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Marketing in times of crisis: pivot or perish

- By Dwaipayan, 13 January 2021 | 6 MIN READ


At the beginning of 2020 industries were full of promise with a new season on its way. Campaigns were pinned in the last half of 2019 and long-planned their marketing calendar and activations that would run throughout the middle of 2020. Then came Covid-19.

Buying sentiment dramatically changed overnight, consumers moved into a mode from acquisition to protection, highlighting a global shift in behavioral trends.

It’s time now for enterprises to shift gears in marketing strategies – a tough call for brands to assess how they can service their customers as much as keeping their businesses alive. It’s been hard times for marketers, a question either pivot or perish!

Right now, we start to see the descent into the global Covid-19 crisis, though few countries continue to see new cases and strains. Some business is doing it right and others seemingly getting things wrong.

Crisis such as pandemics, earthquakes, and even war brings out the best and worst in people. Today people express their resentments on social media in ways they wouldn’t in public and that makes business owners apprehensive of a certain bad reaction. While not everything is intentional and we’re all learning so it’s important to temper criticism with a little generosity.

So here is what can we do to promote in times of crisis – A few ideas would probably apply at any time but when you’re in a crisis.

Content is King and always be!

The market is an overwhelming and noisy place. Stay as informed try to avoid becoming a consumer. Resources might be scarce and your ability to network, advertise or events will likely diminish. Your ability to churn content doesn’t cost money and doesn’t need to be disrupted. Just turn it up.

Content has no boundaries and reaches beyond social isolation and it works while you don’t. Good content allows you to connect with people who need to hear what you have to say.

Produce good content in written, audio, or video that keeps you invested. While also being as helpful as you can to your audience and customer. Try building a legacy content foundation in your selling which will allow a quicker recovery once the air clears and the dust settles.

Crisis demands new knowledge 

Take your learning in hand. It is never a good idea to be complacent when times are good and assume it will continue to do so. Things are likely to take nasty turns. I’d argue that your ability to connect with your customer as a survival skill could be fatal for your business. The best thing to do is rethinking your business models and how better you can connect with customers. In this pandemic we saw how companies moved 100% online and devised CTAs to keep their businesses flowing – The new normal   

Plan, strategize, and believe your creativity and that is what will unlock your ability to become a beacon crisis.

Employ media in more agile ways

Marketers will now want to build more quick-response operating models in-house and with agencies. Access to remote production and creative capacity with crisis evolving will be the norm. Nike, for example, without delay moved to adopt a new communication: ‘Play inside, play for the world.’”

Connect – your brand with good

People remember brands for their acts of generosity in times of crisis. Certain initiatives like distributing medical supplies or continue in paying employees while the company’s doors are closed. Many companies take their CSR activities as an opportunity to help the poor, needy, and deserving.

Close watches on trends and build scenarios

Understanding human behavioral trends will help marketers gain better insights in real-time. Marketers will want to evaluate sentiment and consumption trends regularly and persistently to better adapt messaging, keeping track of conversation across social media platforms, community sites, and product pages.

Good time never lasts for eternities neither do bad times! We’ve to plan for life beyond the crisis. Marketing leaders need to work sensitively to keep their brands and customer journeys as a whole as possible while working internally to do two vital things:

Understand the impact of a crisis and sketch a business plan.

Quickly toggle new trends of digital ways of working and connecting with customers and mitigate risks to the customer experience by thinking realistically from the outside-in

Today, businesses will have to think, operate, and lead in new ways under uncertain and unprecedented circumstances no one really know what the future has in store.




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