Do You Copy? Sensitive Marketing During a Crisis

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The world is in crisis, and we cannot anticipate when the turning point will arrive. Yet, lockdowns and curfews have eased to a point where businesses now need to scramble to make up for lost revenue. As always, the marketing department plays a very important role in meeting business goals and achieving set quotas.

A marketing department is only as good as the product it is pitching, and years of practice will have already developed the most suitable marketing approach that works with your product. These are difficult times though, and what worked just a few months ago might not be well-received anymore. With a few changes and a more sensitive approach, your marketing team can use the power of copywriting to maintain your business’s sustainability.

Use Humor Sparingly

Putting out a funny advertisement is usually an easy way to draw positive attention, attract new customers, and entertain existing ones while reinforcing their brand loyalty. During such a bleak time, it can even feel like you should lighten up the situation with a few well-chosen witticisms. But this could backfire catastrophically.

Reevaluate your existing copywriting manner across both traditional and online media. If it comes across as lighthearted, then tone it down a few notches so people will assume you are taking the situation seriously. If it is already formal, then avoid sounding more somber in case you sound disheartened.

Be Informative Instead of a Cheerleader

Look at the approaches that companies with strong digital marketing campaigns have taken and try to emulate them or draw inspiration. Always approach your marketing tactics with a keen understanding of what your product is and what it can bring the communities affected by the crisis. The approach of an essential service such as a co-responder program will vary widely from the approach that a fast-food chain will take.

Keep this in mind and focus on developing tactics that will keep your client base informed and at ease. At this time, trying to be inspirational or motivational could be perceived as condescending or patronizing.

Focus on Collaboration Rather Than Contribution

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It might be tempting to focus your marketing efforts on proclaiming far and wide about how much you contribute to the community. While true, this could be seen as a blatant grab for attention. It is much better to take a subtle approach.

Who are your existing clients? Identify them, target their needs, and reach out to them in a professional yet personal manner. During a crisis, you should always focus on maintaining brand loyalty.

After all, it is cheaper to keep an existing client than to find new ones. Focus your efforts on delivering clear and direct communication to your client. Establish more ways in which the clients can connect with you and your help services. Prioritize improving and strengthening the relationship between your clients and your company by engaging with them more and regularly.

Rather than trying to come off as a benevolent corporation giving handouts, take a more grassroots approach. Help clients see that you are both on the same team, working together to get through this crisis.

Be Aware of the Type of Words You Use

It bears repeating, avoid sounding somber. Even if your business is a funeral parlor, now is not the time to sound like you are cowed by the current crisis. It would also be a good idea to review your marketing copy before sending it out and adjusting it to the new sensibilities of people.

There are certain words and phrases which were harmless to use before the pandemic, which might be perceived as rude or tasteless to use now.

Phrases such as “killer deal” or “viral news” will elicit a negative subconscious reaction because of the context in which those words are being used in news media and social media to discuss the pandemic.

Tune into how the public has been responding to marketing efforts by companies with similar products to yours. What seems to be working for? Adopt a similar approach and apply even more sensitivity with your word choice, and you may find that your business reputation improves in your clients’ eyes.

Always remember that we are all in this together. The worries and concerns that you and your employees have are similar to what your clients and customer base are experiencing. In essence, you have become a focus group. Choose copywriting and marketing avenues that appeal to you and it will appeal to your clients.

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