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Business and marketing response to Coronavirus COVID-19

Five steps that you can take to gain insight from your customer feedback and prepare for your recovery

Just as no one could have predicted this year’s events, no one knows exactly what a post-Covid world is going to look like. One thing we can be sure of, however, is that some change is on the cards. The longer this situation plays out, the more we’re all seeing shifts in consumer behaviour, product demand, customer relationships, and priorities – even the term ‘essential’ has taken on a different meaning for many of us over the past few months. Changes in your business are happening right now. It’s time to react to your consumer’s behaviour, gather all of data that will help you take the steps to recovery, and make sure your customer experience (CX) is ready and suited to this new post-Covid customer base.

1.     Evolve with your customers – find out what’s…

Don’t go quiet with your comms, but do avoid tone-deaf marketing

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the whole world to a standstill, reshaping the way we must approach almost all aspects of life. With health and safety being the priority, businesses must find their own way to approach the pandemic and rework their strategies to ensure they can continue to operate effectively. While many elements of our life are only changed on a temporary basis, we do not know for how long this will continue, and which elements may never return to how they were before. The virtual world has become more important than ever before and the ability to connect with our family, friends and colleagues on a remote basis is crucial for any semblance of normality, our wellbeing and to maintain any business activity at all. However, while many things are at a standstill, one area which is absolutely in…

What needs to go into a marketing communications action plan to respond to a recession?

In March 2020, we saw global brands like Apple, Nike and Starbucks closing stores around the world and posting Coronavirus advisories to their websites and social networks. Since then, many businesses and individuals have seen their fortunes transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. By May, we saw many countries moving from lockdown to re-opening their businesses in the face of a recession. To help consider the priorities and options from a marketing perspective we have published this free recession marketing action plan guide to help marketers consider their next steps. In this article I review some of the main considerations. [si_guide_block id="151279" title="Download our Free Resource – Creating a marketing action plan for a recession" description="With changes in consumer in consumer spending, it becomes vital to rapidly think through new alternative approaches to prioritize marketing activities with the…

Google and Facebook plan to offer SMBs ad credits to support them during the coronavirus pandemic. This is what you need to know to secure your share

On Friday the 27th of March, Google announced that they will be offering ad credits for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) who routinely advertise with them. Google have pledged $340 million in Google ads credit, to help companies “stay in touch with their customers during this difficult time” (Google Ads Help). More details have now been made available and this ad credit can be used at any point until the end of 2020, across any Google Ads platform. On Monday the 20th April, Google provided updated information on their ad credit programme, particularly in regard to eligibility criteria. Those eligible for this programme are small and medium-sized businesses globally, who have spent with a Google Ads account in ten out of twelve months of 2019, and…

Practical copywriting tips and examples for e-commerce websites

As Coronavirus spreads around the world, e-commerce websites need messages telling customers what service they can expect from the new normal. A few are doing these really well, but many are falling into the trap of writing in a stiff, legalistic language that does nothing to reassure or persuade customers to carry on buying. It’s understandable.  Plummeting sales figures (unless you’re selling Vitamin C) means that Business owners are panicked about keeping the company afloat, senior managers are petrified about their jobs and everyone is scrambling to get their work done. As human beings, they are worried about their friends, family and possibly their own health too. Those huge levels of anxiety permeate through to stiff, formal wording that does nothing to reassure with statements like “Our existing business continuity plans have been designed to support the continued…

Legislation from Facebook and advice from Google to inform your marcomms. Plus, from Dyson to Prada, discover the manufacturers stepping up amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Guidance for navigating your campaigns through COVID-19

Google has published guidance for marketers on navigating COVID-19. The one-page document outlines considerations such as: Tone Imagery/assets Adapting Google Ads Other Google tools which may help Google doesn't have all the answers, but, even if you only take away one thing from this article, I strongly recommend allocating yourself 10 minutes to read this guidance and just double-check that your COVID-19 marketing plan is in line with advice from the top.   Still working out your company's response to COVID-19? You're not alone. Last week, Dr. Dave Chaffey published a free Smart Insights guide Creating a marketing action plan for a recession, to help inform strategy…

You and your team are stuck at home - that’s the current reality. By following these guidelines you can boost everyone’s work-from-home (WFH) morale and productivity.

Your customers don’t care where you work

Due to recent Coronavirus revelations, it’s not just you that’s working from home (WFH); your entire team may have gone remote. And stress can surely accompany this transition. But rather than succumbing to fears and pulling inward, it’s time to push outward — with strong leadership and tight collaboration, while also meeting your team’s emotional needs. After all, your customers don’t care where you work, but how productive you are and how you care for them. Do this well and you remain a market leader; flail at WFH and watch your customers bail. Fortunately, with the recent proliferation of project management apps, and some purposeful leadership, your team can still get…

Chart of the Week: Pandemic hits high-ticket air travel and cruises, alongside small pleasures such as eating out, as marketers reassess what constitutes value for customers right now and how digital marketing can help

Charts from Market Insider paint a grim picture of life for marketers in the travel industry as airline and cruise numbers plummet

The biggest cruise names in the pandemic are, of course, Princess Cruises' The Diamond Princess Yokohama (with 700 passengers infected and eight deaths) and the Grand Princess (now in day 14 of quarantine in San Francisco). Analysts at Goldman Sachs are comparing the pandemic to similar scale events such as the 2001 recession, the 2008 financial crisis, and, the Costa Concordia disaster of 2012 (another cruise ship disaster, where 33 passengers died off the coast of Italy).

"Averaging the moves made after such events, cruise prices dipped by 6.3% and took roughly…

Smart Insights members and followers have been discussing positive brand responses to Coronavirus which have moved us and impressed us.

We hope you will find this summary of some of our favourite responses below helpful. It may even spark a new idea for your business to help you weather the global economic impacts of COVID-19.

Social media giants' joint industry statement - Stu Miller

To me, the single best response has been the big social networks agreeing that ensuring truth of information on their platforms is incredibly important - especially at this time. We can only hope that this remains the case once COVID-19 has passed - it's long overdue!

Free access to and guidelines from forward-thinking online events platform - Tiago Caramuru 

InEvent has opened free access to its software…

Examples of different Coronavirus notices around the world - and best practice for public communications

This is a strange start to the week after a strange weekend where we've seen the empty streets across Rome, Paris, and Madrid, then hearing about lockdowns extending to Los Angeles and New York and governments drastically reducing interest rates around the world. Since many businesses will be considering their own communications, in this post, we're collating examples from different sectors, which we hope you will find useful. At the moment, the advisories seem to have been published, for the most part, by the largest companies, but we expect to see them across all companies in time. Crisis communications teams in many of the larger brands most impacted by the Coronavirus are putting out Coronavirus business statements, like these who notified early on Monday 16th March: Starbucks Nike Tui Hubspot …