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Dina Tulli Davis
Dina Tulli Davis

By Dina Tulli Davis, CCEDC Director of Marketing & President, JumpSpark Creative Group, LLC.

Lately, you may have noticed a change in brand advertising across all media platforms from hard selling to we are all in this together and are here to help you in any way we can.

Many times in a crisis or financial recession situation, there are businesses that opt to cut their marketing budget and efforts to save money. This is basically cutting off your lifeline that keeps your sales funnel full and your business operating.  However in our current situation, businesses, big and small, are choosing to consciously move forward for the greater good of their employees, business and the world collective instead.

So how are these businesses moving forward?  They are adapting to unprecedented changes by being authentic, transparent, creative, selfless, flexible, empathetic as well as thinking “outside of the box” to make a positive impact on their community. All the while, they are finding ways to keep their businesses going and/or remaining top of mind with their target audiences.

 Whether your business is still operating or has been “deemed” non-essential for the time being, here are some ways you can change your marketing priorities now to navigate these uncertain times. This way when we do make it through this situation, your business will be on firmer footing to rebuild or to immediately continue to serve your customers as normal.

  1. Review and reassess ad campaigns and placement- COVID-19 news, whether good or bad, is changing on a regular basis. Armed with this knowledge, be aware of the daily temperature of your target audience. How are they feeling? What are their current emotional needs as well as their needs for supplies, products, support, technology and expertise?  Where can you help? How can you change your current marketing campaigns to touch your audience on an ethical and human level rather than take advantage of the situation, as some companies may do, by charging excessive prices for high- demand products?  Do you need to change the tone and context of your new or existing ad campaign and even ad placement to show support and understanding of what your target audience may be thinking, feeling and experiencing?  Should you use light humor or come from a place of solidarity or both?

  2. Review and retool your existing product or service offerings to align with current market needs- This is where your creativity and “outside of the box” thinking comes into play! Take inventory of the needs of your community and your target audience. Review your existing product and service offerings and ask yourself if you can retool these offerings or add new ones to better fill current needs or provide necessary solutions.

Many manufacturing companies are producing products that they do not normally offer, such as: face masks, medical equipment and hand sanitizer to fill national and global needs.  Some brick and mortar only businesses and non-essential businesses are leveraging technology and the Internet now more than ever. They are conducting business and are selling their product and services online. Some businesses and solopreneurs are also offering FREE (and also paid) online HOW TO tutorials as well as meditation, exercise, consulting and coaching sessions and networking, business or entertainment events on their websites and social media platforms. And, some businesses are partnering with their suppliers to become physical location resources for their local community to obtain everyday essential items, like: food staples, paper products and the like.

3. Plant seeds and provide value to your customers and your community– Marketing your business is all about making connections and forging solid, long-standing and trusting relationships. This is your opportunity to be authentic and transparent with everyone whom you currently serve and have yet to serve. This is where you really put # 1 and #2 above as well as your company mission and customer service excellence into action, and as a result, stay top of mind!

Think about what your business do to go the extra mile to provide value to your customers and community. Do you have or can you create a piece of technology or app that can help local businesses or even the masses?  Or, can your company partner with another business to provide something else of value? This can be a special offering, FREE bonus, a special service or a donation of time or money.

Also, be sure to take this opportunity to “check in” with your current clients to see how they are doing. Ask if you can do anything to help make their lives and business tasks easier.  And don’t forget to take this time to think ahead, update your website, social media pages, marketing collateral and systems and get to those business-building activities that you haven’t had time to do before.  Believe it or not, doing these things can also bring value to your customers.

Changing your marketing priorities to navigate these uncertain times doesn’t require a lot of money to do or do well! As you will soon come to discover, the efforts that will prove to resonate most with your current and future customers, both now and later, will be your investment in time to care, understand, assist and relate to them in the most personal and authentic ways possible.