Responsible marketing during COVID-19

Context matters, a lot. In everything we do as brands, what is currently happening around us is important.

Whether it is a cultural change, a recession or a global pandemic like COVID-19, your brand should be agile enough to adapt it's messaging and empathise with customers and prospects.

Empathetic marketing

Tone-deaf campaigns are a big no-no. The damages of a campaign that lives in a different galaxy are huge. You won’t only get angry customers at your door, (or through your inbox seems more realistic these days!), but your efforts will be likey transformed into mockery that will be remembered for years to come!

Given the general mood of seriousness and anxiety, promotional and hard-selling initiatives will come across as awkward at best. Now it’s the time to be empathetic, aligning your business marketing plans with the current transformational shift we are all experiencing.

Adjusting your campaigns and communication approaches should be the priority right now. Maybe your team has been working hard on a campaign that was about to be launched; does this mean you should carry on as normal? No. You’ve probably spent some considerable resources doing this but acknowledging what is currently going on will be more beneficial in the long run.

These are some marketing tips we are closely following to best advise our clients during these times of uncertainty.


  1. Content audit

    Start by auditing what’s currently running or about to be launched to identify what the best action would be. If you are lucky enough to have plenty of resources, we recommend you use this template to spot leaks and assets that need to be adjusted or redone.

    Download our Content Audit Spreadsheet

  2. Repurposing campaigns

    Think about what campaigns in your pipeline should not be launched and instead paused. If the content or messaging is not appropriate, don’t roll with them. Also, consider those other campaigns that may be eclipsed by the current situation and find a better time for them on your calendar.

  3. Evaluate your imagery

    Visual communication is your message at a glance, and it’s very powerful. Be sensible with the images you put out there; crowds of people outside or people touching are unrealistic and need to be avoided.   

  4. Analyse your language

    Some very popular business expressions that you may want to reconsider are ‘get in touch’ or ‘work hand in hand’. These messages encourage immediate interaction and should be minimised as much as possible.

    No need to say that tactless promotion should be stripped from every marketing plan, now more than ever! This does not mean emotion has to stay away from your brand messaging; it means that now is the time to be more mindful about the words you use to communicate with your audience.

  5. Be informative

    Brands need to act in response to the crisis. Keep your clients informed on any COVID-19 measures you’re taking and policy updates that will be useful to your customers.

    Avoid overly dramatic language and try to be refreshing to give people something to look forward to while being on quarantine.

  6. Add value

    Keep the focus on helping people. With most of us stuck at home, this will be an opportunity to plan useful content in relation to your brand that can educate and inspire your customers and prospects.

    Content marketing can become an effective way to develop ongoing relationships with your clients, and luckily, the digital landscape allows for this to be undisrupted.

  7. Revisit your brand strategy

    Your purpose, vision, mission and values as a brand are now more critical than ever. Revisit these to remind yourself and everyone within your team, what your brand stands for.

    Try to identify what all these definitions mean under the new circumstances and make sure they are well reflected in everything you do as a business.

  8. Prepare for the next shift (post-quarantine)

    The quarantine won’t last forever. COVID-19 will, more than likely, change many industries’ landscape in the following months. Even though we are still unsure about what will happen next, it’s a good time to prepare for the transition that will come after.

    What we know for sure is that campaigns based around optimism and hope will be a huge take and well welcomed by clients across the world.

If you need help preparing, ExtraDigital is here to support your marketing efforts every step of the way. Drop us a line and let’s start that conversation.


Friday 27th March 2020

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