Red Hot Thoughts: Preparing your marketing during Coronavirus

We realise that everyone around the world is facing unique challenges right now, and for businesses the stakes are particularly high. In this challenging and uncertain time, we know some of you can continue with little change, whilst others may have been required to temporarily shut your doors.

In the world of ecommerce, the landscape has changed like nothing we have seen, but it isn’t all doom and gloom. Respondents from affected regions have suggested an increase in online shopping including 18% of consumers from the UK. In addition, as you could imagine downloads of shopping apps have reached record numbers.

Furthermore, 55% of ‘frequent vacationers will likely book future holidays whilst confined to their homes.

With some of these more positive stats in mind, we have pulled together a list of the considerations our team believe you should be making during this difficult time.

Keep your comms appropriate

Dan Coleman, Digital Marketing Director, suggests ensuring your comms plan is appropriate to the impact COVID-19 is having on your business.

“Not every business needs to send a dedicated covid-19 newsletter or update their social media regularly about their response to the crisis. Maybe suggest a subtle acknowledgement on their site and tweak delivery information at checkout.  In addition, ensure your business is properly joined up. If there are likely to be interruptions in your supply chain, then ensure your agencies are well briefed to reduce campaign spend accordingly.”

Review your ads and messaging

Claire Warne, Paid Media Manager advises to ensure your ads are socially responsible. “Think about your normal communications. Do you have always-on advertising campaigns that may need to be paused or amended to reflect the current situation. Is there anything live that could currently be interpreted as inappropriate or insensitive?”

Add wider business context in GA

Emily Greer, Head of Insights believes that you should annotate any wider business content issues in your analytics platform. This will provide context to performance dips. “Make sure you annotate when the issue was resolved too.”

Keep PPC steady if you can

Andrew Boreham and Chris Comber from our Paid Media Team also believe that as PPC is market led, and less people are interested, then you would naturally spend less. However, knee jerk reactions to reduce investment for short term savings could lead to handing market share to your competitors. Chris suggests “If you can hit your KPI’s and invest the same level, then you may come out of this as market leader.”

Maintain SEO

Finally, Carl Brooks, Head of Search believes that continued investment in SEO is paramount. “Stopping marketing as we know will be one of the first considerations of many businesses. However, stopping SEO will potentially lead to a bigger gap to bridge against competitors once we are through. Ensure you are not playing catch up as opposed to growing, as we know SEO takes time to take effect, so continued investment now should ensure they are in a better place for when this concludes.”

In summary, whilst it might seem logical to cut your marketing spend, the key message from us is stay positive. We don’t know what’s going to happen, we’re hoping that it’s not going to last too long. Hopefully with the recent government interventions, the economy will come back very strong. If anything, this may have a positive impact on many ecommerce brands success in the future.

If people are home, they’re naturally going to be spending more time on their phone shopping, which in turn will make people more accustomed to going online, buying online, and not running to the high street as often. At the end of it, the short-term hurt that brands may experience will hopefully be replaced by long-term gain.

If you would like to discuss anything from our update with us for free please email us at and one of our team can arrange a quick 10 minute chat to run through your challenges and provided some advice.

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