Consumer confidence across the globe is plummeting as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, causing businesses to cease trading.
Stringent lockdown and social distancing measures are being enforced and updated daily, which in all likelihood will mean that confidence will deteriorated significantly.
“There’s not much individuals can do about the general economy. But on their personal financial situation, they know how much money they’ve got coming in, how much money they’ve got going out. So they can think about the next 12 months and think if I keep working, interest rates don’t go up, inflation is fine, then we can kind of be OK,” says GfK’s client strategy director Joe Staton.
But, while people aren’t planning to splash out on things like furniture or electrical goods, they are still spending money.
In the UK, spend on “durables” such as tablets, computers, hair clippers and freezers are on the up. GfK data shows revenues here grew 42% year on year in the 12th week of 2020, with online accounting for almost 50% of the market.
“Brands that can offer reassurance of quality and cleanliness, companies that treat their staff well, companies with a holistic approach to wellbeing of customers and staff, this is their time to shine,” Stanton says.
Brands need to think long-term amid the coronavirus pandemic
President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered a 21-day lockdown in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in South Africa. Businesses across the country are closed, wreaking havoc not only on bottom lines but also on marketing efforts.
In order to stay top-of-mind, try implement the following in your marketing:
Consistency involves messaging that is not only published at regular intervals, but that is the same across all channels and assets.
Brand recognition – consistent marketing efforts pay off when someone recognises an ad without ever hearing the brand’s name. Brands with distinct brand and marketing consistency are able to benefit from being easily recognised. This can help you build your brand and the trust consumers have in it.
Brand awareness – this is an important reason to create consistent branding and marketing. Customers are significantly more likely to purchase from a brand they recognise for their consistent image and content schedule, so make sure to maintain both with regularity. Your digital and visual content should be uniform so that your audience knows what to look for, and should be posted at similar times so they know when to look. Your visual content should stick to the same colour theme, photo quality and logo placement, and your digital materials should be consistent with that.
Create trust – customers are 71% more likely to purchase from a brand or company that they trust. Much like a friendship, building a reputable image is extremely important to your business. Being trustworthy is a major element in the success of a brand, and establishing that will help to build brand and marketing consistency. Posting your content on a regular basis at similar times, utilising the same platforms for specific purposes, and keeping messaging consistent will help to build trust.
Be memorable – the power of repetition is seen everywhere, from the movies to the classroom. We can all recall jingles we’ve heard on TV a thousand times, and printed logos that appear in digital and print media simply because of the sheer number of times we’ve been exposed to them. If you want your brand to be memorable, make your messaging consistent and frequent. The more often your customers and potential customers see your advertisements and branding, the more consistent and memorable your brand will appear.
Persistence – even when you don’t see the results you were hoping for – is critical for business owners working to build their business and brand.
Whether you use a website, permission-based e-mail marketing, social media, newspaper advertising, mobile ads or networking events to market your brand, persistence is key.
Time – rarely do marketing initiatives provide magical, overnight results. A lack of persistence means businesses may jump from one type of marketing strategy to another. It is tempting to do this, but it never allows sufficient time for any one strategy to produce results. It is a waste of time and resources.
Lack of success – often, a lack of success may be because the expectations and time frame are unrealistic and no one has given the strategy the time or the attention it needs to be successful. Putting an advertisement in one or two issues of a newspaper, on social media or in a newsletter, and then “pulling the plug” because you didn’t “see any results”, is an example of this.
Exposure – frequent exposure is usually needed before potential customers even begin to notice an advertisement, let alone consider taking any kind of buying action. This tends to be true for both online and print advertising.
Gimmicks – marketing gimmicks, such as sales, discounts or competitions, may not help if the product or service you are selling is not one that people think they want or need, or if your reputation in the marketplace is lacking.
The best strategic plan is only as effective as the material that supports it. Regardless of whether or not your selected channels are newspapers ads, radio spots, television ads, billboards, a website, direct mail, social networking or something else, you are only as good as the material your audience receives. Clarity is of critical importance in this strategy: are you clear about the single message and the desired call to action in your advertising?
Clarity of message – your audience is bombarded with thousands of messages every day. For yours to break through the clutter and have the desired impact, you need to be very clear about what you want to say. What single fact or idea should the audience remember or take away from the material? You should be able to refer to your previously-developed message to help you with this. Are you the fastest, bluest, cheapest or easiest – or the only one that does something, or the first one who did something? What is your unique selling point? Highlight the single most important thing you offer, and you have clarity. Avoid the temptation to try and tell everyone everything.
Clarity of purpose – what action do you want the reader, viewer or listener to take? Should they visit your website, call a number, stop by the store or clip a coupon? Don’t assume that they’ll know what to do or what you want them to do. Ask them; tell them. When you combine a clear message with a clear call to action, you dramatically increase the odds of success. Give your audience a reason to take action and give them an action to take. Clarity leads to success.