April 28, 2020

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia – How do businesses market themselves in times of uncertainty?: Emily Griesing


Now, more than ever, clients and customers are putting their spending dollars behind brands that share their values and are contributing to, rather than taking advantage of, the broader community. Having high-quality products and services is simply a baseline for competing in today’s world – consumers want to see that you care about them as well. In the age of COVID-19, this couldn’t ring truer.

Over the years, we’ve seen marketing efforts shifting more and more towards the online space, rather than traditional avenues such as print, radio and TV advertising. With the current pandemic, the reliance on digital assets to reach customers has become even more paramount. From social media to email campaigns to websites, your next sale will most likely originate from or be influenced by someone scouring your digital materials. In order to best position your organization to reap these benefits, it’s important to consider what your current and potential customers need to know so that you can tailor your online communications to reflect those needs.

During the crisis, be sure to convey these items through your digital marketing channels:

      1. The status of your business
      2. How you are helping others

In terms of the first item, it’s critical to share the state of affairs of the business. For example, have your hours of operation or modes of contact changed? Are certain services unavailable while others are continuing? What response times can people expect? Avoid unnecessary frustration and a potentially lost sale by communicating what’s going on in your business across all online mediums available.

Secondly, let current and potential customers know what services and assistance you are offering to help them navigate this unchartered territory as well as what your business is doing on a broader scale to help others. For small businesses, this could simply be providing pro bono advice or creating payment plans. For larger businesses, this could include offering universal discounts and making a large donation to help those in need. Showing how your business is responding to the crisis is key for keeping you top of mind as well as in a positive light.

Overall, taking these actions not only helps meet the growing demands of today’s consumer but it is also the right thing to do. The pandemic has shown us the power of digital spaces to bring people together and support one another – don’t miss out on your chance to join in.

Reprinted from the April 28, 2020 issue of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia’s Member Perspective.

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