These are trying times for customers and brands. As the economy gets back online, businesses and brands find themselves facing arguably the highest level of uncertainty our lifetimes. Marketing budgets have imploded and companies are cash-strapped. It’s natural for brands and agencies to want to reduce spend and hunker down until things turn around. But it’s precisely this reactionary decision that can have an incredibly negative impact on brand image and customer loyalty.
Research has shown that customers are gravitating to brands that are willing to rise to the challenge, addressing the stress and concerns that are top of mind in COVID times. In fact, they are critical of brands that are perceived as not helping out. Actions do indeed speak louder than words, and the actions companies take will no doubt earn them brand trust and influence purchase preference.
The ROI of rising to the challenge will only come to the brands and businesses that have the capability to communicate their good deeds. But getting a share of the voice demands marketing and messaging campaigns that can break through the noise and depressing news that dominate all channels of media everyday. This brings us back to the importance of marketing, especially during these challenging times, to win mindshare and strategically be in the best position for future growth.
Goodwill can’t be underestimated. Brands and businesses that shave marketing efforts or refrain from messaging may save some money in the short term, but they’re wasting valuable goodwill. On one hand, consumers look to brands and businesses (especially local businesses at the frontlines of the crisis) to do their best to help us weather the storm. On the other hand, many company efforts fall under the radar, and are not discovered by their community of customers and followers.
Fortunately, some companies in the marketing and advertising industries are stepping up with creative ways to do their part with tools and offers. These are solutions that customers hard hit by pandemic can use to amplify their contributions, and prepare to drive brand equity gains in the future.
Helping business survive
A small group of innovative advertising technology startups are helping marketers prove their worth to companies that may be looking to make cuts.
“Now more than ever marketers need to prove they are driving value to their businesses as revenue centers, not cost centers,” Elham Dinamalizadeh, VP of Marketing, for ADITT App, said in a statement.
ADITT App is an adtech startup focused on delighting riders with great music while helping brands and businesses connect with a captive audience of customers on Uber and Lyft rides.
“They need to cut ineffective ad spend fast as consumer behavior changes and only invest in what’s working with a clear set of metrics that the entire business can align behind. Smart advertising investments will set them apart from the competition as businesses rapidly adapt to this new normal.”
Lending a helping hand
ADITT App isn’t alone. Marketing and advertising technology companies of all shapes and sizes are looking at their products and redefining their product market fit post COVID.
The Mobile Marketing Association recently launched a Coronavirus Marketing Support Hub where they provide information on the coronavirus pandemic as well as guidance for brands on how to navigate through this crisis. As the rules of engagement change, this resource could prove invaluable for marketers struggling to walk the fine line between bringing helpful marketing messages to consumers and appearing insensitive.
Finding different ways to help during these uncertain times isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good for business. This is not only a good customer acquisition strategy but more so a great customer retention strategy. Making sure brands and businesses communicate and drive customer connections during these challenging times increases their chances of survival, and offers tremendous opportunities to keep customers loyal to their brand when things return to normal.