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Changing times: Adapting your marketing strategies throughout COVID-19

Life, as we know it, has changed beyond all comprehension since the arrival of COVID-19. Dramatically shifting our day to day priorities, the only requirement society now expects of us, is solitude and patience. 

Seemingly straightforward in the early stages of domestic quarantine, people busied themselves baking, playing board games and Skyping loved ones and friends. However, as the days passed and little news on the long term prognosis of this deadly virus has become any clearer, spirits have fallen, and hope feels far away.

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During these times, daily routines and duties feel increasingly impossible to complete. Motivation is hard to conjure and leading the team forward remotely without any answers on how to operate a business effectively amid an unknown pandemic is legitimately bewildering. And so now more than ever, the reassurance of your clients and colleagues is imperative. If you haven't  already draft an email to your clients, do so. Acknowledge how difficult you are finding, and will find, working right now and establish a new normal with regards to productivity and goals. You will not necessarily be able to achieve everything you had set out to this year, and that's ok because good leaders adapt to change and promote confidence in their ability to do so. Use this time to learn about your company, the brand and your employees. This is a time to focus on communication, compassion and adaptability.

Think of each day as a brand new opportunity to fill with ideas, the way you would a blank white A4 sheet in your mind's eye. So differentiate then and now with an email to your clients. Acknowledge you are continuing to evolve the brand through this time of crisis, to embrace the challenge and work with what assets remain available. While the rest of the world presses pause on the here and now, you are able to continue working, researching and implementing changes to your business model to allow the customer to feel involved and validated throughout this period of global uncertainty. Add a sense of familiarity to your communications. Everyone in the marketing industry is currently working from home right now, so allow insight into your home office, complete with a portrait of you working amongst the chaos the remote office ensues, cats, dogs, clutter and kids included.

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With more time on your hands and less custom coming in, now is the prime period to invest in the development of your business as a brand. Podcasts, Instagram live, YouTube tutorials and Medium articles provide easy to use platforms for added value content to be uploaded and enjoyed by established followers and those searching for affiliation with a company that provide the solutions that you offer. Get creative with your set up; audiences enjoy connecting on a personal level with their broadcaster. Set the context, for example, maybe your podcast could take the format of a friendly chat enjoyed over the course of a dog walk. Start out on your stroll with, signalling your opener with the squeak of a gate. Next introduce your four-legged friend, including a soundbite of Fido's bark, then occasionally shout hello to familiar faces as you pass through the park while discussing your chosen topic. A relaxed tone and setting feels engaging; this isn't a time to school your listener; it's a time to feel friendly and inspire. A solid idea would be to begin this new chapter with a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on the world of marketing in general.

Now is also an opportune time to orchestrate a reshuffle, so when our everyday regular bounces back into action, subtle adjustments can be made to enhance the working of the company.  Refresh your social media channels, delete dead content, scrutinise your Google Analytics and use this space to strategize a soft launch and your reconsidered online platforms.

The world has changed inconceivably. It will continue to evolve past this strange and unsettling era of COVID-19 and as challenging as this chapter is, positivity and progress will carry us through everything, professionally and personally.

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