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5 Marketing Lessons Learned from the Coronavirus Crisis

5 Marketing Lessons Learned from the Coronavirus Crisis
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There is a line of thinking that says one should never let a good crisis go to waste. Politics aside, such thinking is very applicable to the broad arena that is marketing. As the world continues to deal with the effects of the coronavirus crisis, there are lessons marketers can learn. These are lessons that will influence the future of marketing whether they are learned or not.

Here are five such lessons, courtesy of Salt Lake City’s Webtek a digital marketing agency:

1. The Need to Be Online

The number one lesson many small businesses have learned over the last several months is that they need to be online. These are businesses that have resisted online operation in every form. They do not sell online; they do not market online; they do not communicate with customers online. They have been made painfully aware just how unwise this is.

Being stuck at home for 10 to 12 weeks left people with no other way to communicate but online. The businesses that have suffered the most are the ones without an online presence. As we emerge from the crisis, such businesses should make getting online a top priority.

2. Goodwill Marketing is a Good Idea

A sudden surge in online activity led the most successful companies to engage in goodwill marketing. Goodwill marketing is a way of marketing that shows a company is genuinely interested in the needs of its customers. Sometimes it takes the form of recommending the competition. Other times it takes the form of offering helpful advice or giving away resources. It is a good idea no matter what it looks like.

3. There is a Time and Place for Everything

The coronavirus pandemic has also taught marketers that there is a time and place for everything. Certain marketing messages that were quite appropriate in January turned out to be inappropriate once the crisis hit. Marketers have had to combine common sense with an understanding of the public mood to inform them about marketing messages.

Marketers have, at times, proven themselves to be tone deaf. The hope is that fewer will lack the ability to discern the appropriate time and place for certain marketing messages as a result of the coronavirus experience.

4. Demonstrating Compassion is a Good Thing

During the early days of the crisis, there were isolated reports of price gouging on everything from toilet paper to bottled water. This sort of thing can be disastrous for brands. On the other hand, demonstrating compassion can boost a brand considerably.

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Companies do not have to make a profit on everything. There are times when they can afford to break even for the purposes of helping others. Marketing can, and should, reflect this reality. Sometimes marketing is not about “let us sell you something.” Sometimes it is about, “how can we help?”

5. Strong Communication Builds Confidence

In times of crisis, consumer confidence in the businesses they support can be shaken. The best way to avoid a loss of confidence is to routinely update customers about what is happening. Rather than trying to sell, marketing can be refocused to keep customers up to speed. It can be refocused to explain what the company is working on, what its plans are for the future, how it hopes to emerge from the crisis, etc.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it. It has changed marketing to some extent as well. More importantly, the pandemic has provided marketers with some particularly important lessons. Those who learn them well will benefit in the months and years to come.

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