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Marketing Amidst a Pandemic? Focus on People over Profits

March 1, 2021 | by Ron Zayas

These are unprecedented times…blah, blah, blah – you’ve heard that and read that a thousand times already.

For many businesses, the top priority now is not increasing market share, but keeping the doors open. Marketing can help with that – if it’s the right kind of marketing.

You wouldn’t know this from watching the news, but during times of crisis people really do pull together and help each other. It’s happening everywhere – right now. And businesses have a role to play in that.

We’re All in This Together

Yeah, we’re getting tired of that cliché as well. But it’s true. And that’s the message your marketing should send. Express yourself as a partner to your customers. Don’t talk about your challenges – empathize with the challenges your customers are facing, and what you can do to help them through this pandemic.

An Edelman Research Report crunched the numbers on this. It found that more that 70% of consumers agreed that if a brand were putting profits over people, they would lose trust in that brand forever.

How to Do It

Eighty-four percent of respondents said they want brand advertising to focus on how brands help people cope with pandemic-related life challenges. That’s the place to start. You don’t have to manufacture masks or disinfectants for your products to have a role to play in making your customer’s lives less stressful.

Is your business following all of the protocols for keeping customers and employees safe? Make sure that message is getting out.

Do your typical marketing campaigns rely on humor and edgier content? Might want to dial that back. More than 50% of survey respondents expressed their disinterest in advertising or marketing that is humorous or light-hearted.

Planning to introduce a new product soon? Unless it’s a vaccine, you might want to hold off on that: 54% said they are not paying attention to new products unless they are designed to help with their pandemic-related life challenges.

Finally, remember that people can spot a phony a mile away. Remember when a bunch of celebrities put on a video singing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” at the start of this pandemic? It was appropriately laughed out of every room in which it was played. No one worried about whether their kid’s school would shut down, or whether they would still have a job next week, wanted to hear some millionaire sing “Imagine no possessions” from their palatial estate in Malibu.

Don’t just talk the talk. Cringe-worthy videos are not the answer. HP mobilized its personnel and partners to donate 3D printers to hospitals so they can produce more masks, while also manufacturing face shields, field ventilators and hands-free door openers.

This virus isn’t going away tomorrow. There are still opportunities to make a difference.

Help your customers and your community in any way you can. By putting people over profits, you’ll build brand loyalty, boost your standing with your customers, and have a better chance of surviving – and profiting – in these unprecedented… well, you know.

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Written by 360Civic CEO Ron Zayas, Increasing Leads Through Your Website Without Increasing Traffic or Costs is intended for web masters, marketers and web developers who design, create or manage websites that generate leads. The whitepaper outlines common situations and advanced strategies marketers can employ to grow their lead flows and increase sales.

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