Read previous post from the Coronavirus Marketing series:
Coronavirus: Marketing now, preparing for the future
Coronavirus: Your Strategy During The Pandemic
I’ve been reading a lot about the Coronavirus, just to make sure that I don’t do or recommend anything that is going to upset or disappoint consumers. People are having a multitude of reactions to this unique situation. Many are obviously very distressed while some are using humour to copy.
PUBLIC OPINION – HOW ARE THEY FEELING?
James Cordon, for example was open with how he was struggling more than he thought it would. I’m sure he’s not the only but at least he has made the rest of feel okay about the feelings of anxiety that we are having.
When it comes to marketing and advertising however, Marketing Week reported that only 8% of consumers think that brand should stop advertising.
But what is interesting is how consumers want brands to talk to them during this time.
Consumers agree that brands should use a reassuring tone, offer a positive perspective and communicate brand values. Consumers want to know that brands are there for them. I think the simple fact that I get a reassuring message pop up as I log into my mobile banking app for both Barclays and Natwest is great. People are worried about money and that simple message allows us to have confidence that everything will be alright.
According to research, it’s important to note that only 41% of consumers think brands should avoid humorous tones. I think that makes sense, humour does take the edge off situations but it needs to be balanced and done in the right tone. I think ‘personalities’ are leading the way with this right now however I’ll be interested to see how brands use humour of the next few weeks as consumers get used to the new norm.
I do want to draw attention to one football player who is really amusing me. James Milner.
I’m also a big fan of Man Like Mobeen and I thought this was a great way of a) doing PR and b) being really funny while emphasising how to stay connected during this difficult time.
PUTTING EMPLOYEES FIRST
Marketing Week stated that consumers are also looking for explicit evidence that brands are supporting staff, the government and consumers. Almost 80% believe employee health should be a key priority for companies, while almost two-thirds believe flexible working should be a priority.
Howdens are great example of this. They’ve closed their UK depots, offered staff full pay, bank holiday days in lieu and they are donating PPE to the NHS. They are a true example of putting their employees and community first.
All in all the tone we use with our consumers right now is more important than ever. Remember consumers are scared, this is unprecedented and no one really knows how to deal with it or how long it is going to go on.