Marketing Strategy during an Emergency: 4 Fundamental Leversadmin
Be context sensitive. Don’t deny. Adapt the tone of voice and rethink the entire marketing and PR (public relations) plan, which also includes the new needs identified in the target audience. If you need to develop a marketing strategy during an emergency (corporate or even global, as was the case with Covid-19), these are the aspects you need to consider. Analyze them carefully and then redefine your way of communicating. Corporate marketing could greatly benefit from this. And if you don’t see any increases in turnover, you will certainly be able to stem the damage. Let’s see the details together.
1) Be context sensitive
Immediately stop commercials, social campaigns and / or visual promotions that have a tone of voice that is not in line with the emergency that just happened. A frivolous or bubbly, ironic or happy tone does not go well with:
- a business emergency such as a recall of a product from the market, a serious incident in production areas or involving your product, an identity theft hacker attack
- a national or international emergency such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emergency communication wants the complete redefinition of the corporate tone of voice , developing new forms of communication capable of interacting with the target audience , reassuring them and transmitting positivity, commitment and the desire to restart. Your (new) marketing strategy will have to start from here:
- from listening to the target audience
- from careful observation of changes in behavior and buying habits
- from the observation of the general situation.
Your goal? Redefine communication and marketing to adapt them to the brand during the crisis. The emergency is a moment of breaking the balance previously reached and this, of course, also applies to marketing.
2) Never deny
Denying an emergency or a corporate crisis is useless, indeed, it can produce a ruinous boomerang effect. If your business is involved in an issue and it impacts stakeholders, hire a professional communicator who will also be a spokesperson as soon as possible. More than ever, in these situations, external communication must be univocal and clear and there must be no rumors or leaks. These, in fact, are capable of seriously damaging an already compromised corporate image.
Even if your company is a “victim” and not the author of an emergency situation or generalized crisis (let’s think, for example, of the Covid-19 pandemic), denying or minimizing the problem is useless and counterproductive. During the Coronavirus many companies (automotive, food and fashion) have redesigned their communication and marketing strategy to prove themselves sensitive to the exceptional context and to give back to stakeholders (here understood as shareholders, employees, institutions, customers and public opinion) the image of a living and present brand and not the image of a company completely decontextualized by the here and now.
3) The power of stories and communication
Not communicating with your customers (and your stakeholders in general) during an emergency is a mistake. Acting only on the financial side (cash flows, stock market securities, etc.) is not the right solution to deal with the breaking of a balance. It focuses a lot on PR, on the power of stories and on communication to the outside in general.
In this field storytelling helps you. Corporate storytelling like Video Animation Agency is the art of a company of knowing how to tell itself, developing a narrative fabric capable of thrilling its target audience and sharing the stories on official social networks (or through an advertising spot). Always keep in mind that the goal is not just selling, but gaining the trust of your consumers. Only by listening to their needs and the historical moment that you are experiencing, you can extrapolate the right keywords on which to focus the narration of your storytelling. The secret ingredient to winning in an emergency thanks to stories? Telling the human side of the company and bet everything on solidarity.
Do not be afraid to provide data – in the event of a business crisis – in the name of transparency and trust , to undertake a marketing strategy (and communication, above all) that is clear and simple and that contains the right elements to remain authoritative even in times of difficulty. .
4) Differentiate yourself from the competition by intercepting new needs
Fund all the data you have available without delay. Analyze them following a data-driven approach to extrapolate:
- The new needs of your target audience and your real customers
- Their fears
- The reasons for any stalls in sales.
Then, data in hand, reconstruct a marketing strategy that aims to differentiate you from the competition , perhaps by proposing an extra product or service or detail capable of comforting the target where the weakness is evident.
That’s what the car manufacturer Hyundai did in 2008. The company, understood from the data that sales had dropped because potential buyers feared unemployment, conceived the Hyundai Assurance product for American customers. Anyone who bought a car in installments and then lost his job the following year could have returned the car. For those who do not remember, 2008 was horrible year characterized by an economic and financial depression of global proportions, which broke out in America as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis in the real estate sector.
Now that you know which levers to focus on to redefine your marketing strategy during an emergency, refine your technique and study every aspect of crisis and emergency communication. You could specialize in this area and become a go-to freelancer for all those companies that are (hopefully momentarily) in trouble.