Navigating Marketing During Tumultuous Times

Navigating Marketing During Tumultuous Times

It can be a challenge to know how to handle major world events and turmoil as a business.  Should you address the happenings and take a stance, or stay neutral and wait for the situation to blow over?  Either way, it is clear that in tumultuous times, everything, even marketing for your brand, is impacted in some way.  We’ve laid out some tips below to help your business try to navigate a successful and appropriate marketing strategy during chaotic times.  

Decide on Your Stance (Or Lack Thereof) 

This probably seems pretty obvious to most of us, but an essential first step before moving forward with any marketing efforts is to know where your company stands on the issue, concern, or situation at hand.  Ensure your marketing teams, particularly those in charge of social media, are well-versed on the company’s position, as well as how public they would like to be about it.  

This does not only impact whether you put out a statement or make a social media post directly addressing whatever is going on.  This will also determine the way in which you respond to messages, answer questions in the comment section, and interact with posts from other brands and individuals.  Whatever your company’s official position is (even if that position is to not have a position), ensure that is reflected consistently across all marketing channels. 

Watch Your Tone 

You want to ensure that not only is the content you put out into the world in line with your brand’s views, but also that the tone matches that and is appropriate.  If your official stance is that whatever is happening is serious and solemn, do not then reference it in a light-hearted campaign or make jokes about it.  Stay consistent in your messaging and the tone in which you are sharing it. 

Don’t Derail Your Marketing Efforts for Too Long 

If there is a major catastrophe that occurs, it can feel inappropriate to cheerily continue to promote your stylish clothing, handmade candles, or delicious burgers.  Fair enough-be mindful of the state of mind of the country, and of your followers and fans in particular.  There are certain situations in which putting a pause on your marketing efforts, and directly addressing the situation that is occurring, is the best course of action.  

However, be wary of spending too much time and resources on making statements and crafting content in response to the event.  If you need to wait a little while to return to your usual marketing campaigns, that is okay.  But there is not really a need to spend large chunks of budget and time addressing the situation over and over and over.  Whenever you feel it is appropriate, ease back into your normal marketing routine to make the most of your resources.

Check Your Scheduled Posts 

Most, if not all, businesses plan their advertisements, digital campaigns, and social posts ahead of time.  Many of these materials are likely scheduled out weeks in advance.  If something happens that drastically impacts the nation in the short-term, be sure to check your scheduled materials to make sure they are still relevant to go out.  If any of your previously-planned work now seems irrelevant or in poor taste given recent developments, be sure to tweak it as needed. 

Staying Neutral is an Option 

Finally, if you are not sure where your company should stand on a given issue or do not feel like a stance is necessary at all, it is probably in your best interest to remain neutral, and make sure all your marketing materials reflect that.  Of course, this varies a lot by situation: depending on the gravity, the impact it will have on people’s lives, and the nature of the chaos happening in the world, it may be morally necessary to take a stand.  But in many instances, there is not a clear right and wrong or good and bad.  At these times, do not feel bad staying neutral.  If your business does not have strong feelings about a situation, there is no need to force a stance, and risk losing customers who disagree with it.  It is often best to stay out of major debates and issues, and keep your focus on your products. 

When the world is changing and unexpected events are unfolding, marketing campaigns can become quite a delicate matter.  By guiding your choices with the advice and framework above, your brand should be able to confidently go forward, in whatever direction you choose. 

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