Marketing Monday: Marketing Through Uncertain Times | COVID-19 And The 2020 Recession

Originally Published April 2020

In this vlog and blog, we’ll talk about how we can handle marketing through uncertain times, like Coronavirus and COVID-19. Here are three ways forward:

  • Do Marketing That Helps
  • Focus On Branding
  • Change Your Value Proposition

Let’s learn together.

Also, be sure to check out our YouTube video on “Marketing Through Uncertain Times | COVID-19 And The 2020 Recession” if you prefer to watch rather than read.

It’s the mid-April. You’ve probably seen tons of articles across the internet showing COVID-19 causing a global economic crisis. Goldman Sachs is expecting the highest unemployment rate since World War II, as much as 20% unemployed according to JPMorgan estimates, and a GDP decline of 11% from a year ago.

Knowing this, you’re probably hesitant to market yourself. You’re considering holding onto cash reserves, or you feel like marketing at this point is “wrong”, that you’re taking advantage of people. Those feelings, while valid, aren’t taking in a complete picture of the situation.

There’s more attention online than ever before, and it’s not going anywhere for 6 or more months. Other brands across the globe are cutting ad and marketing spends, which means advertising online or in physical locations will be cheaper than usual as demand reduces.

With the knowledge that advertising will be less expensive, and there are more eyeballs online than ever, here are three ways you can approach marketing during this period to make sure your company comes out the other side of this recession in a better position.

Do Marketing That Helps

We’re still in the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, your marketing should focus on helping consumers. People are anxious and looking for information. Your marketing can help people, and if so, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to invest in it.

I don’t know your business specifically, but lets use the example of a local Auto Repair Shop. You’re an essential business and can stay open, but people are nervous to come in.

You could begin to provide videos on your website, and amplified through social media or YouTube ads, on how to perform maintenance procedures at home to maintain social distance and reduce anxiety. These videos could be a huge help to people who are afraid to come in unless there is a dire need, and you’re helping the community by keeping people off the road and away from each other for unnecessary trips.

Along with these videos, you could provide tool packs that allow people to perform these maintenance procedures at home.

The best marketing helps people first, and earns their business as a result.

Focus On Branding

The next thing you can focus on is your branding. Sticking with an auto repair shop, if you are providing these videos, make sure your ads are running in your local geography, that you properly mention your brand name, location, and contact info. You want to continue to build your brand, so people remember you after the crisis passes and remember how you tried to help

Also, if you’re providing drop-off/pick-up service, wiping down vehicles before and after service, or other helpful services, be sure to highlight those as well.

Change Your Value Proposition

The third marketing tip is to change your value proposition. In good times, luxuries are important. In economic downturns, this gets turned on its head. Essential needs have to be met, and in a low-cost and safe fashion.

If your previous marketing as an Auto Body Shop was your amazing waiting area with snacks and coffee, or a car wash and wax with every service, those aren’t going to be very helpful anymore.

Instead, focus on the essentials, like: drop-off/pick-up service, interior cleaning, discounts for the most essential workers like medical/grocery/police, and partnerships with other auto service providers or tow companies to ensure a touchless transition from one shop to another as needed for extensive repairs, such as a muffler shop or glass repair shop.

Marketing Monday: Marketing Through Uncertain Times | COVID-19 And The 2020 Recession

Check out our other Marketing Monday videos in our YouTube playlist to help you learn how to develop your website and handle digital marketing for your company.