Market Effectively during Covid-19

Hello, friends and colleagues. By now it’s crystal clear to us all: COVID-19 will be the cause of the biggest economic disruption since the second World War.

Don’t freeze, keep moving your brand forward

In times of chaos our natural inclination is often to freeze and wait it out.

However, while it might feel counterintuitive, if you invest positively into your marketing programme when everyone else has stopped spending, you can gain ‘mind share’ in your category. You will also position your brand for take-off when the COVID-19 crisis is over and the market turns.

Connect with customers in new and creative ways

Moving forward, we need to sync with the big shifts in consumer behaviour that are occurring right now and adjust our marketing strategies. The challenge: how to take who you are, and what you do and apply it more meaningfully to where your customers are at right now? I hope you find this guide useful and wish you all the best for the difficult journey ahead.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Charles Darwin

9 things you can do to optimise your online presence:

1. Polish up your website. Make sure it communicates clearly, is user-friendly, looks impressive and is optimised for Google Search.
2. Update your Google My Business page with the most accurate, up-to-date information about how your business is operating in the crisis.
3. If you don’t have a company page on Facebook and LinkedIn, build one – quickly.
4. Start using Facebook Messenger and Facebook Live. Facebook Messenger usage has more than doubled since the start of the crisis.
5. Explore new digital advertising opportunities. Google AdWords and re-targeting is a must, but also look at paid social media ads – particularly on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
6. Create more engaging email marketing campaigns. Make sure your tone is empathetic. Tell inspiring stories about customers and staff.
7. Use your work email signature creatively to talk about initiatives you are introducing.
8. Make use of video marketing to stand out in your customers’ crowded newsfeeds.
9. Simply publish more content – whether it’s blogs, videos, images or infographics.

Focus first on message clarity


Already congested media channels are flooded with COVID-19 communications. There is so much noise that your message is easily lost.

How does your messaging measure up? Is it crystal clear and quickly understood? Is it solving a problem for consumers? Is it compassionate?

Narratives will need to get sharper. As the crisis evolves, consumers will make decisions about what they see as essential and expendable.

If your messaging is not immediately obvious you run the risk of being seen as irrelevant. Now is a good time to review your brand story and messaging strategy for clarity and relevance. This will create more powerful communications.

Return to your Brand Heart – your purpose, vision, mission and values – to remind yourself of what your brand stands for, what problems you solve, how you do business, why you care (your purpose) and what that all means in the context of COVID-19.

Think about how your can position your brand as a mentor to help guide your customers through the crisis.

In times of chaos our natural inclination is often to freeze and wait it out.

Living in the uncertainty of a crisis heightens our emotions. We need to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. While we’re helping each other in innovative ways we want to see brands helping our fellow humans as well.

Whether it’s through donations, filling a need in the community or making sure their employees are taken care of, consumers want to see brands step up and do something good.

Communicate your unique value.

Does your product help people do things without face-to-face interaction? Does it give them things to do at home? Share your brand’s unique value in the context of this global crisis.

Create useful content.

Even if your product or service doesn’t directly help people dealing with isolation, your brand can still provide value. Can you educate, entertain, inspire? Can you teach new skills, share your expertise, provide food for thought?

About Steve Ballantyne

For the last 25 years I have been working within Australasia’s B2B marketing industry as a Strategic Advisor for the likes of OfficeMax, Canon, ColorCote, Speedy Signs and Lockwood.

With the art of business storytelling tucked under my arm, I have gone about my career proving and testing my ideas in this field, involving myself in 8 business start-ups… some worked brilliantly, others not so well. And this is precisely where my own personal brand of value lies – in the great sense of commercial reality I bring to everything I do. And I wouldn’t change a thing, because all roads have led me to this point – the point at which I can spread and share my skills with companies and leaders who so desperately need to compete. Are you one of them?

Steve Ballantyne

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