2020 has certainly been a year no one was prepared for. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and every one of our daily lives and changed the way businesses operate, including how we market those businesses, and the pest control industry is no exception. As marketers, it is our job to navigate through uncertain times and adapt our messaging and campaigns to ensure we are engaging with our audience while also remaining sensitive during times of crisis. It is also important for marketers to remember that while this global crisis is drastically affecting businesses worldwide, it is, at the same time, significantly impacting consumers on a personal level as well. According to an ongoing study from Entrepreneur, 76 percent of consumers have recently picked up new habits, behaviors and routines in the wake of COVID-19, and of those, nearly all (89 percent) responded that they plan to keep some of those new habits beyond the pandemic.
Consumers are not the same as they were three months ago, one month ago, or even a week ago, and they will not be the same three months from now, either. As we all attempt to understand what this “new normal” is, marketers must be nimble and adapt to this constantly evolving audience. To help, we’ll take a look at some brands that were able to expertly navigate the current health crisis, and how marketers can take those learnings and implement them into their own campaigns and overall messaging strategy to better connect with consumers during this sensitive time.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
This pandemic is un-chartered territory for us all as we come together to socially distance and wear masks to protect not just ourselves, but each other. As a result, it is crucial consumers feel supported and understood by the brands they know and trust. According to Forbes, in December 2019, the best-performing emotion for marketers to invoke in order to engage with consumers was gratification, so many created marketing messages that had a call to action. However, as of April 2020, the best-performing emotions for marketers to invoke in consumers were gratitude and safety. As such, marketing messages that instill intimacy and trust between brands and consumer audiences have resonated with the public as they emphasize this overall feeling of solidarity.
In addition to the importance of solidarity, it is equally important for marketers to tell stories that matter and acknowledge the reality of the situation we are all living in. From healthcare professionals to teachers, grocery store clerks and utility workers, professionals across every industry have risked their lives on the frontlines to help see us through these trying times.
As members of the pest control industry, we are all responsible for helping to protect our customers’ health, food, properties, families and the quality of their lives by controlling pest problems in and around their homes. By highlighting the essential work your employees are performing during this time, your audience will start to see that they, and your company, are there for them no matter what, helping to foster an ongoing partnership built on trust and loyalty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world in its entirety. From our daily lives and routines, business operations, schools and the way our children learn, to the sports and entertainment world and beyond, it is safe to say nothing will be as it was before. As marketers, the way we react and adapt to these times of change and uncertainty and communicate with our consumer audiences is what defines us. By letting customers know you are listening to and supporting them and highlighting important and authentic stories relevant to current events, you will help engender that feeling of solidarity with your consumer base, setting you apart from competitors that are perhaps taking a backseat at this time.