Positioning Your Company in Difficult Times

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In times of crisis like we’re currently experiencing with COVID-19, it can be hard to determine the best way to position your company. Through these difficult times you might be asking yourself… what’s the right thing to say? How do you say it? Is it even acceptable to be marketing in times of crisis? What will your customers think?

You don’t want to be perceived as capitalizing on a tragedy! Understanding what tone will strike the right chord to strengthen your company’s position and allow you to serve your clients, your employees and your community is of the utmost importance.

Changes in Tone & Messaging

At this point, you’ve most likely received emails and have seen commercials from just about every single brand you’ve interacted with throughout your lifetime. They’re telling you how they’ve enacted changes within their business, how they’re helping the community and their customers through these “unprecedented” times. People are already starting to tune out the messaging just based on language and tone alone. We’re still seeing a ton of great huggy-feely stuff out there like “#InThisTogether”, but some words and phrases are just turning into noise at this point because there is so much saturation. Just like any other advertising or messaging efforts, you want to avoid fatigue.

Our attention spans are so short, so what are people really interested in talking about? So far, only 13% of Americans polled by Morning Consults strongly feel that companies shouldn’t be advertising during the pandemic. But messaging perceived as explicitly self-serving, situation insensitive and situation impractical should be avoided. So the generality of this is that people are okay being marketed to, as long as your intention with it is right and you are offering services that they can use. People still want to be communicated with about what you have to offer as long as you’re doing it with the right intent. This means it’s time to start thinking forward and offering creative solutions to people’s problems.

Businesses Are Starting to Reopen

Many states across the country are starting to reopen businesses as part of phase one in the process. There WILL be restrictions on how many people can be in one place at one time, but the overall feeling is about respectfully and cautiously “getting back to work” and we’re already starting to see some of that messaging. In the coming weeks, what should businesses be doing to prepare for that? Our strategy team highlights some things to consider in our latest roundtable discussion.

  • It’s all about list prep, offer prep and developing creative.
  • It’s important to note that individuals have been impacted differently than businesses. Therefore, B2C and B2B might need to approach reopening differently.
  • People are doing even more research and information gathering during this time, so they’re already about 90% confident in their purchasing decision for whenever they do feel comfortable making a purchase.
  • Put great information and great vibes out there so once the lid has been lifted your business is ready.
  • People are getting tired of hearing “we’re all in this together”. This messaging is getting fatigued at this point. Avoid focusing too much on the stress of this situation.
  • Reopening is the end of the beginning. Now we have a new normal to usher in, so the messaging should shift to that.
  • People are still going to be fearful doing business - Need to reiterate to your customers how you’re going to keep them safe.
  • Think creatively and outside the box. There’s a ton of new offerings, not just new communication tools.
  • You might not be going back to the same job you had before, you need to be flexible.
  • The way people were utilizing your site could be way different at this point. What can we learn from analytics about online behavior that could help us make decisions moving forward?
  • Think deeply about the mental state of your buyer personas so that you can set up different profiles and come up with a great offer that appeals to them.
  • Hyper customization has been extremely important and one of the primary trends we should be focusing on. The current environment is going to force a lot of people’s hands on this.

Watch the full roundtable discussion to get more great insight!