In addition to the global economy, companies all around the world are feeling the effects of the coronavirus. Not to mention how daily life has changed for so many. Workers have gone remote, parents have become teachers, in-person meetings have become conference calls, trade shows are going virtual – the list goes on.

Not sure about you, but my daily device usage and screen time have certainly skyrocketed. And, I’m willing to bet the same goes for many of your customers. As marketers and digital advocates, it’s hard for us not to see the possibilities this brings for brands. Brand Strategy is still imperative, maybe even more so, and sure, messaging may need to pivot in these times. But truly smart digital marketers are finding ways to face and overcome coronavirus and be extra creative.

Here are some ways to march on:

1. Seize Opportunities – Old or New – to Connect with Customers

In times like these, being present and being there for customers is critical. Numerous studies over the years have shown that those who advertise during economic downturns and times of crisis can actually increase market share when the right approach is taken.

With stay-in-place enacted across many states, people have fewer places to go and less to do outside the home. According to eMarketer, time spent with mobile internet and TV has recently grown since more people are stuck inside and turning to entertainment to ease boredom. This presents opportunity for marketers wanting an audience to speak to. Whether you’re new to digital marketing or you’re just interested in a new approach – now could be the time to experiment, test and invest in tactics such as Connected TV, Online Audio, Social Advertising or search strategies.

One of the greatest things about digital is the ability to use marketing analytics to adjust based on real-time data – change tactics, messaging, product or service promotion in almost an instant. Engaging with customers online during this time is in your best interest. They are there – working, consuming content, streaming and connecting through various devices, which means you can reach them and drive measurable results.

It’s also important for brands to keep posting regularly on social media. Turn social distancing into social connecting by updating and communicating with your customers, communities and partners through this time. Now more than ever, people want normalcy in their lives, they want to hear from brands.

2. Hold Steady on Paid Digital Media

A very recent article showed that the following industries are not only still spending digital advertising dollars, but they’ve actually increased their spending in light of our new “normal;”

  • Home Services, Needs & Supplies

  • B2B & Business Services

  • Education, Online Learning, Online Certifications

  • Financial Services

  • Medical

  • Automotive

  • Pets/Animal Care

  • Real Estate/Moving/Storage

  • Accountants/Tax Preparers

  • Recruiting

  • E-commerce & Online Businesses

  • Food & Grocery

  • Attorneys/Legal

  • Agriculture/Farming

According to eMarketer, digital media consumption, social networks, streaming video services and virtual conferences may all benefit as people spend more time at home and communicate in person less.

Stay the course and keep paid digital media spend in place. Daily life continues and when consumers are looking and ready, you’ll be there with the right message at the right time. Plus, a less competitive playing field can work in your favor, making it easier to amplify your message, further build your brand and grow market share.

3. Build a Stronger Brand – Inside and Out

If you’re not ready to promote your brand or you lack the right messaging or approach, maybe use this time to look within your organization. Is your brand truly the best it can be? Does your team happily support your brand? Do you know your brand story and who you need to be telling it to? Even the most established organizations benefit from evaluating and taking time to strengthen their brand. Building a strong brand inside and out has never been more important – because once things turn around, and they will, it’s the truly strong brands that will survive and thrive in our new normal.

It’s tempting to step back and take a wait-and-see approach during this crisis. Stay positive and stay focused. Remain strong for your people, customers, communities and partners. And most of all, stay creative.

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