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Marketing in times of the dreaded COVID-19

By Manish Jagdish Patil|14th Apr 2020
Indeed, marketing in times of the dreaded COVID-19 is testing times for heads of businesses and marketing professionals driving businesses.
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Probably the biggest modern marketing challenge is here upon us. The challenge of running our business and marketing as usual in the face of global lock-down due to the threat of COVID-19. With companies across almost all segments closed for business, and their customers locked down in their homes, it requires a radically different marketing approach for enabling businesses stay connected with their customers. Even when the virus slows down and ultimately disappears, it will take businesses anywhere between twelve to eighteen months to come back to normal revenues and profits. Indeed, marketing in times of the dreaded COVID-19 is testing times for heads of businesses and marketing professionals driving businesses.


How can businesses help customers spend their time at home?

When millions of people stay cooped up in the confines of their home against their will for an indefinite period of time, it is but natural that a reasonable degree of frustration starts building up. It is here that brands can connect with them by offering them novel ideas for de-stressing their minds and making the most of their time spent with themselves and their families. A leading vacation timeshare brand which keeps the “family” at the core of their proposition and communication, is running a social media campaign giving social media users novel ideas to make their family time more rewarding and share these images on their social media handle with a campaign hashtag.


Persuading action using the category channel

Another brand in the banking space has created a social media video using high-end motion graphics (as no filming is taking places because of the lock-down) urging users to transfer the salary of their domestic helps by asking for their bank accounts. This places the brand top-of-mind among its existing and potential customers, a s brand which cares for that section of society which is most affected by the lock-down. Brands are continuing to advertise on digital media, television channels and OOT or Over The Top, platforms as the stay-at-home customers are heavily consuming content on these channels.


Self-help sessions for keeping consumers motivated

Recognizing the face that consumers are looking out for motivation and self-help content on the web, a leading life insurance brand has tied-up with a professional life coach, yoga instructor and meditation expert for imparting real-time tips and suggesting methods to ease the stress of living in a lockdown. This is being done through live sessions on social media and capsules recorded by the instructor and shared on the brand’s social media handles for easy access. The branding here is extremely subtle comes across as an enabler in these difficult times.


Conveying the extra care taken for brand interaction

Brands in the home food delivery business are creating multiple videos using relevant visuals and text, for emphasizing the strict precautions they are taking while collecting the food from the source and delivering it to customers. This positions them as responsible brands that place the safety and health of their customers above their business.  

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