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Marketing and Communications During Coronavirus

As the Coronavirus pandemic gathers pace around the world, a few of my clients have been asking me for advice on how to behave as brands and marketers during this challenging time. Here are some tips, based on leading marketing teams through previous crises.

1. Think customer-first

This is a worrying time for everyone, and we need to be in tune with our customers sentiment. So, Listen, Respond and Listen Again. It’s important to have effective listening tools in place and also gather feedback from non-digital touchpoints like call centers, retail, front desks etc. We should be empathetic in branded communications and provide reassurance to customers wherever possible. This is not a time to be overly promotional or to be perceived as opportunistic, so do an audit of your assets and check that you are on-message.

2. Dial up customer service touchpoints

At times like these, brands are judged on how well / badly they respond. And the marketplace has a long memory. So, make sure you are on your game across your customer service touchpoints and ramp up resources if needed. Be proactive in offering support and use plain, practical language wherever possible.

3. Put your expertise to work

Think about what makes you an authority and use your expertise to add value to your customers. Can you provide tips and valuable information? Do you have data and trends that would be useful? Can you offer credible advice?

4. Do some much needed housekeeping

If you have spare capacity, this is a great time to tackle those projects that have slipped in the everyday hustle and bustle of running a marketing department but will help you to bounce back stronger. Tasks could include building up your content library, creating that blog, updating marketing collateral, capturing video and image content and doing some much needed SEO on your site!

5. Plan for the rebound

Things will improve eventually and when they do, there will be pent up demand from consumers to satisfy. Plus, there’s a strong chance your organization will need to seriously catch up on sales and revenue. You need to be ready to hit the ground running with campaigns, assets, branding, messaging etc.

6. Time to upskill

This could be an opportunity to check off some of those training needs you identified in the last round of performance reviews. There are tons of online training solutions to enable your team to participate remotely. As a side note – I’m adapting my own training programs right now for online delivery and so is the Association of National Advertisers.

7. Live your purpose

If you have a strong commitment to brand purpose and CSR, this is an important time to demonstrate that in the real world. Many people are going to face difficult challenges in the coming weeks, and we should all be thinking about the role we can play.

Over the next few weeks, PAS will be sharing examples of good marketing practices by Simon Bradley on its website and social media platforms. Stay tuned and stay safe!


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    A renowned international trainer and PAS consultant

Pakistan Advertisers Society