Is it important to reset your marketing campaigns during the time of COVID: Neha Kulwal, Country Manager, Admitad India
The current pandemic is the test of your brand’s ability to remain relevant in the minds of customers writes Neha Kulwal.
The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping people inside their homes, and the situation is going to last for quite long. In this scenario, should brands continue with their traditional marketing strategy, or should they look to reset it?
A good marketing strategy is always close to customers’ hearts. They should be able to relate to it and believe in the idea that the brand understands them. Definitely, customers who spend a large part of their day on internet-surfing, shopping and consuming news- will have a different state of mind from the times when they used to live normal lives.
Need of a new strategy
Changed mindset: In difficult times, people need support and care. Brands that engage with their customers by showing sympathy will be able to retain them for a long period. They need to come out of the negativity in their lives. Therefore, brands must work on the motto of “distract to overcome distress’.
Several brands, on their apps, websites and social media pages, are engaging their customers by offering video content, games and other contests that are helping them occupy the mind space of customers. This is a good strategy to continue customer engagement.
For example, Infinix Mobiles has launched social media content in which customers are asked to share their videos about their everyday activities during the lockdown. Similarly, Flipkart is also engaging with people by getting people to play games on its platform.
Sustaining brand identity: Most brands have reported a decline in sales in the lockdown period. It would be easy to give in to this situation and reduce marketing budgets. This could be an apt time for marketers to re-work on their branding strategy and focus on building brand awareness and identity in the market. Crisis management has a lot to do with timing. As things gradually ease up, brands will also have to start thinking about their go-to-market strategies in a post-lockdown world.
Brands that fade away from the scene at this moment, will find it difficult to make a comeback when the demand for their products goes up. Now is the time to focus on the effective and novel marketing strategy to be associated with your customers.
Redefine marketing campaigns
Communicate effectively: Products remain the same but context changes. In the time of COVID-19, messaging needs to be sensitive and straightforward. Whether you are selling a sanitizer, car, air conditioner or a water purifier, assure your customers or any services of a quality that will help them see through this difficult time. For example, carmakers now need to talk about technologies that offer a safe and healthy travel experience as compared to the past when messaging used to be around speed and luxuries. Brands also need to ensure that they choose a balanced mix of marketing, advertising, and communication channels.
Avoid hard sell: Sales are important but not all the time. When people are worried about the health of their loved ones and are even undergoing financial stress, the pitch to sell something may not go down well. In these times, marketers need to show concern for the well-being of their customers as well as channel partners that sends across the message of a relationship which goes beyond sale and profits. Admitad has launched a Social-Fund that compensates employees if any of their close relatives have lost their job due to the lockdown. Several brands have announced using their manufacturing capacity to build ventilators, masks and sanitisers.
Provide solutions: People need solutions to their problems. If you had to cancel a physical event or a conference due to the lockdown, using technology and organizing a digital event can help you hold onto your customers. In the case of airlines, a timely refund or a coupon for the next booking is something that customers will appreciate and will remember your brand for.
Choose marketing channels that perform: During a crisis, brands often cut their marketing budgets. If you have done the same, It’s important to smartly choose channels which provide cost-effective and ROI driven results. One such channel is affiliate marketing, which allows you to only pay for results. In a world where the effectiveness of marketing campaigns is measured on the basis of their returns and outputs, this strategy can ensure that you make the most of your marketing and advertising budgets.
An effective marketing strategy is continuous, dynamic and stands the test of time. The current pandemic is the test of your brand’s ability to remain relevant in the minds of customers.
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