Counting the missed opportunities in marketing
In this Coronavirus-sparked crisis, one's management and marketing skills should be at the top of their game. Image Credit: Gulf News

In this Coronavirus-sparked crisis, your management and marketing skills should be at the top of their game. Naturally, in few weeks after the start of the crisis, humans focused on themselves, their families, staff members, clients and communities.

And this is reflected clearly through social media.

Partial and full lockdown have kept people at home, but with varying sets of behaviours. They adapted different habits, got entertained and escaped the lockdown status by sleeping, eating and working from home. Consumers returned to watching TV broadcast, pay-TV and other digital media sources. They are also seeking more in the way of escapism.

The need for groceries is placing pressure on supplies and deliveries, with demand for e-commerce rising to never before seen levels. Safety and health concerns are driving shoppers toward frictionless payment systems. With all these changes happening at the same time in difficult circumstances, what actions can companies adopt to serve and grow their marketshare and reaching their consumers in a practical way.

Social responsibility and transparency

Consumers feel defenseless - so compassion is critical. Many companies have shown that and supported staff members and customers to engage them to be more loyal, and be socially and commercially responsible. The tonality of brand voice is more delicate than ever. In these moments, there is no place for unwanted promises but only honest messaging.

Tracking people’s habits

Keeping an eye on new habits is essential to understanding people’s choices. Marketers can thus gain better insights, and they need to measure sentiment and consumption trends to work on relevant and creative messaging. They must closely watch the chatter across social-media platforms, community sites and e-shopping portals to look for opportunities or potential crises more quickly.

They should quickly get to rebuilding their database to nurture the right decisions.

Connect your brand with good

People will remember brands for their acts of good in crisis moments, particularly if done with a true heart and generosity. This could take the form of donating to food banks, providing for free products for medical personnel, or continuing to pay employees, knowing this is a moment to give rather than be purely commercial.

Feel-good creative content and materials that free anxiety and encourages positive messaging will surely enhance a brand. Making sure that companies need to show their positive contributions are socially responsible and not just for commercial benefit.

Consumers will discover authenticity and real purpose immediately.

Use media in a flexible manner

Marketers can manoeuvre their main creative message according to circumstances to get faster responses. Remote assistance from your creative team is important to adopt messages on select media.

Besides creative adoption to today’s changing status, marketers need to consider the changing media mix to reach audiences based on their current media consumption.

Novelty of working virtually

The positive from this crisis is seeing how fast companies were able to adapt and go onto different remote working arrangements. Utilizing collaboration technologies can effortlessly provide chatting, file sharing, virtual meetings and call capabilities, enabling teams to remain productive. Fortunately, new resources will emerge out of this current discomfort.

How we can plan for the next and the beyond? We have to manage the crisis and think of life beyond the crisis. Marketers must work differently to keep customer journeys as rounded as possible, while working internally to achieve these four outcomes:

* Identify the true impact of business interruption and continue to expect the unexpected.

* More digital ways of engaging with customers, knowing that this will surely have a lasting effect.

* Companies’ teams and departments consolidate and turn to faster decision-taking in response to market demands.

* Diminish risks to the customer engagement experience by planning realistically.

Brands are all having to think, operate and lead in new ways during these uncertain and unprecedented circumstances. We will all have to adapt to it with confidence... and modesty.

- Gaby Chamat is CEO at Verse Communications Group.