Marketing in a time of uncertainty
Updated: Nov 27, 2020
We're in the middle of a pandemic, not sure when and how it ends, the economy is reeling from mass layoffs, people are understandably frightened and worried about the future. Does that mean you should halt all of your marketing?
Not necessarily. You will want to proceed with caution. If people haven't stopped spending, they're far more careful with what they purchase. If you have something you can offer for free - at least for now - that might be a great way to provide something of value that builds goodwill and brand awareness.
Be prepared, however: the best intentions can still go astray. A marketing promo that recently appeared on social media highlighted a job opportunity where the startup cost had been greatly reduced. I understood the intention behind it was a genuine desire to help people who have just learned they have been laid off. To others, the promotion seemed tone deaf and the person who posted the promotion took a fair amount of undeserved abuse. She later apologized for her post and also explained her rationale. She was truly upset.
Before you go public with your promotion, think about your target audience and where they are right now: financially and emotionally. Maybe you can help them. Think about the best way to reach them. Perhaps a public post on social media is the wrong method. If you've been building your email list, use email to reach your fan base instead.
A lot of marketing experts will insist there are rules for how to market during this time. I disagree. There are no rules. Be sensitive to the situation we're in, and be honest about whether your marketing efforts will meet a need - or not. Maybe instead of marketing right now, you can work on your next book, product launch, or seminar, etc. Or do something you've always put on the back burner, like the website revamp you've always wanted to do. Good luck!