The Guide to Ethical Marketing in the Middle of a Crisis

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the crisis that has gripped the entire world these past few months. Nearly every industry has been affected by the new state of affairs, particularly the marketing industry. The landscape of marketing has drastically changed almost overnight, with marketers everywhere now having to walk a fine line between doing their job and being sensitive to the current situation. If you’re having difficulty navigating this new situation, here’s a handy guide to help you market ethically during this crisis.

Dialogue with your audience

The only way to be able to market to your customers in a way that’s respectful yet still gets the job done is to listen to your audience. There are various tools you can use to help facilitate the dialogue between you and your customers, such as a customer experience survey, social listening tools, and social media. Pay attention to what they’re saying, not just about you, but about your competitors. Look at what other brands are doing and how people are responding to it, and you’ll be able to glean tons of useful information that you can implement in your own marketing strategies.

Face the issue head-on

You might think that the best way to avoid controversy is to ignore the issue completely, but this only makes you look ignorant and unsympathetic to the plight of your audience. This causes your customers to lose trust in your brand, and they may opt to patronize another brand that’s more proactive when it comes to addressing the situation. It’s better to make a statement as early as possible and to keep learning and adjusting your message as you go along.

Archive your scheduled content

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If you’ve created and scheduled content for the rest of the year, it, unfortunately, has to go into your archives for the time being to make way for more relevant pieces of marketing. You don’t have to get rid of them completely — you can simply reschedule it to a later date or save it for future use. Don’t forget to examine all the content you’ve already put out and shelve any material that could be potentially read as insensitive or irrelevant.

Be empathetic and supportive

To craft an effective message, it’s helpful to remember your company values. Show your customers that you can deliver on your promises and that your company will be there for them during this turbulent period. Acknowledge their needs and how you can satisfy them. Just be sure to keep it respectful and empathetic. Avoid creating content that’s either too light-hearted or too depressing. Most importantly, don’t try to take advantage of the situation. You should never prey on your customers’ fears just to make a few sales. Your customers’ will see right through this and your relationship with them will take a hit.

While it won’t be easy to create content that can successfully toe the line between being respectful of the current situation while also doing your job to sell a product, it’s still possible to do so, as many companies have already shown. The key is to put your customers first and to avoid trying to profit off the situation. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a successful and ethical marketing strategy in place.

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