How to deal with the COVID crisis as a Marketing Manager
Corporate communication is taking the lead, but maintaining a dialogue with consumers should also be a priority. How do you manage it all as a marketing manager?
In China, which has reported more than 80,000 cases than any other country, the coronavirus has created an unstable terrain for local and foreign brands operating in the country. Logistics, manufacturing, and sales were all affected. Store closings, declining retail traffic and changing moods have prompted companies like Burberry, Apple and Capri Holdings to revise their annual forecasts.
Under these circumstances, the struggle for many companies balances the need to engage with customers, with ways to contain their economic losses and to be present in the remaining pockets of consumption. As a result, donations and expressions of support have become common. All the while, sensitivity should be in mind, especially given the brands ’track record of lacking understanding of cultural and geopolitical issues in the past.
Let’s see how to manage #covidcrisis as a marketing manager:
Corporate communication takes the lead
As the epidemic grew in intensity and scope, many luxury and beauty companies, including LVMH, Kering and Estée Lauder, quickly sent messages of support and donations for medical supplies and prevention work. While advertising for donations may backfire as a marketing ploy, these initiatives have been generally well-received.
Invest in community building and adapt to new needs
The Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated trends that are already developing rapidly in China, including investments in e-commerce, gamification, and live streaming. According to the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, L’Oréal withdrew offline advertising in February and reinvested it online. After the Shanghai Forest Cabin-based cosmetics brand temporarily closed about half of its 337 stores in China, it used live streaming to engage with consumers. Brands can also redistribute their investments in key opinion leaders and marketing influencers to focus more on key opinion consumers and retention marketing.
Likewise, brands can also use their campaigns to directly fight the epidemic and show their support. According to Tulloch, local beauty brands have been particularly aware of consumer concerns, giving suggestions on how to use the products to remedy skin problems caused by prolonged wearing of face masks and highlighting the antibacterial benefits. An effective strategy to which Chinese consumers have responded.
Key points to remember for your crisis management plan:
- Hard Sell, Show Support;
- Increase your application and online content efforts;
- Ensure brand security in advertising;
- Focus on multi-channel communication;
- Target your high-value customers;
- Make your creations relevant.