Find below some of the best marketing ideas and examples to help your customers during the coronavirus crisis.
THE BEST 14 MARKETING IDEAS TO HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS DURING THE CORONA VIRUS CRISIS?
The outbreak of Covid-19 has accelerated marketing trends that were already developing in China, including investments in e-commerce, gamification and live streaming. Customers around the world keep spending but in a different way. If you can adapt and offer them value in this time of uncertainty, you will win their loyalty and when normal life resumes and they do spend again and it will be with you if you have offered support.
How can you leverage your marketing to address issues caused by COVID-19?
Here’s what you need to do:
The most common issues your marketing should address during coronavirus are:
Customers are not sure about your opening hours.Customers are not sure about your product stock levels and the amounts of product allowed to be transacted.Customers are not sure whether you can be met in person.Customers are not sure about your refund/cancellation policies.Customers are not sure whether they will be able to keep clean and disinfected while visiting your company, factories, stores or offices.
Before embarking on “coronavirus” related marketing content, you should ask:
What is the most important information my top audiences (target markets) should know about?What is their emotional context so it can be presented in a secure way?What is the objective of each communication piece?How we should best deliver it? You need to decide on the best marketing channel and content type: video, article, infographic, QnA, etc?Is there any cultural norm we have to be aware of before sending the message?
Below are some marketing ideas you can use when helping your employees and customers deal with the Coronavirus crisis…
1. PLACE CUSTOMER SERVICE AS A TOP MARKETING PRIORITY
How? Run regular weekly meetings to discuss the most common questions customers are asking related to all the issues and challenges associated with purchasing and using your products and or services during this coronavirus time. Work with your team to craft the best answers and support options. This will reduce escalating issues to managers and speed up the process of resolving issues.
Tip: Craft a “Coronavirus FAQ” page or a “Latest Convid-19 Updates” page. Make sure those pages are easily accessed from your website homepage.
2. MINIMISE “E-COMMERCE CUSTOMER PATH TO PURCHASE” FRICTIONS
How? If you were waiting for the best time to start or improve your e-commerce is now! More people around the world are completing online purchases as they want to avoid physical contact during this period. Fix all the issues on your e-commerce platform now to ensure you get the rewards of the increased online shopping behaviour across all markets around the world.
Tip: In the case of having a supply chain issue, you want to ensure “out of stock” messages are clearly displayed on your website for items you do not have available. If possible allow email alerts so customers can be alerted when items are available.
3: SHOW YOUR COMMITMENT TO CUSTOMERS’ HEALTH
How? As more people socially distance across many countries, you can remind customers through an email campaign of the standard operating protocols and extra precautions you are committed to during the coronavirus crisis. This can include easy access to handwash and hand sanitisers, frequent cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, bathroom supplies fully stocked ( yes, including toilet paper) and “coronavirus free” healthy staff.
4: PROVIDE HELP TO THE MOST VULNERABLE CUSTOMERS
How? This is time for all businesses to show up and provide support to the most vulnerable people on this pandemic. Allow elderly customers to have first access or discounted pricing for your products and or services. Australian based supermarket Woolworths is a great example allowing the elderly to shop between 7-8 am before they open doors to the general public. You can also produce a “How to buy responsibly” guide to educate customers to not bulk buy during this time and be considerate.
those marketing messages. We cover the most important channels below.
5: REMIND EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS TO DONATE BLOODHow? Even if you get 5% of your employees to donate blood is a great achievement. You can incentivise this by offering rewards, free product or promo codes. Many of blood donor centres are open after office hours and on weekends too. To find your nearest donation station, you can visit Australia Red Cross.
6: SUPPORT “WORK FROM HOME” TELEWORKING
How? It is not just allowing your employees to work from home but ensuring they have a space at home where they can effectively and comfortably work. Apart from the very basic: having the right software and hardware for remote collaboration, you can also assist your employees with desks, chairs, lamps, and any other key office equipment and tools.
7: PROMOTE A CLEAR PROTOCOL FOR ALREADY “CORONAVIRUS INFECTED” EMPLOYEES
How? You may think offering clear instructions on how your company will care for coronavirus infected employees is an operational issue and not a marketing issue. Well, sometimes Operation teams are not professional communicators, it is important you provide support and advice on how the messages and support to infected employees are crafted and curated so you can help alleviate any fears and minimize stress.
8: OFFER CREDIT VOUCHERS FOR YOUR BRAND’S CANCELLED PHYSICAL EVENTS
How? Many businesses across the globe have cancelled events, meeting, employee travel and travel for training. Event marketing has especially suffered and it is important you work with your event technology organiser on best ways to manage and deliver credit vouchers to all the customers who already paid to assist to your cancelled events.
Tip: Make sure the credit vouchers have ample time to be redeemed/used otherwise angry customers can backfire against your brand.
9: GO LIVE-STREAM FOR YOUR EVENT MARKETING AND CUSTOMER’S CONSULTATIONS OR APPOINTMENTS.
How? You can connect with your customers, partners, suppliers and employees online. Some of the most popular live-stream tools include:
Facebook Live: when going live on Facebook I suggest using the Facebook creators studio as it provides far more tools than the standard Facebook live video. Instagram LiveGoogle Hangouts: do not worry about whether teammates, clients, or customers have the right accounts or plug-ins. With a fast, lightweight interface and smart participant management, multi-person video calls are a breeze with Google Hangouts. Skype: you can schedule, produce, and broadcast meetings or events to online audiences up to 10,000 attendees.
Tiktok: currently, you’ll need to have at least 1,000 followers to access the live stream feature.Douyin: one of the most popular live stream apps in China. Worth having a look if you need to reach your Chinese customers.
10: PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO EMPLOYEES UNDER QUARANTINE
How? Some of your employees may be single people with not many available friends to help out. Some others may be single dads or single mothers. Ensure you have a process in place to care for your employees already on quarantine.
11: SET UP FREE “HAND WASH” STATIONS
How? Make special areas for your employees and customers to wash their hands for free. Those small actions of care and generosity are the ones your customers will always remember.
12: REMIND PEOPLE HOW TO KEEP CALM AND PATIENT
How? With so much bad news bombarding people’s attention, your brand can bring different content that focuses on helping your employees and customers to keep calm and patient. You can share your unique tips, tools, advice and ideas on how your customers can keep enjoying their daily life from home. Note: There was a massive increase in divorce rates in China in the last month after the drastic quarantine periods for many couples.
13: ONLY SHARE TRUSTED SOURCES OF INFORMATION
How? Your brand and marketing can play a key role in preventing the spread of misinformation as there’s naturally fear among people when a crisis strikes, which paves the way for misinformation. Ensure your marketing and PR teams evaluate the news sources and news itself before communicating with customers and making decisions. A great example of this is how Google is cracking down on unreliable sources. Google has been working to curb phishing attempts, conspiracy theories, malware, and misinformation and removing YouTube videos and ads. Best office coronavirus news sources you can trust are:
14. POST CORONA VIRUS MARKETING PLANNING
In the best-case scenarios, it seems (no-one knows at this stage) most governments will have the virus controlled by August this year. This is a great time to start thinking about how to get your marketing back to normal and what campaigns and messages your company and brands are going to prioritise post coronavirus crisis.
FINAL NOTES AND CONCLUSION
This is a great opportunity to show your business is not here only to make a buck $. You have a fantastic opportunity to make your marketing as useful as it can be. Making sure you hear and adapt to all the different needs, questions fears and expectations from your different audiences. All the investment you do now will be rewarded later on with you customer loyalty as people will always remember the brands that try the hardest to help out.