These are unprecedented times. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and how we live. Last week, in a conversation with senior female leaders, we were discussing the impact of the coronavirus on our working lives. The conversation centered around two main themes. The first was around how our work interactions have become profoundly more human. The second theme was around surviving (and thriving) in our new normal. We all agreed there is an acute pressure on organizations to learn the emerging lessons from this crisis and to adapt. I left the conversation reflecting on how these themes would impact marketing.
It is extremely challenging to market during a pandemic, or any crisis, without being perceived as tone deaf. We have all been the recipient of at least one #marketingfail since the pandemic started. A friend recently called to complain that she had been served an advertisement for a cruise vacation package. She was aghast at the timing. Another challenge is companies that appear too eager to capitalize on an opportunity that tragedy can bring. Sarah Sluis of AdExchanger suggests “to avoid a coronavirus marketing fail, brands need to think long term, build their brands over focusing on performance and make sure their messaging appears in the right context.” Even if companies do not fall into the #marketingfail trap, they can miss opportunities by ignoring the current ethos. It is important to acknowledge things have changed.