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Marketing During COVID-19: A Lesson in Solidarity

Apr 06, 2020

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way and talk about COVID-19. At this point it’s the only thing anyone can ever talk about, and with good reason.

This global pandemic has shocked world leaders, corporations, and citizens alike. Even the world’s most powerful don’t have a legitimate solution to put an end to this crisis. People are panicking and anxiety has enveloped the entire world. 

Businesses, of course, are affected by this. Due to the forced lockdowns many countries have implemented, “business as usual” has become unusual. Majority of brands have had to reassess how they should continue business operations while keeping their employees and customers safe.

In the Philippines, there’s a word called “Bayanihan.” It refers to the spirit of communal unity, work, and cooperation to achieve a particular goal. In short, solidarity.

You can observe Bayanihan happening all across the globe. As company values are put to the test, the way brands react to the pandemic is seen as a reflection of what they stand for. And consumers are highly critical of this.

Fortunately, many brands have stepped up. In lieu of gaining profits, we see acts of solidarity for the victims of COVID-19, for the frontliners, and for the community as a whole.

We understand that this can be a confusing time for most, so here are some ways you can pivot your brand messaging to be apt for the current situation.

1. Be Empathetic

A lot of negativity has spread all over social media, which is why brands should help pave the way in creating positive change. Take Coca-Cola, for example. The Coca-Cola foundation has pledged to grant monetary support for non-profit organizations who are responding to the current pandemic. In a world of uncertainty, it’s comforting to know that some of our favorite brands are standing with us in the fight against COVID-19.

2. Be Considerate

Creative considerations must be applied to all aspects of your brand’s messaging, from artwork, to tone of voice, to the actual messaging you’re putting out. It’s a highly sensitive time, and brands need to take extra precautions when putting out content. Otherwise, there’s a big chance of getting flak from netizens, especially since screen time has significantly increased.

3. Be Transparent

It’s extremely important to be transparent not only to your consumers, but to your employees as well. What measures are your company taking to keep your consumers and employees safe? Some brands have spoken out about maintaining payroll, and even providing discounts and waiving fees for their clients. This is a good way of showing people how you’re tackling the current situation. The brand Lush posted a carousel in the form of “a letter to the Lush Community.” It’s personal, relevant, straight to the point, and sums up what transparency is all about.

4. Be Helpful

Consumers are being bombarded with a multitude of media nowadays. Even in the midst of a workday, we find ourselves scrolling through our social media platforms to check for the latest local and global updates on the virus. And there’s a ton. Your responsibility as a brand is to fact-check everything you encounter and try to disseminate valuable information to your audience. Brands have done this by providing facts about COVID and prevention tips. One such post that we’ve done for Dot is compiling ways people can donate and help out.

5. Be Digital

The pivot of marketing messages to digital have shown a significant increase. Brands have been creating webinars, digital meetups, Facebook livestreams, and other creative ways of communicating with their consumers online. One of our clients is a music event company called Unknwn. Recently, they’ve been holding weekly livestreams where their DJ’s play music to help support local NGO’s.

6. Be Agile

Since the only certain thing about this crisis is uncertainty, it’s important to be easily adaptable. Timely, sensible responses are key to keeping your marketing message relevant to your audience.

We are with you in the hopes that this COVID-19 situation settles soon. In the meantime, stay safe and stay home. If you want to read up on COVID, here’s a comprehensive article by The Washington Post.

You may also connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for updates.

Dot Digital PH is a digital marketing agency based in the Philippines. We offer social media marketing, web design and development, content creation, pay-per-click ads management, and digital marketing strategy and consultancy.