So you’ve significantly scaled-back your consumer marketing in the short-term. Now what?
7 ways to analyze the second half of 2020 for marketing opportunity
As marketers, chances are we’ve all been “there” in some form or fashion since the beginning of March. Media cancellations. Strategic adjustments. Budget reductions. Requests were flying fast and furiously in light of outbreak — and very few of them for the better. And you likely had a reaction along the lines of: I understand, and am also interested in the rebound plan once this passes, and what comes next.
The purpose of this post is not to address how to market in the midst of Covid-19. There are numerous examples and solutions for that. This is for those marketers, business owners and business development teams who have reigned it in, are assessing the landscape, and plotting their next moves once things get (almost) back to normal in a post-Covid world.
As we’d almost all like to think about living in that world sooner than later, without any further ado…
1. Seasonal: This is a foundational element of marketing. The 4 seasons all bring changes in lifestyle, opportunities and tastes for brands to become more relevant in their customers’ lives if they properly connect with them by demonstrating an understanding of what’s ‘current.’ What does your brand sell or do especially well in late summer or autumn, for instance, that aligns with how people behave — hell, how they live — during this time of year. Chances are, there’s an opportunity to connect vis a vis outdoor activities or gatherings like picnics, bbqs, golf, pool parties and trips to orchards — all the while exemplifying what your brand has done to keep your customers more safe and protected given the recent events of the Coronavirus. Winter would seasonally follow the same thought pattern as above, which brings me to…
2. Holiday relevance: Ah yes, the holidays: The annual marketing bonanza for basically every consumer brand. The second half of 2020 brings July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Election Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, just to name a few. How does your product make a great — and relevant — gift this holiday season? How does it keep its recipients more safe, more entertained and just plain feel better in light of covid? Think about your holiday marketing opportunities in light of those questions and plug yourself into their lives with a relatable situation.
3. New product or service launches: Once the environment settles down, there should be the usual opportunities in the landscape to make a major announcement and own the attention for a longer amount of time. Your big news can still be big. Your leaps forward will/should still be leaps. Prepare major announcement campaigns, and show your product functioning well in our new world. This is presumably a big deal type of product for you, after all, so the audience must trust it to ‘fit’ in our new environment. How will you demonstrate that with your “Big Splash” type of launches?
4. Re-positions or enhancements: In crises, many businesses find their products or services get re-purposed by an ingenious customer or two along the way. The thinking goes that there’s a necessity for such a unique use, and the company simply hasn’t thought of or acted on it before. Think about your products this way; how can you encourage feedback on how they’re now being used—such as through social media posts—and then how can you capitalize on that through audience, messaging or product variants that can be now part of your go forward plan? Chances are, there’s an opportunity to re-position what you do today as a new business line, or even division, tomorrow. How will drive the broader market to recognize and adopt it?
5. Exemplifying Culture: Coronavirus means we’re all working much differently. How is your team staying together, helping each other, and continuing to drive teamwork and client results during this unique time? Think about unique and positive examples you may have experienced amongst your own team during this time, and what it could mean for client benefits now or in the future. How and what your team is doing in the midst to get stronger will be a powerful story to lack back on. What examples will you choose to tell this story of how your company evolved?
6. New transparency: This is somewhat tangential to #5 above, and is likely the most tangible example of being culturally “relevant” post-covid because it utilizes much of the same video medium we’ve quickly grown accustomed to: HD, but slightly less than professional, video streaming footage live from someone’s home / home office. The aesthetic has been almost impossible to escape amongst broadcasters over the past 30 days. How can your team appear equally as relevant, as “now” and authentic as we’ve quickly grown accustomed to seeing? Are there key customer-facing, or non-proprietary, aspects of your work delivery process that you can record or stream? Can you capture any great intra-personal relationships re: that process among the way? The answer’s almost certainly yes given what we just came out of. The question is: how will you leverage it in your media?
7. Setting up 2021: Unfortunately, there’s growing sentiment that the bulk of 2020 could be something a write-off from a demand standpoint. You can also never be too prepared. If you believe those 2 statements, then it’s time to think even further around the corner than you may have imagined. What does your 2021 look like for your business from a product, strategy or key initiative standpoint? Are there firm, major plans? Think about how you can “Tee up” those actions now, before they begin, to prime the market for the timing is ideal. There could be product DNA, design philosophies, or even physical experiences your customers experience now that you can use to preview the enhancements that are coming in the future. Be bold and think ahead with how you communicate — anything you communicate to the market before 2021 will subtly imply certain things about what they think of you headed into next year.
A New Normal for Digital Marketing and Consumer Brands
In unusual and trying times, no one knows for certain what tomorrow holds from a business standpoint. And while that oftentimes can lead to negative impacts on attitude and mood, thinking more about the hope and opportunity of tomorrow is often a welcome and productive change of mindset from thinking about the bumps, bruises and sometimes chaos of the current business environment.
The world is changing, but the economic climate won’t always be like this. Hopefully this list has given you opportunities to look forward to later in 2020.
How will your business communicate with the market once it’s here?