According to Dawn Rowlands, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, all of us have been impacted by the spread of Coronavirus (or COVID-19) and therefore it is imperative that marketers equip themselves with agile strategies that can help navigate the potential obstacles and barriers to revenue and success; and it is key that they address how best to deliver for their customers in this challenging climate.

In many countries, there is already a major economic effect due to COVID-19. We are seeing four main trends:

  • Building consumer confidence.
  • More sales promotions.
  • Launch of new services.
  • CSR.

Here are some ways in which to promote your brand and help customers during this period of uncertainty.

1. Subsidies, promotions and joint ventures for pandemic-related industries – this has the potential to grow new customers.
2. Continuing transformation and enhancing digital maturity to avoid risks.
3. Accelerate omnichannel strategies to reduce reliance on brick and mortar. Encourage in-home consumption.
4. Best timing to divert your approach to a data-informed CRM programme. Understand more about the customer’s journey.
5. Social commerce tactics – inspiring creative experiences, driven by data in media versus the real world.
6. Brand communication – associated with safety and security.
7. Implement the realisation of the future media e.g. gaming.
8. Accumulate energy for acceleration, as opposed to declining marketing expenditure, by identifying opportunities for growth.

The role of the media

Based on reactions to media by the Asia-Pacific market, where the majority of cases have been established to date, we can see the following:
The key access points for media are YouTube, local news broadcasts and social media platforms.
Geolocation of certain services in an emergency situation will add value to customers.
Pharmacy, hospital locations and operating hours will be widely searched.
All movies, games and TV content that relate to contagious diseases will see an increase in viewership and/or usage.
Prevention and information alerts by brands will be seen in a positive light. Emotional reaction and overreaction will be seen in a very negative light.

In conclusion, virus or not, our customers need brands and services that reassure them and innovate during difficult times. There is definitely a space for brands that tread carefully during this period of anxiety and provide innovative solutions and entertainment for customers. Think long term and make plans for a quick return to the new normal in six months. Get ready to celebrate life and togetherness again.

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