Should I stop my digital marketing during a pandemic?
Last Updated on June 1, 2020
The question, “should I stop my digital marketing during a pandemic?” has come up many times over the past few months while we all deal with the coronavirus pandemic. If you want to avoid reading this blog post and get the SparkNotes answer, then I’ll tell you the correct answer: no. Please don’t make a mistake and stop your digital marketing efforts now.
But for those of you with an insatiable appetite for the truth, read on. Interacting with clients these last COVID weeks, and my experience during three major economic downturns (thus the Gandalf white hair), have given me some insight on marketing during a pandemic that I’d like to share with you.
1) Now is not the time to hit pause on digital marketing.
If you do, your company, products, and services will drop from the minds of your target customers almost overnight. As a wise preacher once told me, “You have the attention span of a goldfish.” Ouch! He was right. It’s an almost universal condition. We struggle to remember many things and are inundated with more distractions than any previous generation. If you decide to hit pause on digital marketing during a pandemic, nobody will remember you when they need you.
2) Tasteful advertising, remarketing, and targeted emails can be effective campaigns during a pandemic, when many people are spending 99% of their time on a computer.
It’s not insensitive to be promoting your products or services. Yes, there have been occasional cases of hand sanitizer hoarding, but the world and work still needs to keep going. In fact, it’s times like these that cause business people to reconsider strategies, partners, products, and services. You need to be competing for new customers and not waiting out this pandemic.
3) You should let people know you are open for business.
The best way to do this is advertising. As I write this post, most people assume everything is closed. Your customers may not know you are open, taking orders, or manufacturing products. Many people are putting things off because they assume the hardware store, the construction site, or the production plant are closed. Don’t just assume people know you are open for business. Tell them you’re open using digital advertising.
4) For most types of digital advertising, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Why would you pass up the free impressions on your search, display, social media, or video advertising?
Ad impressions alone have tremendous value in keeping your brand in the minds of distracted people. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a good idea to buy advertising if user views are down. But, internet traffic is significantly higher right now. And if people start clicking on your ads, you will have an opportunity to move them down your digital marketing sales funnel.
5) You don’t know when the shopping instinct will kick in and people will want to buy.
This is true for both consumer products, and business products and services. Some of our clients have very inconsistent patterns when ads convert into leads or sales. These clients can go days or weeks without much activity, then the fish start biting.
There’s a wise investment adage that says you should not try to time the market. It means that you might think you’re smarter than everyone else and can predict when the market will go up and down, but that practice never leads to success. The same adage works for advertising. You never know when people are going to be actively searching for your business. It’s a far better strategy to be consistently advertising on targeted channels, and avoid stopping and starting.
6) People are making plans now to buy things, go places, hire employees, and invest in their business. You need to be competing for their attention.
Consumers are planning vacations and weddings, they’re doing financial planning, and they’re buying just about anything and everything online. Companies are ordering supplies, investing in new equipment, and lining up new projects for the rest of the year. Don’t make the wrong assumption that these activities have stopped.
7) It’s very hard to get the digital marketing momentum going again. You can’t just turn it off and on like a faucet.
You are competing for ad space and eyeballs with lots of competitors. When you stop digital marketing, all the impressions, clicks, visits, and marketing activity grinds to a halt. People who could have known about or been reminded of your company won’t see you anymore. Unfortunately, when you decide to start up that digital marketing engine again, it won’t come back overnight. What took months to build will take a significant amount of time to ramp up again.
Well, there you have it. When everyone else is running for the hills, you have an opportunity. It takes steady nerves to invest when everyone else is hoarding, but the payoff will make you a new believer in this counterintuitive marketing strategy. Let us know if you need any help.
Call us at 513-929-4603 or schedule a digital marketing discussion.