Quick Tips / May 26

Captain’s Blog: Chapter 8 – Covid 19 & Messaging

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As we go through the 11th week of COVID-19, I thought I would detail how iFrog is thinking about messaging for our clients.  It is so important for today’s marketing solutions companies to help steer clients through this pandemic and help them position their brand for success throughout the process.

You’ve heard of solving for x.  Our “x” was the plan for when states shut down in-store retail.  In many states, they could still conduct online business through appointments, sales delivery mechanisms and service centers, which were still mostly deemed essential.  During this period, we told our clients to “pause.”

Pause (Respond/Retain)

    • Employ a maintenance plan
    • Identify core audiences - service, expiring lease, etc.
    • 1:1 communication channels only featuring more personalization 
      • Messenger
      • Email
      • Text messages
      • Chat, etc. 
    • Budget (to normal): 25-50%

Key considerations for Pause (Respond/Retain):

  • What communication methods are you using to make your existing clients feel safe?
  • What areas are most impacted by the crisis?  Is it regional, national, or do some areas not feel the impact of the crisis?

As we move into the state of recovery with certain restrictions being lifted, it is critical that both customers and employees feel safe and are in a safe environment.  Recovery is broken down into 2 parts, the first part is the initial recovery where there is gradual restoration of marketing.  Then, as the recovery gains momentum, we deploy a more aggressive marketing plan aimed at gaining share.  We coin this phase “caution.”

Caution (Recover/Ramp Up) Part 1

    • Listen to pre-recovery indicators (1-14 days)
    • Identify core audiences + all in-market consumers
    • 1:1 channels + expanded audience reach
    • Budget (to normal): 60-80%

Caution (Recover/Ramp Up) Part 2

    • Business returns to normal
    • Flood the market with advertising ensuring the right message
    • Compete for market share
    • Budget (to normal): 100-150%

Key considerations for Caution (Recover/Ramp Up):

  • What key strategic, financial, and operational planning is needed over the next 18-24 months?
  • How do new trends in epidemiology, society, technology, policy, and the environment impact advertising and marketing?
  • Full economic recovery is estimated for the first half of 2021, but rebounds in late 2020 (best scenario).
  • Has a new SWOT analysis emerged from before the crisis?

Finally, we get to the “go” phase as the new normal settles in and industry comes back in a big way.  This area of marketing has a specific focus on target audiences around online retailing, which will increase immensely during this time.  Honestly, increased online retailing will become the new normal. 

Go (Thrive/New Reality)

  • High customer expectations are the new normal
  • Personalization is everything
  • Put the audience first or overspend
  • Digital retailing is a condition of doing business

Key considerations for Go (Thrive/New Reality):

  • Which of your previous expectations need to be rethought?  What prospects that seemed unlikely or years away could be accelerated?
  • What might consumers value in particular in these different worlds?  How might that vary across key variables like region and demographics?
  • What are the biggest threats to your current business in these worlds?
  • What new providers, companies, business models, and ecosystems might emerge?
  • Which existing companies are best positioned to succeed?
  • What capabilities, relationships and assets are important in these worlds?

We built out this messaging with the very real possibility that recovery may not be a straight line and that we may have a setback or two.  Our messaging strategy had to account for all scenarios.  

At the end of the day, at iFrog, we are continuously working with our clients and partners to make certain they are ready to maximize any of the environments that they find themselves in so they can prosper.  It is important that we think about the consumer and their needs at all times.  We need to help our clients stay in touch with their customers with the appropriate message.  The feedback from our clients has been outstanding and we will continue to work 24/7 in guiding them through this pandemic and onto great prosperity.  Damn, this whole situation still goes back to the first thing we all learned in business school – right message, right person and at the right time.

Pause, caution, go!  No matter the phase, we are here!  Hit me up 24/7 at kt@ifrog.com to discuss how iFrog can help your business prosper.

As always, stay safe and be a pirate!  #ifrogmarketing, #pirates, #oneteamonemission

Keith Tomatore


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