To say the last six weeks have been hard and heavy is an understatement. We have certainly seen challenges and uncertainties, but we have also witnessed brands, teams, companies, and organizations across the world adapt to new ways of working and communicating with each other and their customers. Even though “curves may be flattening”, we all know the challenges and uncertainties will continue.
We also know that history demonstrates that brands who continue to advertise in an economic downturn benefit by long lasting boosts in sales and market share.
Following are a few client success stories we have experienced over the last month and want to share as examples of best practices in marketing during a crisis.
Stay relevant. Provide valuable and useful information. Be creative.
Shodair Children’s Hospital – It is an honor to partner with Shodair and watch as they navigate this very difficult situation with transparency, urgency, and grace. Shodair was incredibly responsive to COVID-19 and worked diligently and quickly to implement policies and procedures to ensure the safety of their patients, staff, and visitors. We worked with Shodair to create a special landing page on their website to house information, resources, and tips. Shodair has done a tremendous job of communicating internally and externally with daily updates posted on their public website and employee intranet. Shodair has also worked to develop content that is relevant, useful, and creative. Creating videos with ideas for kids’ activities at home, importance of sleep, hygiene, tips for teenagers, and more, has delivered important content to people who need it, and also helped to maintain the strength of Shodair’s brand and their mission to heal, help, and inspire hope.
Maintain brand strength. Pivot strategy.
West Yellowstone Tourism – Part of our annual strategy for West Yellowstone includes outreach for spring travel, promoting direct flights into Bozeman for a quick trip to West Yellowstone, as well as creating awareness for West Yellowstone as a meeting destination in the spring. This strategy had to quickly pivot as “stay at home” restrictions were put into place and the safety of travel was jeopardized. West Yellowstone chose not to abandon their media, but rather shift the message. Our outreach went from a “travel now” message to a “plan now, travel later” message. It is important for the travel region to remain visible and create inspiration for future trips. A couple samples of this messaging include an HTML email sent to their large database of subscribers as well as dynamic social ads.
Shift in message. Reassure your audience.
Achieve Montana – Each year we partner with Achieve Montana to develop a marketing and communications strategy for increasing awareness of 529 plans, the importance of saving for higher education, and increasing enrollment numbers for the state 529 plan. Spring is always an important time period to promote the Achieve Montana message since it is after the tax season and leading up to national 529 Day. This year we have a lot of efforts planned around promoting plan improvements for Achieve Montana which include lower fees and increased investment options. Within the last month we have continued with these promotional efforts, but we have shifted the message a bit to be sensitive to the current climate. With all the uncertainties and challenges that Montanans are currently facing, Achieve Montana wants to communicate a message of reassurance, security, and simplicity while encouraging people to stay the course with investing for higher education and that Achieve Montana is and always will be here to help people achieve their dreams. Outreach tactics over the last month and continuing into the future include guest editorials, blog posts, print ads, email, digital video, native content, and display/banner ads.