The do’s and don’ts in crisis communication / marketing
Last months we had a steep learning curve in how to act within your marketing and communication. Frankly, it is a unique situation, a worldwide crisis due to an upcoming virus. Who could have thought that a year ago?
At first, the world was in shock. There where all kind of lockdowns. And here the first lesson kicked in. We treated this as another crisis, where it was not. We started to communicate around how to adjust your message and proposition towards helping companies through a standstill.
That didn’t always resonate well. We passed the point that the crisis started by people getting sick, very sick, fast and that many people died. It was a people’s crisis at first. So not everybody appreciated the messaging around crisis adaption and adjustment and looking for values in approaching people.
So the 1st lesson we had here was not to forget the sentiment in society. We are all in a people’s business, and people were suffering. It’s not all about business, and get your values right. Make true meaning. Want to know how? Plan a meeting
We help IT, service providers, with their commercial growth. At the start of the lockdown and the months after that, they had no issue with growth at all. Companies needed support for remote IT solutions and home offices. Customer budgets seemed limitless. They needed to keep their organisation up and running.
Again, support is still needed but differently. It is not all about flying in new solutions at the moment. It is more of, how can everybody work with the existing systems from home. Budgets are getting tighter because all IT investment budgets are already taken.
The 2nd lesson here is that while being successful, you should not forget the next step at your customer. What is the impact of a sudden change in IT and working environment? The worst example is to start communicating how Microsoft Teams works….
And now we need to look forward. What will bring the crisis to your customers the coming year(s)? Will their budget freezes? Or will they invest more in technology to become more efficient and effective? Will they support to be more prepared for a new crisis? A lesson we learn daily is that you need to be aware of the impact of the situation. What will be the future developments of your customers and target audience? Do you know what the effect will be? No? well, find out! Get under the skin of your customers.
And when you know this, how do you position yourself? We see too many companies in the service providers area that share the same message. Whether it is the modern workplace, support of remote working or Cloud being fast and flexible, most messaging is not unique. Let alone having a value for your target audience.
So, one of the last lessons or suggestions is, stand out by adjusting your positioning and proposition towards the effects of the crisis. Remember, communicate what technology can solve, don’t try to explain it.