Between public health, foreign conflicts, and economic volatility, external crisis and breaking news are now a part of life these days that businesses must engage with.
A major external crisis (not directly involving your business) can have a major impact on the markets across industries and, therefore, on consumer habits and your bottom line. This makes your brand’s response to public crisis crucial.
While we can’t control the news, here are some helpful Axel Pro Tips to navigate events as effectively as possible…
Crisis Marketing Tips
Pro Tip #1: Don’t ignore it.
For some businesses, ignoring the situation might seem like the easiest option. This could be because they don’t know the best way to respond and are worried about fumbling the messaging and attracting negative publicity. It could also be because they have already invested in carefully-chosen marketing campaigns for that period of time and don’t want to lose or derail that investment.
These are all reasonable considerations, however they are still flawed. When a major crisis emerges, the strategies behind marketing campaigns changes with the landscape. A major component of being successful in marketing involves being flexible to consumer demand, market trends, and the general social landscape. When you ignore a major crisis, you are signaling that your business is not sensitive to current events impacting people’s lives and consumers will automatically be more drawn to the brands that show they are sensitive to changes. A major reason for this is that consumers are going to be hard-wired to be more attentive to news and postings that are related to the crisis — and filter out those that aren’t. Therefore, any pervious marketing investments for that period is already going to be less effective, unless it is retooled to directly acknowledge a crisis that is changing the equation for people’s attention.
Pro Tip #2: Reassess your content, imagery and language.
Building on the first tip of not ignoring the crisis, your next step is to take an in-depth look at all of your current marketing, messaging, and branding. Keep a sharp eye out for anything that may now resonate poorly in light of the crisis. This can include previous posts, slogans, graphics, videos, and even comments made to other content. This re-evaluation process needs to be extensive and include all your social media as well as all parts of your website, including blog posts and FAQs. If you encounter content that may appear problematic, it is best to edit it appropriately or remove it altogether if the questionable portions are too extensive or cannot be revised. This process is an important component not only to your marketing, but is also used in both Public Relations and Reputation Management. You never know what someone may stumble upon online, and how it may be reacted to.
Pro Tip #3: Don’t just mimic others.
When there is a rapidly evolving situation that is disrupting markets, it can be tempting to simply follow the lead of other companies and mirror their response and language. While we certainly recommend keeping tabs on how the rest of your industry is responding in order to get a sense of temperature of the situation, it would be a mistake to purely use their response as your only guide and metric. One major draw back is that you are likely to have your content largely overlooked by others who have not only used that messaging first, but also by those who use it better and with more expensive and sophisticated marketing campaigns tools.
Instead, consider that this is a powerful opportunity to humanize your brand in a memorable way that shows consumers who you are. This can help you stand out from the pack, not by intentionally swimming against the tide for the sake of it, but by crafting and using a distinct brand voice to speak to the times we’re in and address consumer’s concerns.
Stay tuned for more expert marketing pro tips from Axel & Associates to navigate crisis, trends, and current events!
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