Coronavirus Marketing: Best Practices For Your Brand
As billionaire investor Mark Cuban puts it, how businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic “is going to define their brand for decades.” As you consider the lasting effects of how your brand is or isn’t engaging with consumers, what are the areas where you need help? Ecommerce sales are predicted to soar to more than $787 billion in 2021, and if you plan for your brand to benefit from that spending power, you need a strategic marketing and communications plan in the midst of the crisis.
Coronavirus And Ecommerce
The coronavirus is expected to change the way consumers shop for the goods they need. Research shows that consumers who conduct holiday shopping online and on their mobile devices, continue to do so to a large degree even after the holidays are complete. Our global health crisis is expected to create the same behavior.
Economic experts predict as shoppers purchase their groceries and other goods online for pick-up or delivery service, they’ll continue to buy in this way even post-pandemic. Prior to the effects of the coronavirus, ecommerce sales were expected to total roughly 12 percent of the retail market. It’s anticipated that ecommerce sales will top that prediction given the changes in consumer behavior during the first quarter of 2020.
Not only are online sales increasing during the pandemic, experts say that type of consumer spending will continue even after stay at home orders are lifted. Holiday shopping is expected to be a major boost for the ecommerce industry. As consumers build their shopping habits now – making purchases from their computer and mobile device – they’ll likely return to that method for their holiday gift-giving needs.
What Brands Stand To Gain
During a crisis, it’s hard for brands to know where to turn first. There’s an innate desire to protect your employees and business, but you must also keep your loyal customers in mind and offer regular communication. For brands that take a moment to develop a strategic marketing plan on how to communicate during the coronavirus outbreak, they’ll have a lasting impact on their customers and be primed for even more business when the crisis clears. Use these best practices to establish your brand through the coronavirus outbreak:
- Engage with empathy. During times of uncertainty, present your brand with a large touch of empathy. For example, many utility and credit companies are suspending late fees for customers during the pandemic. Veer away from commercially exploitative messaging and connect with your audience in an authentic way.
- Connect with new media. Your audience is likely spending more time at home and online now that many companies have shifted to work-from-home policies and schools across the country are closed. Meet your audience where they are. Utilize HTML responsive emails to inform them of updated hours or services. Rely on social media messages to compliment your emails and explore communication methods you’ve never used, like QR codes.
- Explain how your brand is promoting kindness. People will remember brands that offer generosity during the crisis. Whether your brand is contributing to a local food bank, donating face masks to medical workers, or offering specialized benefits to employees, use these giving moments as an opportunity to post feel-good content. While you don’t want to make the content feel self-serving, consumers – especially millennials (81%) – expect their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship.
- Track consumer analytics. Now more than ever you’ll want to know what’s driving your consumers to engage, make purchases and promote your brand. By keeping an eye on analytics like open and click-thru rates of marketing emails, engagements on social media, and product views, you can tailor your messages to meet the needs of your audience.
- Offer incentives for future purchases. While you want your consumers to stay engaged and make purchases during the coronavirus pandemic, you also want them to return once things are back to “normal.” Offer discounts that can be applied to future purchases or work behind the scenes on a new product line that your loyal customers will be the first to see.
How you handle your brand’s engagement and communicate with your audience during this moment of uncertainty will stay in the minds of your customers. Implementing communication tools that are user friendly, like a QR code, will make your marketing efforts easier and simplify engagement for your costumers. Collect and manage customer information captured with your QR Codes and deliver specialized content when customers access the code.
The Admail team is available to help you establish and grow your brand, even in the midst of a crisis. From easy-to-use responsive email design to information-gathering QR codes, our team can help implement the most effective marketing communication tools to strengthen your brand. Explore Admail’s platform through a product demonstration video.