How Coronavirus Has Affected Marketing Campaigns

by Bill Fisher, eMarketer

Speaking with authenticity is a trait not often associated with brands and marketers. They are, after all, always trying to sell—and the pandemic hasn’t stopped them. April 2020 data from digital asset management firm Bynder found that while only a small proportion of marketers worldwide had significantly increased their campaigns, more than a quarter had made at least a small increase.

To What Degree Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Affected the Number of Campaigns Marketing Professionals Worldwide Are Going to Market with? (% of respondents, April 2020)

Being practical about the business is key, but brands must do right by their staff and shouldn’t lose sight of how most of their customer base is also hurting. For example, messaging from brands like McDonald’s and Audi about their social distancing policies doesn’t necessarily carry much weight or sincerity for consumers who are trying to cope with their own problems. When a brand does right by its customers, and even its staff, it stands to benefit from some positive vibes.

“If a brand isn’t taking steps to protect its staff or customers, then that’s massive damage that cannot be recuperated in a few weeks,” said Jenny Stanley, founder and CEO of digital creative agency Appetite Creative. “Doing the right thing by your own customers, along with standing for things like sustainability, for example, is going to be super important for brands.”

While appearing to do the right thing has never been more important for brands, shallow and insincere messaging could be damaging. Being a conscientious marketer involves an always-on attitude to “cause marketing” and not just jumping on the latest hot-button issue.

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