Whilst we have seen email marketing (See our blog Marketing Trends Amidst COVID-19) changes based on quantitative data during COVID-19, we have also spoken to a few of our clients to see the ways in which their marketing has changed amidst the pandemic.
In a nutshell, there has been a greater focus on meeting stakeholder needs in a timely manner which has impacted the content and frequency of communications, use of channels and new internal processes. All our clients have confirmed that their marketing teams are extremely busy because of the increased volume and timeliness of communications. Many of them are working longer hours, adding in extra time in the morning or evening to review if the content is indeed up to date.
Timeliness is a trend
Our clients have been reactive to the news and market conditions by regularly updating their contacts either via email communications or scheduling webinars. Addressing the many concerns and questions of their stakeholders has taken priority over everything else. One of our customers mentions increasing internal and external communications from once per quarter and once per month to twice per week. Another is augmenting their digital marketing with additional digital communication, some personalised for clients, others for targeted audiences.
This is to assure clients that the firm is following the latest news and market conditions to address the risks and opportunities appropriately. Thanks to relevant and timely updates, some of our customers mentioned that they were able to win additional business as their communication responded to stakeholder questions and helped build trust.
All the contacts we spoke with confirm that their priority is to provide their audiences with the most up-to-date and factual updates and market commentaries. Many highlight in the communication the positive opportunities like rebound of oil prices and advantages such as lower interest rates, but the main goal remains the same: provide helpful and relevant information.
Increased use of webinars
Sometimes, writing content is not fast enough because market reaction follows swiftly from a news update. Our clients display timeliness by holding live webinars to address urgent pieces of market information to reassure their clients. A recording is then sent out the next day to the ones who couldn’t make it.
Centralized COVID-19 materials
COVID-19 is seemingly treated as one long extended campaign where the internal team are communicating more frequently and materials are shared in a central location. Many clients are creating dedicated newsletters and content hubs to help their stakeholders and internal teams find the updates and relevant information.
Postponing events into Q4
Since the duration of COVID-19 is uncertain, many of our clients have tentatively postponed their events to start in Q3 or Q4. However, as events cannot be postponed indefinitely, they are also looking into virtual events (both third party and proprietary). To make up for the lack of events, they are instead replacing it with webcasts, webinars, more calls, more emails, and more social media.
Longer term digital transformation
The longer COVID-19 hangs around, the more campaigns are taking a digital focus. One of the initiatives we hear about is putting new internal processes in place to become the new norm. The crisis has accelerated and embedded some of the digital client communications that they have been planning for some time. Since they have had to implement agile marketing to deliver quickly and effectively, some of the new and improved processes are here to stay.
Holding off on other campaigns
Most of the marketing resources are being channeled into dealing with the current situation so other campaigns are being put on hold. There is a lot of information around so marketing has become a lot more tactical and the teams across all our clients are busier than ever. When there is market volatility, clients need assurance and value timeliness so things move very fast.
Encouraged by great open rates for internal communication (73% on average – see blog Insights), our clients are already planning long term changes to their communication to keep high readership levels and ensure a smooth transition. As the pandemic won’t last forever, they incorporate other topics into the communication and highlight different factors related to COVID-19. These include tips around wellness, mental health, the ability to do remote work and developing new skills. While wellness and mental health has always been an important facet of human life, people were not treating this as a priority before COVID-19. However, with prolonged isolation being a factor that could potentially induce loneliness and depression, many are sharing well-being tips on how to be efficient, productive and thrive during the lockdown.
Many clients are also thinking ahead and talking about life post lockdown. Topics include predictions about increased use of digital services or investments in new growth areas such as telemedicine, DIY, gaming or home improvement.
Positive feedback from clients and internal teams
The reactivity that prompts marketing teams to increase communications has prompted an increase in open rates and positive feedback from clients who appreciate timeliness and hyper relevance. Currently, there is a great focus on customer experience which is important in keeping a loyal clientele but can also be a catalyst for winning new business.
We are always here to help you in your marketing journey amidst this pandemic. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or topic suggestions for future posts.
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