News and PR Insights from 5W Public Relations CEO Ronn Torossian

Marketing with Impact

COVID-19 not only disrupted our daily lives but also those of thousands of businesses and industries. While the pandemic has caused chaos for marketers, it also presents an opportunity for those who can quickly adapt to the suddenly changed landscape.

Before the pandemic, consumers were exposed to 5,000 messages daily according to data analytics company Talkwalker. There are four areas of a brand’s marketing campaign that CFOs need to pay attention to today.

Area 1 – Content

Meaningful engagement is even more important today since there’s an avalanche of consumers going online to search for and purchase merchandise. Content must reverberate with them from the start and then engage them throughout their visit.

Inspect the data about the product, not just the brand, to determine discussion points. What kind of conversation can a marketer start that will initiate further thinking and consideration about what other uses consumers might have with the brand rather than how the brand benefits consumers? 

Area 2 – Influencers

Pre-coronavirus, trust levels were already strained. It’s compounded today with conflicting reports about the pandemic coming out daily, spam emails and robocalls, etc.

Influencers can make a difference in consumer choices but selecting ones with the right mix of range of interest can be challenging. But next to friends and family, a good influencer is the next best trusted source for brand recommendations, especially to Gen Z and millennials.

One thing marketers struggle over is relevance or reach. Which is more important? Reach may generate a lot of likes but if they don’t produce sales, so what? In selecting influencers, consider the relevance or impact they’ve demonstrated. Popularity doesn’t drive revenue.

Area 3 – Target Audience

Dig into and depend more on the consumer data that the brand has gathered. Now is not the time to use instinct. Instead, analyze the brand’s audience, their needs and interests and develop content that addresses them.

Consider near and upcoming special days that are just around the corner like Mother’s Day in light of the pandemic. Is there something the brand could do to make the occasion even more special and memorable to both the recipient and consumer?

With so many people working from home during the pandemic, one or more brands will emerge as industry leaders because they’ll create their own messages, contests or events that cater to the homebound. Brands that pioneer these special occasions will also gain market share.

In spite of the current pandemic, all is not bleak. There is still opportunity out there for marketers and brands with forward thinking to build upon. All it takes is a keen knowledge and awareness of the target audience, their interests, a brand that meets their needs, and connecting openly and personally with them.

Consider stalwarts Disney, Microsoft and HP. They all set up shop at a time when most people would sit on the sidelines and wait until things began turning around. These companies jumped in early to gain an upper hand. Microsoft started up in 1975 while the nation was going through a recession. HP’s roots go back to 1939 during the great Depression. And Walt Disney started his company during the recession of 1923 and 1924.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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