Red Hot Thoughts | Marketing during COVID-19: 5 Lessons we learned

Undoubtedly, 2020 has been a challenging year. For many, marketing had to be put on hold whilst businesses tried to navigate these unprecedented circumstances. Whilst others required strategies to be upended and started from scratch. For marketers, this has meant an opportunity to learn some important lessons, innovate and re-create. We want to focus on and share the lessons that we have learned during this time.

Make Agility Easier

Social media has always moved quickly, and this year more than ever. It has been crucial to be able to react quickly to changing regulations and consumer sentiment.

Red Hot Penny Paid Social Manager Claire offered an insight into how to make it easier,  ‘We have found it very helpful to keep a spreadsheet tracking creatives and targeting, so we can see at a glance if anything needs to be updated. Having robust processes that enable you to quickly create and sign off content in these situations is also essential.’

Creating a spreadsheet to track advert copy and creative can make it easier to update and monitor current messaging – especially if you are running multiple campaigns. Producing a streamlined process for getting changes live as soon as possible, rather than waiting days for sign-off is important when regulations can change within 24 hours.

Consumer Sentiment comes 1st

Consumer sentiment is integral to any meaningful marketing insights – but how often does it get lost under other metrics (CTR, CPC etc.)? For many, asking what consumers think does not even come into the equation. Now, paying attention to consumer sentiment is no longer a choice. Whereas before, you could get away with not reading every single Facebook comment – there has never been a more important time to not only listen to what your audience is saying but to engage and learn from sentiment.

Good Marketing feels Authentic

Unsurprisingly, many eCommerce brands have benefited from people being at home and spending more time online. However, this allows people to give more thought to who they are purchasing from. Brand values and authenticity have never been more important. Brands who focus less on the products they are selling; and more on the positive and impactful stories they have to tell are building stronger communities and brand loyalty. It has long been said that good marketing does not feel like marketing.

Omnichannel reinforces Messages

As the winter creeps in alongside the second lockdown, more people are spending more time online. This means those Twitter accounts we forgot the password to a year ago are getting reactivated…

But what does this mean for marketing? Whether your audience size varies on different platforms, it is worth having a touchpoint wherever your audience is present. In some of the campaigns we ran during the lockdown, we saw higher ROAS on platforms where our clients would not usually place an advert. We understood the importance of being present at a time when many other businesses had hit pause, at a good number of consumer touchpoints.

Diversify your Communications

Understandably many businesses in hard-hit industries hit pause on marketing efforts, but for some of those who did not, we saw some great creativity. Hospitality businesses shared recipes, furniture stores shared design inspiration, and events businesses shared future events for us all to look forward to. The question is, why was this not part of communications all along? Creative ideas that give value to the consumer, without selling a thing, building brand loyalty for when things are up and running again. Because I think one of the most important lessons we have all learned, is that the relationships we have with our consumers are the most valuable thing for any business.

Mortarboard and gown place of learning

Interested in our services?

We’d love to partner with you.

Get in touch