Companies should be focused on their CRM strategies all year round, not just when a crisis like COVID19 strikes and impacts business as usual. Studies have proven that consumers want to buy products and support businesses that give back to the community. But even if your brand is late to the “doing good” party, cause marketing for the Coronavirus is a good place to start! And next generation AI-powered consumer and market intelligence is your guide.
Bettering society is part of most corporations’ social responsibility mission statement. And the benefits of doing so go beyond helping the world, offering:
- Brand Awareness
- Reputation Enhancement
- Customer Loyalty and Trust
- Increased ROI
And right now, that last bullet is pretty key for most businesses – particularly as it comes when consumers are in a financial pickle and many are conserving their cash.
Corona Puts Consumers in a Pickle
The Coronavirus is impacting the world around us, with events being cancelled and social gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people. And with folks finally heeding the 6-foot social distancing rule, brands are being hit hard.
However, while a good number of consumers may not be making purchases that they want to be making, they’re making more frequent purchases they need to be making. At least in theory. What once would have shown little to no search results is now showing that people fighting over and panic buying these necessity products.
And many brands aren’t handling things much better, as they turn silent for fear of offending frantic consumers. Anything they do put out there better be authentic and helpful or consumers will likely react negatively.
Consumers Are On Edge
Many people are being laid off from their jobs and are conserving money as they fear cash will run out. So, with unnecessary purchases for some being few and far between, how are brands surviving? What tactics should they be putting in place so they remain top-of-mind when consumers are comfortable with spending again?
With so many retailers temporarily shutting their doors due to COVID-19, they are turning to cause-related marketing to stay relevant in their industries. Because, right now, there’s lots of need to be found in pretty much every community:
Marketing for a Cause
There are lots of examples happening right now – too many for brands to ignore. And efforts that should inspire hope and a desire to do the same. Companies like Kroger, Hormel, Target, Mondolez International, Walmart, and Macy’s are giving employees bonuses and raises for being committed to serving their customers.
Ford is helping to combat the spread of COVID-19 by teaming up with 3M and GE Healthcare, under a partnership code-named “Project Apollo.” Together, they will be producing equipment to help protect first responders and essential workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.
And their work is not going unnoticed by consumers. Almost as quickly as this mission was announced, consumers took to social media to show their gratitude, loyalty and appreciation.
And then we see the ‘always on top of online trends,’ Aviation Gin. Through May 1, Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin will be donating 30% of their online sales proceeds to the United States Bartender’s guild as part of their “Tip Your Bartenders” program.
And we see tweets thanking Reynolds as well as asking where consumers can make purchases:
Beverage brewing giant, Anheuser-Busch is doing their part in helping fight COVID-19 by producing and distributing hand sanitizer, a very in demand product currently, throughout the U.S.
And we also see:
- LVHM donated $2.2 million to the Red Cross Society of China and ordering 40 million face masks from China to donate to France
- Richemont donated $1.4 million to the Red Cross Society of China, while Kering donated $1.1 million
- Louis Vuitton launched a cause marketing campaign – “Love has no fear” on Weibo where many Chinese brand ambassadors and influencers recorded videos of encouragement, generating 4.2 billion views in a week
- Haus Labs, a cosmetic line by Lady Gaga, is donating 20% of a week’s worth of sales to food banks in NYC and LA
It goes to show that brands can retain (or even build) customer love and loyalty during a crisis – even a pandemic, with a little ingenuity and a lot of caring. It makes sense, as long-term brand health is about so much more than the numbers.
What’s More Important Than Sales?
Now more than ever, brands need to make sure their customers feel appreciated. It’s time to evoke emotions and make personal connections beyond the products or services you are selling.
Customers with emotional relationships with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend the company at a rate of 71%, rather than the average rate of 45%. And a Mintel study shows that a company’s charitable giving affects nearly 73% of Americans’ purchase decisions, while 84% of consumers say it’s important that a company supports a charitable cause.
Cause marketing is here to stay, that’s for sure. And in the coming weeks, brands have an opportunity to really dig in and build loyalty if they can participate and help out in any way – even just to create a space to share concerns.
When you reach out for a demo, we’ll show you how you to find the right cause for your brand to support, based on the associated interests of your target audience. It’s all in the insight!