A mere three months ago as January loomed upon us, the prospect of spending our summer months at home felt like a virtual, highly desired dream. Unaware of course that this scenario would befall us like an incomprehensible nightmare practically overnight, and of course generating panic across all industries and workforces, sending brands and marketeers alike into unprecedented confusion.
The term ‘unprecedented’ (adjective – never done or known before) is now a word found in most conversations via experts and the media. And this is the only truth at this point in time – we just don’t know.
In the scale of things, we do appreciate what really matters, but what can marketeers do to help our brands who are key to the economy right now?
Having gone through the process of panic buying, shutting stores, furloughing staff and experiencing logistical challenges, it is no wonder they are confused about what to send and how to talk to their customers, if at all.
To market or not to market? That is the question.
• 50% of consumers think brands should talk as they have always done
• 50% think companies should talk about their own brand in a carefree and light way.
• 41% think brands should avoid humorous tones.
Source: Marketing Week
It goes without saying that supermarkets are flying right now. They could and can send whatever they want to their customer base without any product placement for the foreseeable future.
But what about other industries and brands with businesses that now evolve around what we would deem ‘non-essential items’?
Thankfully online is still thriving with a predominant shift towards:
• home and garden
• And dare I say it - alcohol
Creature comforts reign, including slouch pants and hoodies.
It feels like a long time already but this is just week two and this shift to revolving everything around living indoors has many more weeks to come – that we can be sure of.
Its all a bit sensitive though. The backlash of sending out the wrong message could be catastrophic. Profiteering from a global pandemic, exploiting charitable causes and disregarding the feelings of customers can kill a business overnight.
We, at RedEye, have only four key rules to follow for our clients.
And this may change over the coming weeks. Information, adaptation, inspiration and knowledge.
Your customers probably want to know what’s going on! So it’s important to make sure you keep them informed and communicate answers to key operational questions around your business.
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Understand that just like businesses are changing the way they are working, your customers behaviours are too. So, understanding these changes will allow you to interact better with your customers in these challenging times.
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Your customers are stuck at home, trying to juggle work and home life balances so they will appreciate any content and ideas you have as a brand to help keep them engaged during these next few months.
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You need to be respectful with the level of communication in these disruptive times, so gaining that knowledge from your customers on what their preferences are, will help you keep a engaged database for when this is all over.
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So what should marketeers and brands expect for the future months?
As we accustom ourselves with home living, these pending summer days will ensure our needs also adapt. We will become more inventive in how we spend our time at home. Anyone fancy a gloved game of tennis over the neighbours fence?
I suspect a shortage of sunscreen and paddling pools as the weather improves; garden furniture and books will thrive and the onset of BBQ charcoal panic buying will ensue. It’s a given.
The clothing market will pick up as we shed our slouch pants and hoodies. And we’ll all get through this together in the summer we dreamt of back in January.
Tech will of course thrive and bring generations of us together like never before. Technology and data will get us through.
Never before in this unprecedented time has it been more important to send the right message at the right time.
Stay safe. Stay indoors.
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