How do you market your business during a crisis?

How do you market your business during a crisis?

War. Energy crisis. Cost of living increases. Racist and bigoted attacks. It seems as if wherever we look, there is another disaster waiting for us.  It can be hard to plan your marketing in advance when everything is changing so rapidly – what works on paper today might be seen as ‘tone deaf’ or ‘insensitive’ when it’s published tomorrow.  So how do you keep marketing your business as the world burns?

Think Context of Crisis

This seems so simple but it is incredibly tricky.  Keep planning as you always have, then before you hit ‘post’ or ‘send’ ask yourself “is this ok in the context of today” then read the content again. Look at the imagery and sense-check all parts against the current events. 

For instance, at the moment when people are watching every penny, a sale makes sense, but a boastful post with a photograph of you on a recent luxury holiday abroad is not appropriate.  Much like Adidas who sent marathon runners an email with the subject line “Congrats, you survived” – out of context, absolutely makes sense.  In context, the full subject was “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” and it was sent 3 years after the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 250 people…

Context is key.  Always check your marketing against the context.

Choose your products & services carefully

Rather than trying to work out how to market inappropriate products in an appropriate way, just don’t promote them.  Consider if there are any of your products or services which would be good to promote now, and any that it might be better to shelve for a while. 

Offer help and value

It’s not just about what will sell in the current climate – think about what could help your clients right now, and consider what they need.  If the world is in crisis, it’s the selfless brands that customers want to work with.  The ones who add real value to what they are offering.  Being helpful will be the most successful marketing you can do during a crisis.

So remember:

  1. Check if it’s appropriate in the current context.
  2. Consider if it’s the best products or services to be marketing right now.
  3. Figure out how you can help your customers through the crisis.
  4. Tweak your marketing to match, and you can market in a crisis.

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