The corona virus has certainly affected how companies have been marketing their products and services in recent days. Some businesses are wary of spending too much on marketing campaigns that may not fulfill their full potentials due to the decrease in consumer activity. “Why not invest marketing budgets when things are back to normal again right?”

And while a visit to Jewel Changi might seem to imply that the crowds are back, fact is there is a portion of the demographic that are opting to stay away from crowds to keep from getting infected by COVID-19. Businesses that heavily rely on walk-in patrons certainly have been affected with a noticeable decrease in foot-traffic, something which retail and F&B outlets rely heavily on. Moreover, Singaporeans have just been advised to defer non-essential travel for 30-days. This piece of news might signal a growing pandemic, leading more people to avoid crowds.

But of course not all businesses are affected, in fact some are booming. Online retail and food delivery businesses have been up to their necks with orders recently, and CNBC has also reported an “uptick in online grocery and food delivery”, and things are more or less the same here in Singapore. This is because people are spending more time indoors along with a very much intact penchant for online shopping and taste for food variety. The convenience of mobile apps give us ready access to a wide variety of creature comforts from home, and not to mention an array of different cuisine.

“so naturally we are granted a less crowded marketplace…”

What does it mean for companies with business models that involve mingling of crowds and human interaction though? To start off, the usual band of fierce competition seems to be absent, making the market place so much quieter. Which begs the question “To advertise, or not to advertise?”, does it make sense to allocate resources on marketing during this time. Well, one thing’s for sure, the coronavirus has led many businesses to conserve marketing resources because of the uncertain times, so naturally we are granted a less crowded marketplace with less touting.

“So if you are looking to gain more visibility during this period… rules are explicitly different.”

Marketing communications during this time should focus in tending to the current needs of customers such as legit concerns over the current virus outbreak. So if you are looking to gain more visibility during this period, note that rules are explicitly different. For example, letting customers know what measures is the company taking to mitigate the spread of the virus while still carrying on with operations would keep communications highly relevant while still letting customers know that it’s business-as-usual.

Even though we are in the thick of COVID-19, consumerism is not going to come to a complete standstill, people will still need to book hotels, make restaurant reservations and acquire necessities. That is why it’s important to present your brand as a clear option to customers should the need arise. And of course while we are at it, it’s important to refrain from plainly stimulating sales with hooks and lures that may backfire instead. In times of unrest, it’s good for businesses to develop ways to address customer concerns, while still being able to cater to the interests of the company.

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