Pivoting Your Marketing In Times Of Change

The world is in a place it’s never been before. As of this morning, more than 1/3 of the planet is in some form of lockdown over COVID-19 and the news continues to be full of tragedy, public health concern and economic downturn. If you’re like us you’re working from home, practicing social distancing and doing all you can to support your family, friends and colleagues.

All of us are impacted by this outbreak – some more than others and some very seriously – and as marketers we need to be keenly aware of what and how we communicate in these unsettling times. Giving the appearance of having a “deaf ear” or being insensitive to what is happening can hurt you, your brand and your company. As we all look for what is hopefully a short-term new world order, here are some ideas to keep your marketing advancing as best it can.

Manage what you can – controlling what you can has become the watchword for all of us, both personally and professionally. There is so much that is beyond our grasp that it helps to focus on things we can manage – helping our clients, supporting our teams and providing the highest level of service possible. None of us can control the macro but each part of the micro we can impact goes a long way.

Don’t take advantage – one of the worst things you can do is try and leverage the challenges we are facing for your benefit. We’ve seen Amazon shut down accounts of companies that are price gouging and others pulling some PR stunts that are questionable. Luckily, the vast majority of organizations are prioritizing good corporate citizenship over profits. In times like these, awareness and empathy can go a long way.

Keep your powder dry as best you can – the downshift in the economy will hit all of us…some immediately and some with a time lag. Depending on your industry and customer orientation it’s imperative that you assess your investments and programs to see what should continue and what should pause. You need to assess the validity of sending your message out into markets that are distracted and concerned.

Prepare for the turn – although it may be hard to fathom at this stage, every market does make a turn, and this one will as well. It’s important to keep your focus on what needs to happen once things move forward as we all make assessments about the “new normal.” Acting quickly as things begin to improve will provide an advantage. Pair the fast-acting approach with a thoughtful “look ahead” strategy and therein lies a great path to move past today’s headlines.

We continue to hope and plan for the day that life returns to normal, even if it’s a new normal for a while, and hope these insights keep you grounded and focused. We wish you all health, safety and prosperity in the weeks and months to come.