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Traditional Marketing is in Lockdown. Now What?

Now that we’re well into life as we’ve come to know it during the Covid-19 pandemic, as marketers we know that traditional marketing channels are in lockdown.

No more conferences, events, in-store promotions, etc. Newspapers and magazines – which were in bad shape before the pandemic – are in free-fall. And now, print advertising is even less effective than before. Even billboards have seen a big decline in sales.

So what’s a marketer to do?

 Become extremely creative with your digital marketing.

Yes, we mentioned that even online ad sales have declined, at least on Facebook. But some companies have decided that “this situation is not what we ordered, but it’s what we’ve got,” and have adapted by using current circumstances to their advantage.

Budweiser, for example, has revived its iconic 1999 “Whassup” advertisement by re-recording its audio and visuals with sports stars and celebrities to reflect the times were in. And has done so to great effect – and results: supermarket sales were up 7.9 percent for the four weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown that ended April 23, versus the same time frame in 2019.

The ad works in no small part because it speaks to our current situation. So the question becomes:

How can your marketing/advertising do the same?

Chances are great – no matter how much states “reopen” their economy – that we all will be staying home a lot more this summer and after. And when we do venture out, we will be staying/standing several feet apart from each other and we’ll think twice and three times before being around people we don’t know due to our worries about catching the Covid-19 virus.

In short, we will be seeing more of each other; we just won’t be with each other. And your marketing should reflect that. 

  • Video marketing

As evidenced by Budweiser’s success with “Whassup,” video marketing has become even more powerful during the pandemic: 80 percent of consumers have consumed more of all types of content than they did before the Covid-19 lockdowns and their favorite form of content has been video. In fact, by the end of this year it’s predicted that we’ll all be watching about 100 minutes of video content per day.

What types of video? If your branding is “playful,” think like Oreo. If you prefer to showcase gravitas as well as caring, take a look at this Coca-Cola commercial (not pandemic related, but applicable).

  • Content marketing

Your first step is to take a look at your content marketing strategy to determine what’s working and what’s not in the age of Covid-19. Chances are, content that talked about how to “get through” lockdown worked in the first few weeks of our stay-at-home orders. But that was then.  Now that economies are reopening, content that speaks to life in “a new normal,” especially if it focuses on positivity melded with caution, tends to do well.

Topics that work now tend to be:

  • Offer your take on how your business will move forward.
  • Reassure customers that your company takes client safety extremely seriously (and offer specific examples how you do so).
  • Be careful not to push your products and services too hard: many people may be leery of moving too quickly to “back to normal.” 

  • Email marketing 

With a very-healthy average open rate of 17.8 percent and an ROI of an astounding 122 percent, email marketing is a must-have on your must-do marketing list.

As for what to send and/or say, you should provide a mix of marketing and sales messages, as well as some “how are you doing” emails because you don’t want to appear insensitive.

You must show true concern for your audience and this must be obvious within your email copy. Don’t directly pitch your services and products in your “how are you doing” missives as that can easily come across as crass while the fact that you show genuine care does have a positive impact on brand recall.

Ask yourself: What are you most worried about when it come to marketing as the economy reopens?

Let Ingenex Digital Marketing – and our own expertise – help you in your traditional marketing efforts. If you prefer the “old fashioned” way of contacting us, please feel free to send us an e-mail message, or schedule a meeting with us! We look forward to hearing from you!

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