The consequences of this ongoing pandemic are visible everywhere we look. Lockdowns around the world are causing significant economic impacts on all businesses in every country, whether it's considered economically stable or not. Now, we are slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For the first few weeks, it felt like the end of the world was finally here. The stock market was falling, companies were "printing" dismissals, people were forced to work from home, grocery shelves were emptied, and almost every country in the world had infections and deaths soaring – there seemed to be no end in sight.
In one of our prior articles, we spoke about the necessity of e-commerce implementation within your business model. In this one, we decided to narrow the topic and focus our attention on digital marketing.
As we mentioned above, guided by statements and researches of every medical expert in the world, one thing is sure. They all agree that this virus will eventually run its course. If that's true, we know that social distancing restrictions will ease, shops and stores will gradually reopen, professional sports will return, events will begin to fill up the calendar, and life, as we know, will come back. But will it be the same life? People's habits are changed. Many businesses will suffer from those changes; some of them will benefit. Question is how Digital Marketing can help struggling businesses to overcome problems they are dealing at the moment and eventually help them to at least survive.
SO HOW WILL FUTURE CAMPAIGNS LOOK LIKE?
Let us first take a look at some of the principles that Google Marketing has shared that guided their digital campaign in the wake of COVID-19:
- Context is always the key – The guiding question was, "Is this campaign right, given the current context in a local market?"
- Continually reassess – Structural lines of any campaign needs to be dynamic and adaptive to ongoing changes and needs.
- Creative considerations - All of the creative elements — tone, copy, visuals, keywords, placements must be appropriate and relevant to this new reality.
- Changing priorities to navigate uncertainty – Priorities have to be also reassessed, especially ones that contain significant financial component.
- Contribution, at every opportunity – Even the giants like Google are pointing out the need to be philanthropic in these times of crisis. Be helpful to people and businesses in this moment of need!
Guided by these principles, it is possible to pinpoint a few ways to create a responsible digital marketing campaign in the wake of this pandemic.
First, marketers must adjust marketing campaigns and reassess scheduled content timelines. Some of the ongoing campaigns will be shut down, and others will be placed on hold. The DM Community, however, doesn't have a consensus when it comes to this matter. Most of them claims quite a contrary – that placing an ongoing campaign on hold will result in loses of results that were already there!
The next one is to evaluate the brand's imagery and language carefully. Visuals have to promote social distancing and not the other way around. The same goes for the campaign's messages. It should not promote close social interactions.
Don't capitalize on the crisis but be strategic
It's important to remember that organizations should not profit from the market's anxieties and fear. However, many brands and businesses are inevitably backing down from the market, cutting down funds, which is resulting in lowering the competition. This is why many marketers are saying that this is by far the worst time to cancel or put ongoing campaigns on hold. Observation of the marketplace and constant search for ways to leverage soft spots and opportunities doesn't mean you are greedy – it means that you are strategic. For example, the cost-per-impression on Facebook ads has plummeted over the past few weeks (even as traffic has increased on the platform).
Try to be positive, but don't be ignorant! Each brand has its own personality and that personality has to be preserved even in times of crisis. Marketing organization can still deliver a superb message without being offensive or insensitive. Also point out how certain brand or business can help out, because at the end of the day we are all in this together!
It goes without saying that nobody wanted this situation to happen. But it's here. The real proportions of the disaster it produced are yet to be seen. One thing is sure, the world will not be the same once it ends, and it will end! It has also imposed on marketers a need to "think outside the box." Marketing community must be ready to shift and adapt whenever new and unique circumstances emerge. That's part of what it means to operate in a digital age. The question remains, though, is it ready and willing to embrace the challenge?