Agency Principals Complete Webinar for Marketers Facing Coronavirus Crisis

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By Matthew W. Certo

As the world reels from the effects of COVID-19, our firm recognizes that marketers are faced with unprecedented challenges. The economic landscape has changed dramatically and while the road ahead will be difficult, opportunities for change and growth also abound for organizations seeking to adapt. 

On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Findsome & Winmore CEO Matt Certo and CMO Kelly Lafferman hosted a webinar aimed at helping marketers navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 crisis. 

During the free, hour-long presentation, Matt and Kelly provided listeners with informed perspectives and insights for marketers looking to understand the changing landscape. They shared lessons learned from brands who have successfully navigated crises of the past and framed those learnings to marketers faced with seismic industry, societal and consumer shifts of their own. 

If you were unable to attend, the following resources are available to you: 

Main topics covered in the webinar include: 

Marketing’s Role in Times of Great Uncertainty   

  • Marketing definition: The purpose of marketing is to satisfy the needs of our customer involving a total company effort which produces a profit for our enterprise 
  • Marketing is more than just promotion. Remember the four P’s: Product (or service), Price, Place (distribution channel), Promotion 
  • Marketing’s role in a crisis – guide organization through and to a new normal  

Understanding The Marketplace 

Historical context of behavior influenced by previous disasters: 

  • The Great Depression: Low trust in financial institutions 
  • DotCom Bust: Emphasis on true corporate earnings 
  • 9/11: Travel and security habits, cultural/religious consciousness 
  • The Great Recession (2008): Preference of experiences over materialism  
Visible changes in behavior due to COVID-19: 
  • Virtualization of activities   
  • Increased focus on hygiene/health consciousness 
  • Reduced mobility/travel 
  • More eating/working/exercising from home 
  • Greater caution with discretionary spending 
  • Fewer activities in enclosed spaces/more activities in open spaces 
  • Greater reliance on delivery services 
  • D.I.Y. activities (arts, crafts, board games)
Rules of Thumb for Messaging and Tone
  • Be present and communicative 
  • Maintain consistency and cadence 
  • Be genuine, authentic and vulnerable 
  • Stay in your lane 
  • Be measured, relevant and engaging; stay true to brand voice  

Lessons Learned: Leading Brands Through Past Crises  

  • Procter & Gamble  
  • Miracle Whip 
  • Harley-Davidson

Identifying Opportunities for Growth  

Based on the visible changes in behavior resulting from COVID-19: 

  1. Personalize for your industry and customers (how will the behavior shifts change your customer base?) 
  2. Anchored by your mission, embrace an intentional shift (what do you have that you might redeploy, repackage, reconfigure, redistribute or repurpose in a way that extends your mission and helps your customers?)

Reframing Product Strategy in The Age of Isolation 

Examples of intentional shifts: 

  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka – Making hand sanitizer 
  • Dyson – Manufacturing ventilators 
  • Puff ‘n Stuff Catering – Buy a meal, serve a meal promo

Cultivate Creativity Amid a Crisis 

  • Pace yourself with cable news 
  • Spend time learning from your customers  
  • Stay calm when the clouds are dark 
  • Engage your customers with ideas 
  • Be willing to test many ideas at once and iterate quickly 
  • Use digital targeting to place small bets on promotion 
  • Recognize that not all activities have to be permanent 
  • Stay curious