Marketing during the COVID-19 Crisis

By Kirsten Manners | Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Find out where you should focus your marketing efforts to help you pull through the crisis.

It has been roughly one month since New Zealand was flipped upside down due to COVID-19. During level 4 lockdown in New Zealand many industries and businesses were required to shut their doors to the public and many ‘non-essential’ businesses had to stop operating altogether. As we move into level 3 lockdown next week, non-essential businesses can start operating again, providing they can remain contactless and maintain physical distancing.

Through this challenging period businesses have questioned whether they should continue with marketing efforts while closed and now question what marketing they will need while they operate online or from home. Thanks to our modern society, access to the internet and increased connectivity, it is possible to continue to operate from home, work in isolation, offer contactless deliveries or click and collect without opening physical stores.

Businesses had to act very quickly initially to respond to the lockdown however with more guidance around what is possible during level 3 lockdown it is important that businesses use marketing to their advantage to help them pull through, move forward and stay in business.

We’ve put together our recommendations on where businesses should focus their marketing strategies and budgets during these unprecedented times.

Use This Opportunity for Brand Awareness 

Your business may be temporarily closed if you are unable to provide a remote service. Businesses such as tourism operators, hairdressers & restaurants are all facing this reality. Use this opportunity to share content, retain your customers and stay top of mind. Grow your brand and continue to engage your customers using social media and e-newsletters which are further explored below.

Capitalize on Social Media

Social media is arguably one of the best ways to stay in touch with people. We are even seeing the government use their Facebook platform daily to relay messages and campaigns on COVID-19. Since the lockdown Facebook & Instagram have seen a 40% increase in usage, and it is clear people are spending more time scrolling.

Use your social platforms to stay in touch with your customers, let them know if you are open, whether you can take orders, answer questions and share informative content.

If you Can Still Operate, Don’t Stop Selling

If your business is classed as an ‘essential service’ during the level 4 lockdown or your business can operate remotely without any physical contact, make sure your customers are aware you’re still open. Update your website, share messages via social media and send e-newsletters to your customers. Acknowledging the crisis and using an appropriate tone is crucial as the crisis is affecting millions of people around the world and many people view a business being able to remain open as a privilege.

This is an important time to continue with your marketing efforts and paid advertising, particularly online where we are seeing increased traffic, fewer competitors and all your results can be measured.

Communicate with Your Customers and use Your Database

This goes for all businesses both operating and closed during the COVID crisis. With an increased volume of traffic online it is an opportune time to provide customers with informational content. Right now, people are using Google and you want your website to answer questions that people are searching for. Make sure you have up to date information if you are open, sending products or available to help. Sending E-newsletters are fantastic a way to reach your own customer database and keep the lines of communication open, share any updates and stay top of mind.

Think About Post COVID Planning

Hopefully the coronavirus will be contained in New Zealand and the impact on our lives will be minimised within a relatively short timeframe. No one yet knows what the future will look like, however it is likely things will not look ‘normal’ for a very long time. Use this time now to think about post COVID planning, strategies and activity around how your business can continue to operate and attract customers back. In a marketing sense you may have a change of focus, shift of budgets or a change in your target market.

We know this is a challenging time and everyone is continuing to figure out how to get through this together. If we can help your business at all with online marketing, website updates or a new website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We also provide many useful training courses which can help upskill staff that may have more time to work on marketing projects.

Stay safe and well  – we will get through this.

Author: Kirsten Manners

In her spare time Kirsten loves spending time with her young daughter and exploring all that Nelson has to offer.

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