In the current pandemic situation – transparency and agility is the need of the hour. Brands need to display these to stand out in the competition and achieve customer excellence

Consumers aren’t interested in getting associated or engaged with brands who are tone-deaf to the global crisis. As they are adapting to this new daily reality, they expect the brands also to do the same. Marketers must re-evaluate and re-analyze advertising strategies, messaging, and budgets accordingly to deliver thoughtful and transparent communications to their clients.

How The Pandemic will Change CMO Strategies- Who Moved Their Cheese???

To analyze how consumers are viewing social advertising in the current situation, Smartly.io surveyed the U.S. adults to check what they experience across social media platforms and how that is impacting and shaping their opinion about brands. This research revealed that consumers have already noticed a shift in their marketing strategies. They are even open about changing the brand messaging—83% confirmed that they want brands to address this pandemic directly in their communications.

How the brand approaches this crisis will define its public perception for years to come. For marketing teams looking forward to using this time to build and nurture meaningful relationships with consumers, below are three key points to consider:

Address and combat the situation directly

Adapting to the situation head-on, being transparent, and handling consumer concerns, has proved as the best approach for brands. About half of the respondents (46%) confirm that they are more willing to engage with ads due to the current pandemic crisis. It is in no way wise to let this opportunity go waste.

Specifically, a more significant majority (about 83%) of respondents believe that they would like to see their brands react to the pandemic in their ads with messaging about the preventative measures like social distancing (28%), products useful to the stay-at-home economy (31%) and philanthropy (24%). The company’s image and role in the market post-pandemic depend on how well they can help the customers through the current challenges.

With an evolving humanitarian mindset around the globe, consumers are more interested in investing in brands that are more purpose-driven and committed to fighting the pandemic. Brands are taking this shift in pace – 38% of the respondents confirmed seeing more ads from brands telling them to stay in-house in the last 30 days, and another 37% verified seeing more ads from brands related to wellness and health.

Consumers are spending more time scrolling

Social media consumption is at its peak with an all-time high, and brands are increasingly present on social channels for customer communication. The study has revealed that the most popular platforms are usually visually driven. A majority that is 79% of respondents are using Facebook, 46% are using Instagram, while 44% are using YouTube. It also highlighted that the most popular ad formats are photo carousels (27%) and video ads (29%).

Brands should prioritize authentic and thoughtful copy, and creative that grabs attention to the pandemic situation. During days when people are the most likely to engage, it’s crucial to align the current marketing strategies to both brand loyalty and engagement.

B2B Marketing and COVID-19 – Minimal Budget Shift When Business Returns To Normal?

Quick optimization along with thoughtful creatives

While the pandemic badly hits specific industries, others have already established themselves as essential to society. Respondents selected the grocery category they are most open to purchasing based on online ads. Also, 41% of respondents confirmed that they would spend around $100 on items they witnessed on social media. Offering hyper-relevant products with proper messaging is a way that brands can showcase awareness to reduce friction in the purchase journey – is the way forward.

For advertisers, the current focus should be to provide consumers with products aligning it to the reality and showcase that in the most authentic way possible. COVID-19 has made one thing for sure—now is the time to shine in the eyes of the customers and not shy away from addressing the current crisis.