When New Year’s Eve rolled around six months ago, most people were making resolutions and thinking about how they were going to make 2020 an even better decade than the last. Nobody was thinking about an impending pandemic and taking a break from life as we know it.

But that’s what happened. Now it’s May, nearly half way into 2020, and we’re in unchartered territory. Marketers face a conundrum—how to sell products and services while being sensitive to what consumers are experiencing. Businesses and nonprofits alike find themselves contemplating the right things to say or do in this unprecedented situation. Here are some thoughts on how to navigate COVID-19 as a direct marketer.

Marketing plays an essential role in our economy.

Offering consumers great deals on products and services, or giving them the opportunity to donate to a charity they love, drives overall spending and helps our economy. In turn, customer spending keeps businesses thriving. While it’s understandable that many businesses are looking for ways to cut costs right now, reducing your marketing budget is not the best idea. If you must reduce it, get creative. Stay connected with your customers and don’t fall off their radar. Growing relationships and being “out there” will keep your business relevant.

Focus your budget on retention and brand awareness.

Messaging should be appropriate to the situation at hand, and quite honestly, it can be tricky to find the right balance between sensitivity and promotion. Consider incorporating positive company values into your message and how your company is exercising social responsibility…

  • How can your company give back right now?
  • What resources do you have that can help others?
  • Can you partner with another organization to do good?

Service of any kind is an important message right now.

Incorporate direct mail for to B2C for the most impact.

Since many people are at home, marketers have rushed their marketing online. This is logical, but it’s created even more noise on the Internet, which was already oversaturated. It’s almost impossible to stand out online during this deluge of digital advertising.

However, there’s less mail in the mailbox at the end of the driveway. Incorporating direct mail into your current marketing plan is an extremely effective to get your message across. Regular mailings can keep you connected to customers and help build brand awareness. Including items like calendars, magnets, or coasters can literally keep your company’s name in front of your customers on a daily basis.

Any direct marketing you undertake should have a digital component to help track customers. Using Informed Delivery (link to previous post on ID) is a great way to get detailed information on warm leads.

Feel a overwhelmed by “pandemic” marketing?

Just remember, we’re all in the same boat. Don’t give up on marketing your business. Take advantage of opportunities that can help your business grow, like adding direct mail to your strategy for maximum impact. If you don’t have experience with direct marketing, an experienced production agency like EdgeMark can help you navigate the waters and stay in your budget.