Get off the Pandemic Marketing Bus with Your Messaging

get off pandemic marketing bus

How many “Covid-19 Pandemic” marketing messages do you have in your inbox?  At this moment, I have 134 with “Covid-19” in the subject line, and another 78 with the word “Pandemic”. As I skimmed through a bunch of them, I found that most don’t provide any information whatsoever about the virus. Instead, they are using a reference to the virus to call attention to an offer, a sale, a program, an event…. you get the drift.

Makes sense, given what we’re living through, right?  Well, maybe – but for a shorter period than you may think. It may have been attention grabbing in March or April – but it probably gets ignored a lot now. How many of these emails have you deleted in your own inbox lately?  I read a good piece back in March titled: Covid 19 Messaging: Dos and Don’ts.  It made lots of great points, including this one:

“Remember that COVID-19 isn’t a trending hashtag that brands can attach themselves to. This isn’t a chance to pitch a new campaign. This isn’t the time for “going viral” puns. This is a serious crisis affecting very many people. Don’t use the novel coronavirus as a marketing opportunity.”

Forget Pandemic Marketing, Instead Get Relevant or Get Deleted

Here’s the thing:  messaging needs to be relevant to your buyers now more than ever. Unless your offering is about how to cope with Covid, or how to manage Covid or how to cure Covid, it’ not buyer-relevant. Blunt statement? Yup. But the fact is that we are all facing it in our daily lives. It’s part of the “new normal”, another recurring message that is out there (and disclaimer – I’ve used that one). Are Covid 19 references directly relevant to the solution you are offering to your buyers? Many companies are looking at their stalled pipelines and trying to figure out how to get back in front of buyers. My advice: get off the Pandemic Marketing Bus because it isn’t differentiating at this point. Focus on figuring out how to be as relevant as possible.

Define a True Message Strategy

So instead of just cutting and pasting “Covid” into your content (okay, that was a little snarky!), think through what the impact of Covid has been on your target audience?  What is harder or easier or different that you can address?  Here are some questions to consider to help you plan out your strategy.

message strategy questions pandemic marketing

Think Before You Jump

I am already starting to see “recovery” messaging at the same time that I am still seeing “pandemic” marketing messages. How confusing is that?  The probability is that the pandemic is going to be present until next year, and recovery is going to be a lot slower than any of us want.  Everyone is hoping Q4 2020 will make up for the losses in Q1 and Q2. I’ll tell you what: don’t wait to find out if that will happen. Figure out a smart pivot now that has a longer shelf life.  Don’t rely on Covid for marketing.  Pivot towards your buyer and get super relevant now

Need some ideas to get you started with a new sales message? Check out our recent webinar: Making a Value Proposition Pivot in the “New Normal”

value proposition pivot infographic 1

Download a free infographic: Value Prop Pivot Tips.

lisa dennis value proposition messaging strategisit

About the Author Lisa Dennis

Lisa Dennis is president and founder of Knowledgence® Associates. She is an international marketing and sales consultant, trainer, writer and strategist. Her forte is in helping organizations develop and integrate customer-focused value propositions into the marketing and sales mix of B2B companies across a broad range of industries.

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