Brand transparency in a COVID-19 economy
By definition, marketing communications are the processes by which a company informs, persuades, connects, and reminds its current and future customers.
By nature, present-day marketing communications should provide much more than that. The iPhone, the internet, new technology, and most importantly, a COVID-19 economy, have altered the way companies and corporations communicate effectively. But where is the line drawn?
When discussing an efficient marketing communications mix, we must take into account the idea or notion that there is no blueprint. Never before have retailers and consumers found themselves in a global pandemic of this magnitude.
The future is unclear and many businesses are unsure of how to continue with their brand image. Not only is this changing consumer attitudes across the board but is shifting their behavior and ultimately their actions overall.
It’s obvious, consumer optimism in this current economy is declining. In order to develop effective communications, companies can understand their target audience has fear, anxiety, and confusion present when interacting and doing business in 2021.
By refocusing brand responsibility and pledging towards new health and safety protocols, companies can adjust and energize their patrons.
To better align with the new realities and changing consumer perception, marketers can take a deep breath knowing any form of empathetic communication that meets consumers, where they are (in 2021 this could be outside the office, WFH, remote, etc.) through the downturn, is going to be appreciated.
More importantly, establishing a preferred channel to issue cleanliness updates, new subscription and membership opportunities, new product availabilities, corporate strategy in the “new normal”, and other prioritized communications is recommended. Now more than ever, consumers are weighing alternatives and looking for promotions or a lending hand. Offers that can seem unique to their financial struggle, to their personal situation, or to their local market can sway loyalty or even referrals.
How many of us recall too many emails following a purchase, and then looking for the unsubscribe button?
When was the last time you received an SMS text reminding you that you have an item in your shopping cart?
Or best yet, how many corporate emails did you receive this year updating you on said brand’s “new” COVID policy?
The argument can be made that there is such thing as over-communicating between brands and their customers. The practice of informing, persuading, connecting, and reminding can sometimes get clunky, however, marketers that choose to stay ahead of the curve should avoid reluctance in embracing the new reality.
Those companies that ride this out with their customers and offer a sense of “we are in this together” through their preferred channels, whilst still offering discounted promotions and strategic health updates, may notice an uptick in sales and much-improved customer loyalty.