The right questions to ask when everything in the world seems to be going wrong
Visit a Website, flick on the TV or Radio, or consult any form of social media and it’s clear that one story is dominating all forms of media, on all channels and in every cycle: The Coronavirus (Covid-19)
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a Global Pandemic; The US Government has instituted a ban on flights to and from Europe; The financial markets/exchanges have been halted; professional sports play has been suspended – and this just in….Mt. Everest is closed (seriously). This thing has literally gone viral in every sense of the word.
There is already an abundance of information on the virus itself and how to mitigate risk associated with its transmission. For the purpose of this article we will focus on some of the information you need to help address your customers very natural concerns and reduce the impact of the coronavirus on your business.
For reliable, timely, objective, and hype free information associated with the pandemic- Wired Messenger recommends consulting Health Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Think Globally Locally, Act Locally
It’s early days yet but the economic impact of the COVID-19 will be global and this raises a host of interesting and important questions. However, if you are like us here at Wired Messenger (and probably every other human on the planet) your questions are more “local” in nature with the #1 being “How will the Covid-19 virus pandemic affect me?”
Context is everything
As marketers, considering the audience is the cornerstone of communicating effectively with customers. As such, you should be thinking about the questions your customers are asking themselves in the context of your business or service and to the extent feasible, proactively addresses those questions.
Moreover, this information should be current, relevant to the questions at hand, and updated with the frequency and pace that is right for your customers and for your business. Fortunately, there is a fast, simple and cost effective method to communicate this key information: Email Marketing.
Coronavirus may be a new challenge to your business but there is no need to throw out the old rule book. Simply treat this issue like you would any other: with a well planned, ethical and responsible email marketing campaign. And that all starts with the questions your customers are already asking.
For example, customers who patronize a grocery chain might be interested to know answers to the following questions: Is the hot bar/salad bar still open? Do you have hand sanitizer in stock? Can Coronavirus be spread via unwashed produce? What steps are you taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among your employees?
OR – Customers who frequent a retail chain that purveys textiles might be interested to know the answers to questions such as “Can I still try on clothes in the store?” “what is your sick/work policy related to your customer facing employees?
Check out some examples of customer emails being sent out currently
It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom
With crisis can also come ethical opportunity. For example, for resturants. Customers might be asking “the government is telling us to use social distancing as a way of mitigating the spread of the virus. Is going to your restaurant a good idea?” Our advice to them? Run a promotion and incentives for their take-out and delivery services as a way of catering to their customers and their concerns in a socially responsible manner.
The whole point here is that there is an opportunity to continue the ongoing conversation with your customers and reinforce your company’s identity as a prepared, thoughtful and responsible member of the local community while adapting and still driving business.
To do that quickly, easily and without major expense we recommend that you design and execute a well thought out and ethical campaign given the circumstances of today.
- Consider the context
- Ask the relevant questions your customers are already thinking about
- Answer those questions early and often
- Find the ethical opportunity in the crisis
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.