Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
April 22nd, 2020

Marketing In The Midst Of A Crisis

As I write this article, we are in the middle of the global COVID-19 crisis. While this was certainly my motivation for writing this article now, the concepts I will share can apply to marketing during any time of crisis. I hope all of you are doing well and that we will soon be emerging from the worst of this period.

While a time of crisis often has our attention on things other than marketing, this article was written to illustrate why a time like this can be terrific for focusing in on this area. I wanted to give you three tangible points to consider regarding your marketing strategy during a challenging period.

  1. Don’t Be Tone Deaf. One of the biggest mistakes I see with marketing strategies at times like this is the utter lack of acknowledgment to the situation on the ground. Either the marketing clearly ignores the topic at the top of everyone’s mind or it has messaging that is inappropriate for the situation.
    Marketing must be adjusted to be relevant to the circumstance. It may mean showing empathy and relaying how you can help. It might be informative to let people know what is happening with your business. However, you want to avoid being too sales driven with the messaging in a way that does not connect with people where they are currently. If someone is worried about having a job next week, they likely will not be too receptive to a sales driven ad for a luxury, non-essential item. You should not hammer home a message that may feel awkward or even inappropriate to the time. Proper marketing must take into account the context of the situation.
  2. Analyze What Is Working. It is likely that during a time of crisis your budget may be modified. It is important to take a look at all of your marketing activities and truly analyze what is working the best so you can shift your resources to that activity. Like many things in life, your marketing activity likely follows the 80 / 20 rule; 20% of your activity will yield 80% of the results. While the other activities can be good to do, fill in the gaps during better times and provide longer-term benefits, a period of crisis dictates that you want to narrow the focus to the activity driving the most results in the short term. Whether you do your own marketing or use an outside source, take the time to look into this area. While it is not advisable to stop marketing completely, you may be able to cut back on some areas while not substantively impacting the results in the short-term.
  3. Understand the Opportunities. One of the realities during challenging times is that many companies eliminate or reduce their marketing efforts. This creates a unique opportunity for companies that continue marketing. First, the fact that there is less marketing happening means less noise to the targeted audience. This lower volume of marketing gives your content a better chance to break through than it may have had when the market is more saturated.
    Second, many paid marketing fees for things like Google Adwords and Facebook / Instagram marketing are based on demand. The more people who are advertising, the higher the cost is. When people drop out, you can reach more people for the same amount of money. The marketing term for this is CPM, which translates to cost per 1000 impressions. During challenging times when marketing is reduced, typically you will see CPM decrease. That is good news for the companies still marketing as they can get more results for the same spend.

I hope that these three points help you when considering how to market your company in times of crisis. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I would be happy to answer them for you.

This blog is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

Tags: , ,

Leave Comment