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COVID-19 has made Digital Only the phrase used during marketing meetings.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, there was a phrase many were using in marketing meeting. The phrase was “digital first.” It was a reminder to make sure there was a digital component or alternative to a marketing campaign.

Now, that phrase has gone from first to only: You must be “digital only” for the near future. We’ve been forced to think and act digitally all of the time. No big meetings. No trade shows. No events. No in-person presentations. No normal marketing for now.

This has caught most of country flat-footed. You’d think everyone was digitally oriented, but using email and Zoom doesn’t mean you have a digital marketing strategy.  Even retail was only 15% digital going into the crisis despite all you’ve read and seen — just 15 % of the total. that’s means 85% for the most part stopped in mid-March.

Here are some ideas businesses are finding helpful in this crisis:

  • Websites not built on ease-of-use platforms (such as WordPress) are difficult and expensive to change out and update on the fly in a crisis. You need a CMS that has user experience at the center of its core in a crisis

  • Website notification bars are helpful in communicating temporary, ever-changing emergency information. These notification bars can be used for any information that needs to be communicated quickly in the future from disasters to changes in hours of operation.

  • E-commerce solutions need to be built into your site. You need a stable and safe way to accept orders and donations electronically. Many organizations that didn’t have retail as part of their revenue stream will need e-commerce. We’ve heard of nonprofits selling support T-shirt and items to generate revenue instead of donations.

  • Video is a critically important way to communicate in a crisis. Video messages help communicate quickly, but just like a Zoom meeting have the human touch and communicate emotionally

  • Organizations need infographics and content to fill social media channels especially when there is little going on in the organization in terms of activity, events and daily interactions

  • Crisis communications is different than regular communications. We’ve all changed in one way or another and messaging needs to change as well.

Some are already awakening to the new reality. Some are still in the shock phase of crisis communications. It is going to be different marketing world in this age of COVID-19. It will not end on one specific day. If you just go dark during this time, how much harder will it be to come out on the other side?

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