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5 marketing DON’Ts during the Coronavirus crisis

April 14, 2020 - Fifteen

1- Don’t use Coronavirus themed discount codes

Using discount codes such as COVID19 for 19% off is a big NO-NO!

While you may be struggling to attract customers and discounts seem like a good option, it is important to avoid “charged” discount codes. Discount codes often come with a positive and energetic “buy now, amazing offer” sort of theme, so you do not want people to think you are glorifying the pandemic.

2- Don’t celebrate successes that are a direct result of the crisis


Some businesses may be flourishing due to the lifestyle changes people have been forced to make during the Coronavirus crisis, but it is VITAL to remember that thousands are dying every day, and successes should be spoken about tactfully.

Announcing a record-breaking month with glitter and balloons is likely to bring a huge backlash and could even bring on a boycott. Tesco saw sales increase by around 33% during the initial panic, but this success has been kept very quiet.

If you are experiencing unprecedented success then it may be better to talk about what you are doing to help share this success. E.g. through donations.

3- Don’t hike up prices


Basic economics tells you that supply and demand determine price, but it’s different during a global crisis.

Yes, your product may be flying off the shelves like never before, and the instinct may be to increase the price to maximise profits. However, ethics is just as fundamental a principle of business as supply and demand.

If you need any further persuasion as to why you shouldn’t increase your prices, then perhaps the likely scenario that your business will be punished by the authorities through fines or even a forced shut down maybe.

President Putin went viral for his response to pharmacies selling face masks at inflated prices, his simple response was “They should be stripped of their licences to carry out their work, that’s all”.

4- Don’t send excessive Coronavirus/COVID-19 update emails


By now most have learnt their lesson, but some still continue with COVID-19 themed emails regularly

In some cases regular emails may be needed – e.g. supermarkets, that are regularly changing rules these days – but for most the emails will start to grain on people and get lost in an inbox full of similar content.

5- Don’t go ahead with the pre-coronavirus planned strategy


In the vast majority of cases, it is not business as usual. The pandemic has affected businesses in one way or another, be it the reduced workforce or complete shutdown.

Many plan their marketing strategy far ahead and have social media posts scheduled to go out, but this all needs to be reviewed.

Businesses and, more importantly, customers have a different mindset now. People are bored, on edge and more easily offended, so it’s important to keep that in mind when reviewing your strategy. Scheduled posts that promote the business as usual need to be paused and rescheduled for another time and tone of voice needs to be reevaluated.

The frequency of posting should also be reconsidered, if your business usually posts 7 days a week but isn’t currently operating, then this should be decreased unless an adaptive new campaign has been created and is working well.

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