Digital marketers the world over are in the middle of a bit of an existential crisis these days.
- COVID-19!! BAD!
- Self-isolate (good)
- Work from home (most of us already do that!)
- Many of our companies live in the digital space (no bricks and mortar!)
- All this use-tech-to-get-shit-done stuff means we might be able to save our businesses!
- Wait. Ew. Now is NOT the time to be a sleazy marketer.
So, how can you balance the need to keep your business running, and get employees paid, with marketing? It’s simple. You become the non-marketer.
What in the Hell is Non-Marketing?
Here’s one way you can get started practising non-sleazy, non-marketing.
For the love of GOD, if you have a system whereby you pre-populate automated social posts for yourself or clients – stop NOW – and turn that off.
Check the tone and voice of any social content you’ve pre-drafted. And – while it might take a bit of extra work – take your social sharing to a day-by-day schedule.
Understand that the news cycle re: this virus is out of control right now.
And it ranges from anywhere between the shock and disbelief of what is happening in Italy, to better news coming re: testing and efforts to flatten the curve.
People are stressed out, worried about family and loved ones, and they do not want to hear about your latest discount on party supplies or your “top tips when travelling.”
Don’t Be That Guy
I know, right? I can hear you saying “Oh COME ON! No one is social posting stuff like that, are they??”
They are. In fact, we’re thinking of starting a weekly series called “Brilliant? Or Barfy?”
Because friends, we STILL have our senses of humour through all of this.
There’s no point in naming and shaming right now, people are still learning, and these are unprecedented times. But….
- There was a tweet two days ago from some thrombosis society from somewhere, yadda yadda, warning folks about the correlation between flying and Deep Vein Thrombosis. I mean, seriously. Read the room, random Thrombosis society.
- A gift company tweeted today sharing “The State of Swag” – when chances are there won’t be many corporate, swag-sharing events in the near future. Never mind the fact that many cases of Covid-19 have originated at packed conferences and the like.
- And multiple big brands are pulling ads left, right and centre (after they’ve ran and gotten complaints!!) for promoting huge gatherings, high fives, sharing a soda, even “booking a cruise.”
Mistakes Happen – Just Don’t Let Them Happen Again
The point is this: if even the massive brands with huge budgets are cocking it up, you can cut yourself a little slack if something slips through.
But what you can’t do is ignore what’s happening and carry on with your marketing like everything’s normal. It’s not. And it might not be for a long time.
Consider using your corporate social media profile and your reach to actually help. Share good news stories. Promote local companies who are going out of their way to give back to others.
By all means, have a little fun (but have someone on staff who can check you in case what you’ve written or created is pushing “fun” too far!).
And yes. Market. We all have to work to keep the economy rolling as best we can. Just remember we’re all in this together. Be OVERLY sensitive to what’s going on – know your audience and act accordingly.
It’s better to err on the side of caution than, you know, to just err!
Let’s end with this fabulous quote via Salon.com:
“In “Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities,” Rebecca Solnit writes: “Inside the word ’emergency’ is ’emerge’; from an emergency new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.”’