Marketing during the Coronavirus: Marketing steps to minimize the economic damage caused by the Coronavirus

In the previous blog post, we provided tips on crisis communication in the context of the coronavirus situation. Now, we have compiled tasks that can help minimize the damage: this is marketing during the Coronavirus.

The current situation is painful for everyone. The Hungarian and international economy is crying together because the impact of the virus has affected almost everyone directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution or one-size-fits-all approach that would work for every industry. There will be smaller and very large losses. However, I have gathered a few suggestions on what you can do, or ask your marketing agency to do, in such a difficult situation. So here are some ideas for your marketing during the Coronavirus.

Don’t panic and don’t panic others!

Decisions made with emotions running high and a narrowed field of vision are not likely to be correct. Rational thoughts can only be developed calmly, considering all factors. So, if you feel at first that you need to immediately disrupt everything, don’t do it. Prepare an emergency plan for various scenarios. At this point, we are still talking about a crisis, not a disaster, and the best thing we can do now is to try to stay afloat and prepare for the situation after the crisis.

When communicating with your colleagues, clients, and partners, including your marketing agency, make sure to remain calm. As a leader, you need to set an example, rather than exacerbating the already uncertain situation. Be clear, empathetic, and even if you are overcome by panic (which I think happens to all of us from time to time), still be careful not to scare anyone more than necessary. In uncertain times, it is often a great achievement to provide security in what you can: for example, in the quality of your service, in delivery, in the helpfulness of your customer service.

Avoid sensationalist posts and actions based on half-information; not everyone needs to capitalize on the media attention surrounding the Coronavirus.

Instead, provide useful, tangible practical advice from your own field:

  • Quick and easy recipes to make at home
  • Leisure activities at home
  • Home delivery information
  • Training courses
  • Book and movie recommendations
  • Tips for dealing with anxiety
  • Etc.

It’s almost certain that there is an area where you can provide useful information. For example, a sex psychologist recently gave tips to couples on how to spice up their sex life during quarantine. Be creative and brainstorm ideas with your marketing agency, instead of panicking!

The solutions are obvious in the examples mentioned above, but think about your own market.

Transform your business model

Some industries (e.g., events, education, coaching) have almost overnight transitioned to complete digitalization and remote work. The solutions are obvious in the examples mentioned above. But think about your own market: what can you possibly move online? Create videos, podcasts, hold online classes, coaching sessions, switch to contactless delivery. It may not be ideal, but at least your revenue won’t be zero, just reduced. In times of crisis, this is also an achievement.

Think about how you could help your customers’ lives with a product or service right now.

Some examples beyond hand sanitizer and toilet paper

  • The demand for laptop bags has suddenly increased due to the immediate transition to home office.
  • Most restaurants have completely closed, although they could have switched to delivery, even with a limited menu (at the time of writing, the authorities had not yet ordered the closure of restaurants, only a reduced opening hours).
  • Speaking of delivery: many people cannot or do not like to cook, but they will still need to eat. Since many people ordered food in restaurants and took it home in their own boxes, there has been an increased demand for non-disposable plastic boxes in certain webshops.
  • Children are staying at home, and parents will have a big task to keep them entertained 24/7, so there is certainly an open demand for activity books and games that can be played at home.

Some more ides for your marketing during the Coronavirus

  • No matter what you sell, make sure to deliver it comfortably and safely to your customers. Cooperate with others: If you cannot deliver due to too many orders, and your neighbor is currently out of work, ask them to help with delivery, etc.
  • For travel and accommodation providers, start filling up the summer and fall seasons with guests, ask for deposits, offer discounts. As soon as the current situation ends, people will fly out of their homes like hawks.
  • As a service provider, I, for example, have introduced free business crisis consultations, which of course will not save the company right now, but in the long run, I will also benefit if not every SME in Hungary collapses.

I know this can be a very difficult step, especially if you have been doing your business for 10-20 years with proven methods, and it has worked so far. Now the market rules have suddenly changed, and you simply have to accept that immediate change is needed – this applies to marketing agencies too. The “but this can’t be done with me” attitude will be fatal now.

Now the market rules have suddenly changed, and you simply have to accept that immediate change is needed  in your online marketing strategy

Life doesn’t stop, so don’t you!

People are working from home, not going out as much. After the initial shock, everyone will start adapting to the changed circumstances, forming new habits, adjusting to the new situation. And then life will resume in a way similar to what we’re used to. They will order online, plan home renovations, buy clothes, order books, optimize business processes, educate themselves.

If you cut everything now, close the business, cut marketing, it will be very painful to restart the system at the right time.

In times of crisis and hardship, most people first freeze the marketing budget or even suspend their marketing agency contract, because it seems like the fastest solution. But if you cut off customer acquisition, where will your revenue come from? How will you pay employees, loans, rent? Freezing everything is not a good solution, you do need marketing during the Coronavirus.. Instead, reorganize resources so that as the situation eases, you can take off. Those who don’t stop can be the big winners of the current situation.

Here are a few examples of what you can focus on now:

  • Update your website, which has been overdue for a long time.
  • Conduct an SEO audit and fix your website’s SEO.
  • Write new texts, product descriptions
  • Create lots of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn posts that are not intended to sell yet, but to provide value. As the situation develops, your customers will thank you for sticking with them by making purchases.
  • Create your new brand, logo, cover photos
  • Even if you reduce your Facebook, Google advertising spending, don’t zero it out: maintain contact with your customers, build a database that you can mobilize immediately when the situation changes. Since everyone is stopping their ads now, you will have to deal with much less advertising noise, and click prices are also constantly falling.
  • Create newsletter campaigns, automations. This is a time-consuming process that entrepreneurs usually don’t have time or capacity for. Now is the time.
  • Don’t have a ready-made online marketing strategy yet? It’s time to do it!
  • Personally, I have now increased our marketing spending: the key to survival is to be able to make up for our lost revenue.

Do not stop your marketing during the Coronavirus

The key is to survive the weeks of crisis now, but don’t stop! Settle in for the long term, prepare for the restart. Unfortunately, the corona situation is likely to decimate businesses now, so the market will clear. There will probably be a competitor who disappears or becomes impossible, and you can start building with renewed strength and renewed processes.

The key is to survive the weeks of the coronavirus, but don't stop! Settle in for the long term, prepare for the restart.

If you feel that you could use some help right now and would like to take advantage of the services of a communication team or a marketing agency, feel free to contact us. Depending on our capacity, I offer a free phone consultation to brainstorm emergency solutions for your business together, so that you can continue your marketing during Coronavirus.

If you find the article helpful, please share it so that it can reach as many business owners as possible!

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