10 Expert Ways To Market During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis

That’s the most important question marketers are asking today. With social distancing, self-isolating, and remote working becoming the new normal, there’s been a shift in the market from the supply and demand side, due to which there’s a shift in the marketing paradigm. For brands and marketers navigating the COVID-19 crisis, simply reaching the customer has become a challenge.

Furthermore, according to a Survey Monkey survey, 92% of Americans are worried about the impact of the corona-virus on the national economy. All these factors can influence business prospects and further cements the need of a crisis road-map.

To help marketers and their business steer through these uncertain times, 11 leading marketers share tips on how to be relevant to customers in this time, how they plan to work through this crisis, and how to keep up the momentum.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Reassure Your Customers About How Your Company is Responding to the Pandemic
Mark Lieberman, President and CEO, Viamedia

“Stay relevant to the consumer’s needs today that means reassuring them about how your company/brand is responding to the pandemic.

“Apply a calming, reassuring tone with a positive message (as a welcome reprieve from the seemingly 24/7 negative news).

“Use video with strong, warm, embracing visuals. After all, TV is the best medium for site, sounds and e-motion.”

2. Move Your Brand Online to Stay Connected to Your Customers
Andrew Walker, CEO, Shift7 Digital

“First, an overall theme to your strategy: KEEP GOING! Moving your brand even more online will keep you connected to your customers and enable a unified customer experience. Three key areas to focus on: your story, website and data. Second, revisit your current content marketing and keyword strategy. Leverage keyword research and social listening tools for topics that provide insight into specific information they are seeking. Check your PPC, too. Keywords targeted yesterday may not be the most relevant today, as search volume and term trends could be fluctuating.”

3. Refresh Customer Experience (CX) Strategies to Relook at End-to-End Sales Processes
Richard Blatcher, Director of industry marketing & business intelligence, PROS

“COVID-19 has created unprecedented disruption and uncertainty of when things will improve, meaning marketers must pivot their strategy in three crucial ways. Marketers should refresh their customer experience and look at their end-to-end sales processes to ensure they’re able to respond with agility, engage across different sales channels and optimize processes.”

4. Focus on Strengthening Your Relationship With Your Customers
Tony Kavanagh, CMO of Insightly

“First, you must communicate regularly. Customers today want a relationship with the companies with whom they do business and to go beyond the transaction to a more engaging, human place. If you do not already have a regular cadence of communication to your customers, now is the time to build one. Second, shelve the ‘hard sell.’ COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic. Be empathetic. Focus on strengthening your relationship with your customers but for reasons that are genuine and thoughtful, ask how they are doing, exchange life stories of caution and triumph.”

5. Infuse Empathy in Your Marketing Communications
Tara Kelly, president and CEO, SPLICE Software

“Marketers, now more than ever, need to ensure they are using empathy in their marketing communications. Without that, communication is seen as “taking advantage of the situation”, and no one wants that label. Marketing technology can still support the automated distribution of messages and provides invaluable insights to how people are engaging with new messaging.”

James JC Ramey, CEO at DeviceBits

“Empathy is likely the key part of staying or connecting with customers and prospects. Marketers should be working with the organization to understand how they are shifting in customer experience from, for example, phone support to self-service. Marketers should keep in “high touch” with their customers during this time. Keeping in contact with empathy and new innovative programs will create loyalty and a happier customer base as we exit this current challenge.”

6. Implement an Agile Strategic Pricing Model to Improve Margins
Richard Blatcher, director of industry marketing & business intelligence, PROS

“Focusing on short-term strategic planning by implementing tools to enable valuable insight gains from vast amounts of customer and market data will enable marketers to make rapid changes, protecting revenue.

“Marketers must also implement an agile strategic pricing model, which is the most effective way to quickly improve margins. Working in real-time and offering products or services at the most profitable price is imperative for short-term profitability.”

Learn More: Your 2020 Crisis Marketing Strategy: Marketing Communication and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

7. Reflect on Your Company Values During this Lockdown & Refocus Your Engagement Strategies
Tricia Binder, co-founder and president, Muros

“At Muros, staying top of mind is all about creativity. While keeping creativity and authenticity at their core, marketers should consider the following tactic to pivot their strategies. More than ever, we have time to reflect on our values and mission. For us, that’s getting more art seen and supporting the artist community. Refocusing can get you thinking about new, relevant ways, to engage your customers, employees or clients in these uncertain times.”

8. Avoid the Hard Sell and Reaffirm Your Commitment to the Long Run
Mark Lieberman, President and CEO, Viamedia

“Tailor messages to be consumer-focused top-of-mind, as most are shopping “in the moment of fear and anxiety – e.g., I don’t have enough toilet paper. Ask is your message relevant now, today, and tomorrow? Step back from the hard sell and provide messaging that reaffirms your commitment to be there over the long term and through thick and thin. Almost everyone is at home, so video advertising has never been able to be more impactful and serve as the cornerstone to connecting communities. And remember, that many people will mute the TV, especially when it is on 24/7. So, the video imagery is key.

“Today digital and now linear TV advertising decisions are based increasingly on data, we like to say, “Data is the new creative.” Transaction speeds, cost efficiency and flexibility are more crucial at a time of rapidly developing events such as COVID-19. Access to linear TV programmatically will be the next wave, combining automation and data.”

9. Use Marketing Technology to Stay Connected to Customers When Working Remotely
Andrew Walker, CEO, Shift7 Digital

“Further enable your work-from-home marketing, sales and customer service teams through cohesive customer 360-degree views and data via your customer data platform. Help sales continue pipeline growth by feeding customer behavioral insights via your marketing automation system, while also implementing a well-designed lead scoring program to help them prioritize efforts.”

James JC Ramey, CEO at DeviceBits

“Marketing technology plans a huge role during this time. Brands can roll out new programs, innovative approaches and products but without getting the message to the customers, they will have low adoption and frustrated customers. Marketers can show how their brand is here during this challenge and can best deliver the customer value to consume. Marketing technology will drive the shift that we are seeing in every business through what has traditionally been lagging. Things like self-service, chatbots and asynchronous messaging will now take a front seat in the technology roadmap.”

10. Help Your Customers Navigate the Situation and Pivot as Necessary
Tony Kavanagh, CMO of Insightly

“Lastly, be helpful. The recently announced stimulus bill in the US is incredibly important, but many businesses don’t know what this means for them or how it benefits them. Do the research on their behalf and help your customers understand exactly the steps to take to avail of what could be a lifeline for them and their families. All the above can be helpful and is necessary in times like these for pivoting marketing strategies.”

Quick Fixes to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate

1. Control for visual attention

If you don’t think about how you manage attention on your site, users are going to have a rough time trying to find what they need. The elements on your pages are not of equal importance – why should they have equal visual weight?

You should drive visual attention to the elements that matter most.

Here are some things you can use:

  • Size – make the important elements larger without making them so large that the web site becomes tacky
  • Shape – if your template allows for irregular shapes, use irregular shapes like rounded corners on your calls-to-action (CTA). Irregular shapes attract more attention than straight lines
  • Color contrast – your theme should largely be one color, and the CTAs should have a high contrast with that primary color to attract more attention

Improve Website Conversion Rate Team Debello

2. Have a clear call-to-action

Every page should be intended for a specific kind of user intent.

  • People who are researching a product should go to your educational pages rather than your product details
  • Users looking for options should be driven to your category pages
  • Visitors who are near the bottom of the funnel but not ready to pull the trigger should go to your trial pages

The CTAs on those pages should match the objectives of the user. You need to think carefully about your buttons:

  • CTAs should complete an “I want to” statement (e.g. “I want to … complete order/download trial”)
  • CTAs should be adjusted to the stage of the customer journey (don’t immediately give people in the

3. Format copy for scannability

Humans are satisficers.

That is, on the web, we are not likely to seriously weigh options and then decide on a plan of attack. Rather, we are likely to examine one option, and if it’s good enough that we don’t see serious issues, we plow ahead without examining the other options.

What that means for web sites is that people scan a lot, read very little, and upon finding a good enough option, they’ll proceed to click without thinking if the other options you provide are a better fit for what they need. You need to have a web site that supports that behavior.

Your web site needs bullet pointsbolded headlines and sub-headlines, and good grouping, so it’s easy to scan.

4. Make your content easy to read

Everyone prefers simple language on the web, even experts and specialists. That means you need to make sure your content is written the right way:

  • Avoid jargon where possible
  • 5th grade reading ability is the sweet spot. Use tools that implement Flesch–Kincaid readability tests. Then, refine your content until you get at least close to 5th-grade-readable-content
  • If you have an international audience, limit the use of idioms

5. Limit choices

We can only use our short-term memory to remember 5-9 things. So, if you have a category list that spans 13 items, for example, you need to trim the options even at the cost of asking the users to make one more click.

Deep content where people need to make easy clicks are better for web usability than fewer, more difficult clicks.

If you make sure you don’t put a strain on the user’s memory load, your visitors will thank you.

6. Get users to trust you

If people don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. There are proven techniques to increase visitor trust:

  • Put trust symbols above the fold – a lot of companies have trust symbols, but lower on the page. Don’t make that mistake – if people can’t see your trust symbols easily, they might as well be invisible
  • Borrow trust – use your media mentions, and display logos of large companies who have bought your goods and services to increase trust
  • Social proof – if you have a large enough customer base, display the number of customers on your pages to take advantage of the bandwagon effect

Balsamiq’s home page has some persuasive social proof and borrowed authority, but they’re bound to be missed because they’re buried towards the bottom of the page.

7. If you have ads, make sure the headlines line up

For people running search ads, one of the most common mistakes is not aligning the content of the link on the ad to the headline of the page the ad goes to.

The headline needs to match the ad so you deliver on your promises. This means more work creating landing pages, but you’ll give your landing pages a higher shot at making visitors convert.

8. Make your pages focused

Outside your web site (on a Google result page, etc.), you need to be loud and compete for attention. Once people are on your web site, you need to quiet down and get people to focus on what they need:

  • Limit the use of visual distractions, especially stock images
  • Avoid moving elements like rotating banners

9. Earn the right to ask for information

Establish a relationship before you ask for information. When your business relies on signups as part of the conversion path, you can’t afford to be a greedy marketer. You need to stop sending people to 15-field forms before they’ve had the chance to get to know you:

  • Ensure you have a ready set of loss leader PDFs or trials that you can “trade” for user information
  • Users are not likely to give you information until you provide value, so don’t bombard them with signup forms immediately

10. Nudge users to convert using scarcity

If people are just about ready to convert, but they need a final nudge to act now, your pages can include the following elements:

  • Limited time offers – this can make people act sooner rather than later
  • Stock availability – for those items where the scarcity can make people act on that same visit


Improve Website Conversion Rate with Best Practices

Don’t rely on tests for everything. Your site needs to be sound before you run your tests. If your pages are terrible, your champion and challenger pages will both suck. And you’ll just find the more viable of two bad pages.

If you follow best practices, then run your tests, you’d be more likely to make your site succeed.

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at: wantmore@teamdebello.com

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at: wantmore@teamdebello.com