First lockdown marketing lessons that will help you in the next one

With the second COVID-19 wave in full swing and a lockdown around the corner, marketers must prepare for yet another communication challenge. If you are dreading what’s to come, you are not alone. This time round, however, we are more prepared as we can take notes from… well, earlier this year. So which first lockdown marketing lessons did we learn and what should you do to maximise your marketing performance in the upcoming weeks and months?

 

Profit from trends

Sure, the pandemic has created many obstacles and challenges but equally, there are opportunities to be taken. You could argue that you should always use trends to your advantage. Even those that have an overall negative impact on your business. Even if they cause customers to come to your store less (*cough* pandemic *cough*).

 

There’s three steps to success when it comes to using trends in an effective manner.

  1. SITUATION ANALYSIS. Understand the situation, the problem your customers are facing and the sentiments around it.
  2. CONNECTION. Think of all the possible ways you could connect your brand or your product to the trend. Whether that is through
    • an alternate use case for your product, 
    • inventing a new product, 
    • or even connecting the trend to the core values of your business.
  3. COMMUNICATION. Communicate correctly. Show your customers that you understand and offer a solution that delights.

 

Let us explain with an example from Rituals Cosmetics.

  1. Situation: It’s the middle of lockdown. Everyone is home-bound. Anxiety is high. Mental health is a hot topic. Consumers need to unwind but the spas are closed. Everyone looks for creative ways to bring the “normal” to the “new normal”.
  2. Connection: Position Rituals products as the alternative to closed spas. Introduce self-massage as the way to relax and provide luxurious experiences at home.
  3. Communication: An email titled ”How to truly love being at home”. Who wouldn’t relate and click on that?! Using clever language, Rituals managed to connect all the dots: the desire for spa pampering, unwinding and self-care and treating oneself to a new product.

 

Rituals Cosmetics Trends and Loyalty Example

 

Leverage Technology

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in businesses and has made consumers more savvy in using technology across various parts of life. If you haven’t already reimagined your offline environments, get on it. Think about which parts of your offline activities were providing added value to the customer journeys. Make sure you find a way to re-introduce them to your customers with the help of technology.

 

This year, we have seen it all. From virtual fitting rooms, to video parties and socials, to live streamed concerts. This means agility during lockdown is key as situations, trends, preferences and developments change so fast. Being creative, innovative and forward-thinking generally pays off. Therefore, if there was ever a time to take risks, it is now. Test your crazy ideas, experiment with new channels and utilise internal software to your CRM and data advantage.

 

Find Your Purpose

Due to the unprecedented situation the pandemic has put us all in and everyone feeling vulnerable, empathy has gone through the roof. With that, purpose-driven initiatives have become not only popular but also have brought improved results. Companies are now expected to take a stance and fight for a cause, showing their true value to wider society.

 

Whether you choose to support fellow local businesses, sustainability or the Black Lives Matter movement, the underlying purpose should be creating trust, stronger customer relationships and a sense of community.

 

This explains why COVID-19 has been a catalyst in brands’ purpose-led activities. Remember that during a crisis, trust and connection is everything. Thus, in the second lockdown more than ever, think customer-first and avoid any action that could be perceived as insensitive.

 

Share these first lockdown marketing lessons with your friends and colleagues as we go into another stretch of lockdown.