Unprecedented events can take a devastating toll on companies of all sizes. As of late, businesses have quickly found themselves in crisis mode due to COVID-19; however, this is not the first crisis that the U.S. has experienced. For our economy to function, it is essential that companies continue to market amid a global crisis. Keep reading to learn more about what previous crisis’ can teach us about marketing in the time of the coronavirus.
Learning from History
When looking back at the tragedy that took place in September 2001, General Motors was one of the few ad industries that pressed forward post 9/11. General Motors acted with an uplifting marketing campaign and financial incentives at a time when most marketers were very hesitant. Their campaign was a success, and U.S. auto sales broke a record in October 2001; a recession year ended up being the second-best year ever for U.S. auto sales. General Motors’ prompt marketing actions drove its business forward.
Looking a few years forward, we have been exposed to yet another crisis where consumers and businesspeople are concerned for their jobs, lives, and future. However, this economy needs marketers. Consumer spending—“personal consumption expenditures”—in 2019 accounted for more than two-thirds of economic activity (specifically, 68 percent of U.S. gross domestic product). Marketing helps drive commerce.
Connect With Consumers Are Already Talking About
Now more than ever is also a great time to increase organic and paid social presence. As people try to stay home and avoid the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a spike in social media usage. According to the social media analytics platform Sprinklr, nearly 20 million mentions of coronavirus-related terms were made on March 11th, alone. While social media is gaining more attention, companies have the ability to gain market share over competitors that have recently decreased their online presence. While coronavirus continues, so will the increase in social media usage. Take this time to increase your visibility and market to consumers. Whatever crisis comes our way in the future, communicators must be prepared to act.
We hope that marketers, media, and ad agencies continue to take bold risks during this time in order to keep the economy flowing. Marketers have the opportunity to give consumers a reason to spend money, whether it be deals, products, or services, even while during a crisis.