Marketing During Corona Virus
How are orders to shelter-in-place and self-quarantine effecting small businesses? How should this time of Corona virus affect your advertising, marketing and marketing message? If you are an “essential” business and remain open, how does that effect your advertising message? If your business is shut down, do you stop advertising?
Answers to these questions depend on what type of business you run. For example, during the month of March, there was a severe shortage of toilet paper. Any toilet paper that made it through the supply chain to a store shelf was gone in under five minutes. Yet, throughout the month of March, I saw expensive national ads on TV for Charmin. Really? Did those advertising dollars need to be spent? Obviously, those ads were purchased ahead of time and could not be changed but it created an odd circumstance that illustrates a point. Marketing messages need to be adjusted for the situation.
Businesses that are open need marketing to let people know they are open and serving the community in a time when it might be safer to close and stay home. Important messages would include how their service has adapted to keep people safe. One example would be restaurants describing their curb-side pick-up or home delivery service. Emphasize food prep safety. Present a “we-are-here-to-help” theme. Some businesses are scoring huge branding and Social Media points by legitimately trying to help. “Free pizza to medical personnel.” “We stopped sewing clothing and are creating thousands of face masks in an effort to help supply front-line medical personnel with PPE.”
Businesses that are closed need to use the time to plan. Consider the marketing campaign that will re-launch the business. Is this a good time to revamp the website? Should you add enhanced ordering features to your website? Is this the time to create new content for blogs and PR campaigns? Will you be able to advertise new sales and offers upon launch? “Grand Re-Opening Sale!” Is this the time to do a dozen YouTube videos for release over the first 12 weeks back in business? Is relaunch the time for TV ads to make sure the most people know about your business in the shortest amount of time?
Whether you are in the throes of business now or making plans for relaunch, your advertising and marketing is more critical now than ever before. Use this time to refine your message and get it out to the people who need to see it.