How Marketing can #KeepProducing during COVID-19

burberry coat

Times of crisis are when brands are either to be remembered or forgotten. One brand that took the first step toward cementing an even further legacy is Marriott with the video from their CEO Arne Sorenson.

Another example of a brand that not only survived but thrived during one of the biggest global events in world history, WWI, is Burberry, who evolved from war-use to everyday wear with the famous trench coat.

The point is that brands are not broken in times of crisis.
Here are a few ways that companies can continue doing work that not only matters but sets up the company for long-term success.

Cause-worthy Marketing

Most of us will view this as doing the right thing, which it is, but the fact is it also constitutes cause-worthy Marketing. Companies like Ford are joining forces with 3M and GE Healthcare to make equipment, including respirators. Luxury brands that aren’t often associated with gestures of goodwill are using their manufacturing lines of Guerlain, Parfums Christian Dior, and Givenchy to mass manufacture hand sanitizers for French Hospitals. Although these things might get lost in the fray they will not be forgotten years down the road.
The treatment of employees is all of a sudden the litmus test for what your company is really like and if it stands by much of what is touted as company values and ideologies. Employees are the chief brand ambassadors more so than any paid spokesperson or c-suite figurehead.
Kudos, therefore, to the likes of Levi’s, Lush and Apple, which have moved quickly to reassure their employees that they will be paid despite closures. Dallas Mavericks Owner, Mark Cuban, has agreed to work with hourly employees, “Where we can support those vendors, where I can give them extra work, where we can do anything to help them and encourage others to do the same, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Remembering those not in the office

One core core group that contributes to Marketing campaigns across the globe are freelancers, especially with marketing budgets being slashed, which often leads to panic to pour money into short-term performance marketing over long-term gains. As an organization that works with freelancers we are sensitive to the impact that this is having on their livelihoods. One resource that was put together by Michael King, founder and managing director of digital marketing agency iPullRank, recently started a spreadsheet called “Freelancers Available due to Covid-19” that currently has more than 400 submissions. At StudioNow we also have a database of freelancers that we are currently working with that ensures their safety while working toward getting projects completed in as timely of manner as possible with constantly shifting guidelines.

Moving Technology Forward

For companies that have existing technology offerings this is a chance to take a step back and build something that goes above and beyond the typical MVP release of a new product. In fact your product takes on a whole new purpose and serves a group that wasn’t previously thought of while innovating how one does business. Whether it’s a 2.0 iteration of a current product or building something entirely new to overcome an issue we’re facing in the current climate now is the time.
For B2C businesses, especially restaurants, it’s essential to partner with delivery apps such as DoorDash, Instacart, Grubhub, and Ubereats. Many of these companies offer “no contact” delivery to keep both the consumer and the drivers safe. Last week DoorDash launched their #OpenForDelivery campaign that reminds diners diners that restaurant delivery is safe and that restaurants are eager for orders. Go to DoorDash for Merchants to learn more about joining.
This is a chance to think strategically about eCommerce. Although Amazon is the behemoth of eCommerce there are alternative options like Roadie, that will deliver eCommerce items, art, home decor, equipment, and more.

Reset and think long, not short-term

It’s easy to get caught up in the rat-race known as Marketing, where teams became service-orgs instead of strategic levers in company initiatives. By taking a step back there is a chance for teams to evaluate which channels are being used and how to use them more effectively. For instance this is the time to turn up Digital Marketing, especially as a B2B Marketer these channels will be consumed more heavily as many marketers are working from home and honing in on their skills in order to #KeepProducing. Assuming that marketers will have some extra time, especially those working from home, they are advised to use this time to review their online marketing strategy and redefine their marketing messages. Focusing on strengthening digital marketing will enable companies to maintain some sense of normalcy and give a competitive edge over businesses that pared down on their web presence.
It’s a time to build your brand equity by exemplifying your brand values across your Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Production, and Technology channels. The investment in brand building media, especially with custom visual marketing that includes photography and videos, will keep your brand top-of mind and build a voice that resonates throughout all digital channels which people will be absorbing daily. Now is the time to #KeepProducing.

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