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Marketing Offers In The Coronavirus-Dominated World

March 26, 2020

Companies are asking themselves whether they should continue their Internet marketing campaigns in the rapidly dissolving U.S. economy — a lightning-fast and unprecedented decline that is an unfortunate but probably inevitable consequence of our fight against the coronavirus. 

Only you can make the determination whether scaling back, maintaining or upping campaigns is the right course of action. There are many serious strategic issues every company has to weigh, issues that affect the health of employees as well as the company’s ability to survive.

The stakes are big, and we’re resisting the temptation to make blanket statements about how to handle your SEO or PPC campaign. We’re here to help you sort out the issues and give you as much perspective as we can. This situation is new to us, too. 

One thing I do feel confident about: If you are going to continue Internet marketing in any way, shape or form, you need to take a serious look at your offers. 

Here’s an example of a company that’s getting it right: Comcast. Comcast Cable President & CEO Dave Watson sent an email to subscribers recently describing the steps Comcast was taking in response to the coronavirus situation. Among them was making more educational resources available for school-age children — most, if not all, of which are free. I checked out several of the plentiful new programming options, and they are excellent. 

Here is a company that recognized a big problem, parents thrust into home schooling without training, time or resources. Comcast had a way to help, and offered it to subscribers — certainly to provide much-needed assistance, but also to give subscribers a reason to keep subscribing and nonsubscribers a good reason to start subscribing.

In a crisis like the one we’re in the middle of (let’s hope it’s the middle), customers are ultra-sensitive to offers. 

  • Offers with no connection to what’s going on leave customers thinking, “Why are they pushing an annual rewards program? I need help NOW.”
  • Offers that come off as playing up the coronavirus angle without offering anything substantive leave customers thinking, “These people are trying to take advantage of a crisis to line their pockets!”

These are very bad impressions to make, and impressions the market will remember for a long, long time.

Make your offers relevant. U.S. companies are coming up with imaginative and difference-making ways to help get people through these tough times. If your company can do that, and can communicate it through your online marketing campaign, so much the better. Whatever money you spend on those campaigns will help you get better results, help your customers in important ways, and prevent you from tarnishing your image with an offer that hits the wrong notes.

Let us know how we can help.

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