Reacting to global events in your marketing

It’s been a tough year or so for businesses. The effects of COVID-19 have been undeniable both in terms of public health and for the economy. However, it’s been the ones that have adapted and reconvened to fit what some were calling ‘the new normal’ at the height of the pandemic that have done well.

Instead of sitting back and accepting the situation as being a period of abject loss and bewilderment, many brands stepped up, some completely changed their trajectories, and some started anew. 

From the very nature of our work, many of our clients are thankfully forward-thinking, able to weather quick changes in the working environment and have been able to adapt to the prevailing conditions forced upon us all for the greater good. This is no simple adaptation; however, working from home was a challenge that many had to face early on and countless articles have been produced analysing the ins and outs of this new way of working. What’s more important here is how businesses we have seen have responded and continue to do so.

One of our clients, a chartered accountants, has done just that throughout the pandemic. All working from home and strict instructions to remain that way for the foreseeable, the firm has been stymied to gather people together for any purpose, let alone marketing. At the start of 2020, planning was in place for multiple events, filming sessions and much more that regularly provide marketing content and collateral. Thanks to restrictions, there’s been a shift from this model to simply adapting what they already had. 

Physical events became online seminars, podcast episodes were simply moved across to Zoom recordings, and an emphasis on messaging and relevant subjects has been the order of the day. Events that may have included three separate locations to match geographical areas of interest were simply brought down to one event online. This meant more flexibility for encouraging guest speakers as well as attracting more audience from further afield. 

In a similar way, podcasts, initially filmed in person and with the requisite audio equipment, took a more online approach, with episodes recorded via Zoom and other online platforms. This also meant a greater breadth of guests and a more reactive style of marketing. If an issue came up, such as welcoming workers back from furlough or looking at the tax implications of the emergency budget, material and content could be put together quickly and delivered to audiences quickly. 

This kind of reactive and rapid response marketing has meant no break in service for the client and a continued and growing presence in their chosen marketplace. As restrictions are eased in the coming months, a return to some of the activities will now be easier to pick up due to the continuation of content marketing throughout this time.

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Peter Watson | Managing Director

Peter Watson is the Managing Director and co-founder of Distract as well as Featured Group, which seeks to found and develop innovative brands and businesses.

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