Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, businesses are going to face the market downfall due to quarantine restrictions, travel bans, event cancellations, and so on. During such a time it is important for an organization to stick to crisis marketing strategy to survive the business market in 2020.
The coronavirus outbreak has negatively impacted the global market. There’s been many uncertainties and misinformation surrounding the outbreak. Here are some tips to make an efficient Communication and Marketing Strategy during a Coronavirus Crisis. These seven steps that could assist you to tweak your marketing and communication strategy during a crisis.
Convene a Crisis Management Team
It is impossible to anticipate when a crisis will hit your business, you need to ensure to acquire proper measures in order that you’ll swiftly manage it when it occurs. You should possess a crisis management team that will be liable for the communication with the outer world.
The team should ideally contain a couple of executive members and in-house PR or marketing people. You should even have in-house spokespersons just in case you’ve got to interact with media or publications.
Also, conducting training sessions for spokespersons ensures that they will appropriately answer any queries which may be asked.
Be Protective Of Your People
During the first outbreak, it’s difficult to speak the right information because new data and events might make these practices obsolete. Also, misinformation might create unnecessary fear. Therefore, it’s mandatory to guard your employees.
Make commute optional, if possible. Many tech companies have adopted the route of remote working. To conduct meetings, they largely believe communication apps like Slack or Skype and Zoom for video conferencing.
If you’re a brand where you’ve got to interact with consumers like retail or hospitality, reduce the daily working hours, for example, many luxury malls in China reduced their operating hours after the Coronavirus began to spread.
Create a wiki page where employees can find essential information regarding the crisis, updated work policies during the crisis, and so on. It’s highly likely that since conflicting information and rumors would be doing the rounds during such periods, a politician wiki becomes a trusted resource for workers to urge the knowledge they have.
Prepare Communication Plans and Evaluate Possibilities
As a corporation, you may need to communicate with your stakeholders, like investors, suppliers, and vendors. For the same, a preplanned communication strategy is required.
Assess and evaluate various possibilities that will happen due to the COVID-19 crisis, and the way they’ll impact the organization and its stakeholders. Develop holding statements or response modules for each possible situation in order that you’ll communicate together with your stakeholders on-time.
Holding statements should cover the crisis/scenario and therefore the steps your brand is taking to tackle/manage things. It should be empathetic, action-oriented, and will steer far away from speculations and unverified updates.
Select the Proper Communication Channel
You need to settle on the proper communication channels to deliver information. Dedicate a webpage on your website to post updates regarding the crisis and the way you propose to manage it. Let your stakeholders know if someone from your organization is infected with COVID-19 and what precautions you are taking to stop it from spreading.
The crisis management team should connect with media houses and publications to deal with any potential rumors. Up your social listening game and proactively respond to customer queries, complaints, and seek feedback. Ask them what they have and need, be hospitable online shopping and residential deliveries, now quite ever.
Contingency Marketing Strategies
It’s not enough to easily have a well-defined communication policy. In times of a crisis, the market is volatile, consumer behavior is unexpected, and therefore the business will face sudden fluctuations. Therefore, evaluate the present market scenario and predict short and long-term market behavior and plan your marketing activities accordingly.
For instance, Puma has taken a significant hit in China thanks to COVID-19 and had to shut quite 50% of its stores, but they’re working under the idea that things will normalize within the short term, and therefore the company is going to be ready to reach its annual revenue goals.
Simultaneously, you’ll also get to identify and work with other vendors and suppliers to balance your supply chain.
Find Alternatives to Deliver on Your Promises
The primary industries that are adversely impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak are events, retail, hospitality, and SMBs.
To prevent the spread of the virus, many event organizers have decided to either cancel or reschedule their events. Another alternative to the present is to form a virtual event. There are a plethora of applications available that will assist you to run the event digitally.
Retailers can even double abreast of e-commerce efforts, but be mindful when communicating about it.
Marketing leaders must be in tune with the problems their business and industry face. The key to managing through a crisis is being nimble and ready. Take, for instance, the rolling list of major conferences canceled due to the COVID-19 situation, from the Adobe Summit to SXSW. Savvy marketers and would-be exhibitors aren’t sitting back – they’re proactively trying to find ways to salvage the investments they’ve made in these conferences, like shifting their events or meetings to digital, video-based formats.
Prevent the Spread of Misinformation
There’s naturally fear among people when a crisis strikes, which paves the way for misinformation. In the early stages of the crisis, news, repeatedly, might not be the most reliable due to the shortage of facts available.
Therefore, organizations should evaluate their news sources and news itself before communicating with customers and making decisions.
A great example of this is often how Google is cracking down on unreliable sources. Google has been working to curb phishing attempts, conspiracy theories, malware, and misinformation and removing YouTube videos and ads.