Marketing During the COVID-19 Crisis

If only there were some type of manual or white paper that told us how we should market during this time of crisis. Well, I’m sure someone has probably written a white paper by now. But that expert opinion probably amounts to jack-squat at this very moment. We’re in uncharted marketing territory here, folks. Unless you had a marketing gig during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, that is. So without further ado, here is the main question that I’m sure has been running through your head (I’ll do my best to answer).

Is it ok to market my product or service right now?

When we’re in crisis and people are getting sick and dying, I’m sure many marketers and advertising agencies will feel uncomfortable with a “business as usual” marketing approach. But there are many reasons why you should continue your marketing plan.

  • You have a captive audience. As our communities attempt to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing, our everyday life has been put on pause. No sporting events, school closures and working from home mean you will have a captive audience through many media channels. And they want to hear from you! Believe me, as much as people are seeking the latest news information, the subject, for obvious reasons, has dominated every screen. Consumers are ready for a diversion.
  • Consumers want to know your take on the situation. Most brands have reached out to explain to their customers what they are doing as a company in reaction to the crisis. Expressing care for your customers and employees and whatever action plan you have put into place is important right now.
  • People are online buying while cocooning. As we’ve seen during snowstorms in the Northeast, when people are home, they often turn to internet shopping. Tons of product categories could see a major sales lift in the coming weeks.
  • If they’re not buying now, they’ll be buying soon. Yes, there are also many high-consideration purchases that are certainly being put on hold for the moment. But if they are not buying at this exact second, consumers certainly have a lot of time to thoroughly research upcoming purchases.

First and foremost, our society has banded together and will show the resiliency needed to get through this health crisis. From a business and marketing perspective, we need to persevere as well. The first quarter of 2020 is ending on a down note for many brands, and the threat of a recession looms large. Plus, certain industries like airlines, hotels and cruises have been hit incredibly hard (I should mention that a marketing pause makes sense for brands in these categories). For many others, there is still time to make and implement a game plan. When this crisis is over, there will be a mad scramble to compete for sales as the consumer market makes up for lost time.


RITTA is an award-winning New Jersey advertising agency. We build long-lasting client relationships with national and local premium brands. Contact us today if you need to jumpstart your sales.