3 Keys to Marketing Effectively in a Time of Crisis

Marketing during a time of crisis is a touchy maneuver that requires sensibility and intention. While this form of timely marketing does give an opportunity to display brand personality and establish connections with your audience, executing it poorly can have consequences for your brand and company. 

However, despite the inherent risk and skill that is required to effectively market during tough times, the Venga Brands team along with marketers around the world became very well versed in this skill during 2020 as the world became gripped in a global pandemic and social unrest. Though these were difficult times for everyone, skillful marketers have learned to leverage these moments not only to help their brand, but help their community in the process. 

Here are Venga’s 3 keys to effectively build your brand during a time of crisis

1. Wait to Find Your Place in the Conversation

Oftentimes during a time of crisis, marketers feel a rush to have their voice heard as part of the conversation and to not let the moment pass them by. However, this frantic scramble to be involved in the solution can sometimes lead to the exact opposite and ultimately reflect poorly on the brand itself. Instead of jumping the gun and ending with an unintended PR crisis, realize that silence is fine until the opportunity to get involved presents itself.

After all, during trying times, people aren’t using social media to connect with other people and distract or entertain themselves. On average 32% of Gen Z, millennials, Gen X and baby boomers say that “finding funny or entertaining content” is the main reason they use social media. So instead of wasting money on another “we’re all in this together” ad campaign, seize opportunities to truly connect with people

For instance, as seen in the video above, during the early months of the pandemic medical supplies like masks and hand sanitizer were in short supply. However, Brewdog, a purveyor of craft beer in Aberdeen, recognized that they could use this shortage as an opportunity. Using their distillery and other resources, Brewdog made and donated over 200,000 bottles of sanitizer to aid in the fight against COVID-19. Aside from directly contributing to the world’s shortage, Brewdog was able to establish goodwill and social buzz amongst their consumers and their brand community going forward.  

2. If You Do Communicate Quickly, Communicate from the Top → Down

Though the challenges presented within the past year have been unprecedented, they have still not been the first time that marketers have had to adjust to difficult circumstances. Whether it be a PR crisis from within or a wide reaching global pandemic, one thing that experience has shown is that consumers expect to be hearing from the leaders of a business

According to a survey conducted by Crisp Thinking, people want companies to acknowledge the issues surrounding their brand, but they expect the message to be coming from the senior leadership. 59% of consumers expect the CEO of a brand to be the individual who publicly acknowledges an issue, according to the same study. In all honesty, this makes sense.  Those who lead a brand and are in the public eye are naturally held responsible for the actions of their brand. 

In order to ensure that your brand’s messaging during a time of crisis is perceived as genuine, it is crucial for the individuals responsible to appear responsible. So while, strategically it is best for your brand to wait and find its place in the conversation, if you are to react quickly, do so in a genuine manner where your consumers can hear from your leadership.

3. Provide Practical Financial Support to Customers in Need

Aside from the very strenuous public health situation that we endured over the past year, for many Americans these issues were only compounded by serious financial difficulties. As the world was put on pause the American economy slowed to a halt, people’s livelihoods were put into question as stock markets crashed and jobs were lost.  

While these difficult times are something that can’t be avoided, they are something that brands are becoming more and more responsible to help relieve. Even though this responsibility may seem as if it is a financial burden, in reality your company should consider it an opportunity to establish good will and a more trustworthy image of your brand. 

There are countless examples of this sort of marketing outreach. Whether it be Budweiser cancelling their super-bowl ad campaign and donating the funds to a COVD-19 relief fund, or Burger King giving 2 free kids meals to families that order through the BK App, wise companies recognize that they are in a position where they can help their customers and themselves. 

With the help of Venga, your company can use these tips to manage your brand and navigate a time of crisis.

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