrete marketing ideas? Here are five types of ads to consider:
1. A Product Focus
Showcase how your product is safe, accessible, or helps people strengthen their health or physical well-being.
2. A People Focus
Show prospects you care about them and that your business is standing with them during this time. This Fitbit ad offers its premium package for 90 days to help people work out at home, manage stress, and eat and sleep better during COVID-19: “Thank you for doing what you can. We’re all in this together.”
3. A Values Focus
Here you might feature positive company values or champion the solidarity and togetherness of your community.
4. A Nostalgia Focus
When things feel uncertain, old songs or vintage photos can bypass the brain and connect straight to the heart.
5. A Humor Focus
While being sensitive to people’s pain, you can still connect with your audience through humor during challenging seasons. Encourage people to laugh at their weaknesses or make the most of this strange season, like this Ben & Jerry’s “Netflix and Chill’d” campaign.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to up your print output today, now is the time to invest in a strong comeback after COVID-19. With today’s carefully crafted message, you can ahead of shifting customer needs and shape people’s long-term expectations. As your partner in print, we are open, and we are ready to help!
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