Only 24% of consumers trust that brands are looking out for them when making business decisions during COVID-19. Are you?
As marketers, it’s difficult coping with the unknown. We pride ourselves on understanding the needs of our customers, making decisions based on data, and always knowing what our next move will be. As we work through this time of uncharted territory, it’s paramount that we stand together as a community with the single goal of providing the best possible experience for consumers around the globe. That’s why at Cheetah Digital, we are shifting our focus, speaking with the experts and reading through all of the insights being published to provide you with an arsenal of the best insights and ideas, so you can spend more time connecting with your consumers.
As you read through these learnings and resources, remember, COVID-19 has completely changed the consumer mindset. Just as marketers feel in a tailspin, consumers are facing uncertainty and struggling with feelings of disconnection and distrust, not to mention dealing with abrupt changes in lifestyle. As a brand, this is your opportunity to ensure everything you say and do is centered around your consumer’s well-being, and not just your brand’s financial gains. By putting your consumers first, you’ll find true advocacy on the other side.
Our favorite insights
To start you off, we’ve gathered the most valuable insights into a few bullets. If there are only a few sentences you have time to read today, make it these:
- It’s time to stop marketing like it’s business as usual. Don’t focus on the same revenue metrics you normally do, instead focus on ensuring your brand’s perception is a positive one that consumers will turn to long after the crisis has ended.
- Be empathetic. It’s time to tone down the advertising. Advertisers around the world are canceling their ads, including KFC, Hershey’s, and the obvious — Corona. People are in a panic, unable to find enough essentials to get them through what would be even a typical week, so to see an ad of a happy guy or girl dancing to the store to get jeans is not what they want or even need.
- Support consumers. This may seem obvious, but this goes beyond letting your everyday customers know you’re there for them, it means letting go of the focus on your bottom line. If there’s a glaring hole being left in the needs of the public that you can solve, take a leap. Brands like Peloton saw the mass amounts of gym-goers who are no longer able to follow their regular workout routine, so they have opened up their previous gated content for public consumption. Burger King recognized the impact of schools shutting down and how this could leave families struggling to feed their children, so they are offering free kid’s meals.
- Bring the world together. No, we are not saying to ignore the CDC, please stay home. Now’s the time to take our digital smarts and branch out. Build an online community. Our favorite example so far is Chipotle’s virtual lunch. They’re bringing Chipotle lovers together on Zoom while delivering their lunch for free! Libraries are putting together virtual story hours for kids, and zoos are even letting you do virtual breakfasts with sloths — yes, we researched this and it’s real.
- If you don’t have agile marketing in place already, get to it. To form an agile marketing process, you need to focus on two key areas. The first is your brand perception and your consumers’ needs. Keep your consumers as the guiding star of your message and your brand’s perception will always follow. The second focus area is on cross-functional collaboration. Make sure every department could possibly interact with your consumers is on the same page.
So, while we are facing the unknown, it doesn’t mean we can’t be prepared. Below, we’ve curated a list of our favorite blogs that we’re bookmarking for this week and beyond. We hope they help you as much as they’ve helped us.
Guidance from experts
- Why we love this: This blog features a study by Forrester that brings metrics to the forefront of the consumer first strategy
- Why we love this: Forrester Research Directors go in-depth on where and how you should adjust your CX based on today’s landscape.
- Why we love this: Forrester measured the emotional toll COVID-19 is taking on consumers and outlines the best ways to help counteract the decline.
- Why we love this: Gartner reviews the value of digital engagement, and outlines examples of how to keep your customers engaged while they are at home. Of course we love this because Cheetah Experiences is working on this with our customers right now!
- Why we love this: Gartner hits the nail on the head for putting customers first. In this article you’ll read about why your actions should go beyond just a message to your consumers about your hygiene.
- Why we love this: This is our favorite thing to have on our screens right now. Check out the ways brands are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic and spark your creativity!
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Kayla Siegmeier manages Cheetah Digital’s client-related content and strategic communications along with client advocacy and analyst relations. She has spent her career in B2C marketing with a focus on the development and execution of strategic loyalty programs, direct response, and brand marketing. She now brings that experience and passion for analyzing member behaviors to drive loyalty and engagement to Cheetah Digital, helping showcase the value of the Customer Engagement Suite to leading marketers through the stories of our clients. When not discussing the value of developing emotional loyalty, Kayla can be found enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two children.