7 Things to Help Brands Manage the Coronavirus Crisis
As the crisis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) peaks, many brands are suffering. Quarantine restrictions are keeping customers away from bricks and mortar retail stores, logistical issues are diminishing e-sales, and manufacturing closures in China are leaving businesses running out of stock. Even big brands like Nike and Shiseido are taking a hit.
The ongoing crisis is ramping up the pressure on marketers who are expected to ride this public health crisis wave. While some companies now have products in high demand, others are struggling to get sales.
The key to mitigate the impact of public health emergencies on businesses is being nimble. This means, rethinking your marketing efforts to make them more relevant. Here are seven things that brands can do to manage this crisis.
1. Don’t Hard Sell, Show Support
As a marketer, the most important question you should be asking yourself right now is not ‘How can I sell more?’. Instead, it is ‘How can we support customers during this time?’. Focusing solely on profits amid the current situation will not do your brand any favors – in fact, it may work against it.
In China, an increasing number of e-commerce, media, and tech companies, including Alibaba, have stepped up to show their support. Luxury group LVMH has donated US$2.3 million to the Chinese Red Cross, and beauty group L’Oreal pledged US$720,000 to help fight the virus.
The support from your brand doesn’t have to be as extreme. However, making a donation or offering your services or products to people in need of help at this time is a good thing to do – and It is good for PR, too.
2. Use Topics and Keywords for Precise Targeting
Coronavirus is big news. It, therefore, makes sense that many people are talking about it, going online to find out more, and buying relevant products to help protect themselves.
This has presented a unique opportunity for brands in sectors, such as healthcare, wellness, and medical products, to build a closer relationship with consumers. To do so, you want to make sure you target the right customers.
Using AI-driven tools, you can analyze online data to identify who is reading content about the coronavirus, and what type of content they are reading. You can then segment your target audience based on the topics or the keywords they are interested in to deliver relevant content for more precise targeting.
3. Increase Your App and Online Content Efforts
With many people confined at home under quarantine, gaming and video apps have hit new download volumes. According to one report, 574 accounts on video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou have gained up to 500k new followers respectively between January 20 and February 2.
How can you tap into this? By creating branded apps, games, and videos.
Specific industries such as the health and fitness industry can create relevant content to engage customers, such as videos of how to do simple exercises or make healthy meals at home to help them combat virus.
4. Ensure Brand Safety in Advertising
Contextual targeting, powered by the change in privacy regulations, is having a resurgence. It is all about putting ads in the right context, and during this sensitive time, you need to pay more attention than ever to where your ads are seen. Placing travel ads in China right now, for example, might be viewed as inappropriate considering the government’ strict travel restrictions.
To avoid creating a negative brand impression and damaging your brand reputation, you can use AI techniques like natural language processing and deep learning to analyze data and gain a better understanding of content, ensuring wherever you are placing your ad is both brand-safe and relevant.
5. Focus on Multichannel Communication
If your business is currently facing high demand for certain products or logistical delays, or if you are struggling to get stock due to manufacturing closures, keeping your customers informed is crucial.
By keeping customers updated on estimated delivery times, and making them aware of why the delays are happening and what they can expect, you can reduce frustration levels and prevent them from looking elsewhere.
To ensure you can reach your customers and respond to their questions or complaints in time, use multichannel communication to engage them, whether that is through website, email, social, push notifications or in-app messaging. Such an approach will bring your consumers into ever closer contact with your brand.
6. Target Your High-Value Customers
While people in countries like China are advised to stay at home is driving an increase in e-commerce sales, low inventory and delays in manufacturing and logistics are making it harder to deliver products to paying customers.
With that in mind, instead of making efforts to acquire new customers, e-commerce marketers should focus on nurturing existing customers with the highest lifetime value. These are the ones who will stick around and spend beyond the crisis period.
Leveraging deep learning to analyze your data more effectively in order to identify your high-value customers. It does this by looking at past behavior and discovering patterns to segment audiences, and then predict conversion rates of each group. Once you have this insight, you can tailor your engagement campaigns accordingly.
7. Make Your Creatives Relevant
With coronavirus front of mind, incorporating keywords and visuals relevant to the crisis into your marketing campaigns and ads can help you draw attention to them. However, you need to be careful and ensure they are appropriate.
This means not using them indiscriminately for products that are not in any way related. However, if your product has the potential to help people right now, such as hand sanitizer, you should be getting your message and product out there.
In addition, create campaigns with helpful messages. For instance, beauty company Perfect Diary has been broadcasting safety recommendations and intimate wear company Neiwai posted a message on WeChat reminding people to stay healthy and strong.
If the recovery from coronavirus is similar to SARS, it is predicted that retail will be back to normal by June. However, with the market as it is right now, make sure you show support to your customers, keep lines of communication open with them, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly, you will be in a strong position to keep your brand safe until then and into the future.
* Are you facing challenges managing customer engagement during the coronavirus crisis? We are here to help! Get in touch with our team today.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Consumer behavior is increasingly fragmented, and that has resulted in the tsunami of data, which can be overwhelming for marketers. Thanks to the behavior-based model of today’s artificial intelligence (AI) tools, marketers can now leverage these tools to segment the audience beyond the traditional parameters to build a more accurate portrait of them as individuals. By employing AI, you will be able to segment your audience into more granular tiers, and to see which are more valuable to your end goals. Considering that more than half of customers say they will walk away from brands that send messages they find irrelevant, it’s vital that you understand your customers’ current and future intentions as well as possible. Individuals vs Categories: Looking Beyond the ‘Types’ Artificial intelligence can find hidden user patterns that have a positive or negative impact towards achieving the goal that marketers want to achieve. Hence it can help marketers reach a predetermined end goal, be it finding the more-likely-to-purchase audience segment to drive sales volume, or giving an existing audience a personalized product or content catering to their interest. This is very useful for marketers. If a website has an audience of one million people, a marketer
When a consumer comes to your website, it could be bewildering: it may be all new and alien, or difficult to find what they are looking for. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Today’s web personalization allows you to tailor the website content and experience based on specific customers’ needs or interests. According to Segment’s 2017 State of Personalization Report, after a personalized shopping experience, 44 percent of consumers were likely to become repeat buyers, and 39 percent were likely to tell friends or family. However, many marketers today still struggle with the execution of website personalization, and a lot of misunderstandings on this topic doesn’t really help. Here we break down the five most common ones, and separate the facts from the fiction. 1. It Is All About Content Firms are justifiably proud of their content, but user engagement relies on much more than just content. The overall user experience is much more important, and personalization plays a huge part in that. Consider Amazon. Its website sells almost everything under the sun, so its content offering is pretty unbeatable. However, it wouldn’t be a fraction as successful if it relied on that. Instead it suggests other
Mother’s Day is an international celebration of mothers, with many countries in the Asia Pacific such as India, Japan, Singapore, Australia and the Philippines choosing the American date – the second Sunday in May – for recognition. In the US, Mother’s Day is the second highest gifting holiday after Christmas while in Asia Pacific, it is also emerging as a significant opportunity on which brands can focus their campaigns. As an emerging gifting occasion, Mother’s Day requires a lead-up promotional period to prepare and motivate consumer to purchase gifts. Reminders and recommendations driven by artificial intelligence (AI) can help brands reach a wider range of consumers with more targeted suggestions, increasing the chances of conversion but without losing the human touch of having one gift selected for another. Here are three ways AI can help. 1. Promote the Occasion A couple of weeks prior to Mother’s Day you should start to build your audience for this campaign, using AI to collate both existing customers and lookalikes. A reminder is that there is more to this market than ‘people with mothers’, and you should be using AI to tease out some of the more nuanced segments. For example, people with