I can’t turn on my television without being inundated with emotional ads saying that we’re all in this together, that the advertiser is here for me, that these are challenging times, etc. In fact, commercials have gotten so redundant that YouTube creator Sean Haney put together a video called “Every Covid-19 Commercial is Exactly the Same,” compiling footage from numerous ads. To be honest, it needs to change.
Yes, all of the commercials share nice messages of banding together in the face of adversity, but when watching some ads, I wonder if the advertiser is actually sharing a message that’s unique and relevant to them, or if they’re just chiming in to discuss a topic that’s dominating all public conversation. And that’s the thing - I’m so bogged down with these same messages that if I think a brand is being inauthentic and is just talking about them because everyone else is, I immediately tune them out. My mind can only take so many COVID-related messages a day.
Which brings me to my point: As marketers, we need to figure out a way to remain relevant in a landscape that has been turned on its head. And we need to do it with a low budget. And we need to do it fast. And we need to do it like nobody else. Seems like a lot? It doesn’t have to be, as long as you follow the steps below.
Stay true to your mission and be authentic.
This is the first and perhaps most important tip: Stay true to your brand. Your brand and your mission should be your North Star amid all of the chaos, and it will ensure that your messaging is unique to you. As long as you stick to the core of your business, your marketing strategy will be much more authentic and relevant to your customers, which in turn will instill brand loyalty and trust.
Listen to your customers’ needs and do your research.
To connect with your customers, you have to listen to them and offer them value. This doesn’t just mean wiping your ads and marketing strategy of anything having to do with socializing and being in public spaces. Rather, you’ll have to think about what your customer needs right now and how you can offer them a solution for their problem in a way that’s genuine.
Additionally, due to their new lifestyles, your customers are consuming media differently than they were before. Because of this, it’s important to pay attention to where your customers are and meet them there. For instance, 80% of consumers in the US and UK say that they’ve consumed more content since the outbreak, with broadcast TV and online videos (YouTube and TikTok) being the primary mediums across all generations and genders. Research who your customers are and where they are, and you’ll be able to have a more data-informed, targeted approach.
Get creative about different ways to reach your audience.
As you’re executing the tip above, think about new ways you can reach your audience that you haven’t tried before. Maybe it’s trying something like Instagram ads, conducting focus groups to learn more about what your customers are looking for, or revamping your services to make them more relevant during this time. Whatever it is, get creative.
It can be challenging to make the time to think outside of the box, particularly with so many external pressures forcing you to be more reactive than you’d like to be. But it doesn’t have to take too long. At Alipes, we’ve been scheduling brainstorming sessions with our team to uncover innovative ideas to help our clients reach their goals. A recent session only took an hour, and we walked out of there with a memo’s worth of ideas to share with our client. It forced us to take a step back to see the forest through the trees, and because of that, we were able to offer much more valuable, fresh concepts than we otherwise would have.
If you’ve been struggling with your marketing strategy and need help finding your North Star, we’re here for you. Drop us a line to see how we can help.