Unveiling the Mask | Marketing in the Time of COVID-19

marketing in the time of COVID-19

Perhaps some of you can relate. One minute I was on the phone with clients collaborating about on-site video shoots. The next minute I was sitting at home in my yoga pants and a sweatshirt thinking, I’ll buckle down for two weeks or so, and then we’ll be back at it again. On one hand, I didn’t want to read too much information about the coronavirus for fear it would put me into a panic. On the other hand, I knew I had to get as informed as possible to make my marketing efforts valuable. Trying to figure out marketing in the time COVID-19 went something like this…

How do we provide valuable information to our audience while still promoting our mission but without seeming inconsiderate? How do we find that balance between respect and realism?

Marketing in the Time of COVID-19 | Five Takeaways

Here are five takeaways that we found marketing in the time of COVID-19.

The main thing I realized right away about marketing in the time of COVID-19 is to meet people where they are at. For example, figure out what information or service you have that your audience absolutely needs right now and offer that. Unfortunately, this might mean going completely off track from your current marketing strategy. However, it is critical to offer something valuable instead of pushing something that is no longer relevant.

The hardest lesson I learned is – know that you might miss them. Especially in the very beginning, it seemed like things were changing by the minute. It was really hard to determine what was valuable or not and to get your message out there before the situation changed again. Unfortunately, this meant that sometimes you spent hours working on a video just to find out that you completely missed the window.

Third – I was reminded that you have to be human. Of course, we as marketers always know this, but it becomes a whole different level of importance when you’re dealing with a pandemic. For me, it also made me realize that we were all going through it in our own way. You know what I’m talking about. Some people thrived being stuck at home. Yet, others were panicking. The audiences we market to here at TrackFive – they were working constantly, desperate to keep up with demands. For example, our truck driver audience was super frustrated about the lack of food or amenities available to them during the shutdown. Travel nurses were furious about contracts being cancelled. All I could do – empathize and answer their questions or concerns as honestly as possible. There’s no point in bullshitting or sugar coating in a time like this. Just put it out there. What will be will be.

If anything, marketing in the time of COVID-19 is a test of your true talent. It forces you to think on your toes and work fast. Essentially, you brainstorm all of the ways you could update your message to accommodate this “new normal,” and you run with it. It’s actually really good practice, if you think about it. You don’t really have time to sit around developing a strategy for weeks, brainstorming with your colleagues, or making several drafts of copy and design. There are no keywords to research, as everything is brand new. You have to step out on a limb quickly and confidently and hope that it works.

Lastly, focus on the positive takeaways. There were things we did here at TrackFive that didn’t work quite the way we wanted them to. For example, there were projects we’d spent years working on that got delayed due to COVID-19. But on the other hand, there was more traffic coming to our job boards than ever before. In the end, it all balanced out. Plus, we really came together as a team. We pulled through the challenges and celebrated the victories. Although we were remote, at the end of the day, we came closer together. Not just closer to one another but also, in many ways, closer to understanding and bonding with the audiences that we market to.

What is the most important thing that you learned marketing in the time of COVID-19? Share with us in the comments below!  

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