As we all know, through 2020 many kiwis have found their basic needs, such as health and employment, being brought into threat. With many people anxious about their jobs and livelihoods in the current situation, it’s not surprising that the usual marketing efforts aren’t working as effectively as they used to, if at all.

It may seem like the world has slowed down, but there are still plenty of opportunities for growth — specifically when it comes to growing your brand reach and customer base. Even if your industry has taken a hit right now, you can double down on your branding and customer communication efforts to ensure that you have a solid base when things pick up again.

To quote Peter Field, ‘Brand advertising is not about profiting in recession, it is about capitalizing on recovery.*Ref 1

Below are some suggestions of ways to be more authentic and empathetic in how you’re interacting with your customers. At Active we have been listening to our customer’s needs, and understanding their objectives for years, in order to help them reach their marketing campaign goals. In this new era, marketers need to slightly shift their marketing tactics to really connect their brand with their target market.

Give your customers tangible brand experiences

Consumers want real tangible brand experiences. Drive the buzz and engagement in your brand by integrating a physical brand experience into your marketing mix. Sending your target market something physical will cause excitement and a tangible personal connection to your brand that just can’t happen on the same scale when every contact point is through the web. Giving small in a time like this helps to build some serious goodwill for your brand and strengthen your customer relationships, meaning it will help secure your place as their preferred supplier.

I was reading a Forbes article the other day that stated, “Studies have shown that direct mail advertising, which can provide greater short-term sales growth, increases during a recession.*Ref 2 Click here to read it

In general, during this time marketers have been turning to digital advertising to grab the attention of their target audience – which is a great tactic and very necessary. However, when every brand is working that same strategy and forgetting to reinforce their advertising messages with physical brand experiences, it doesn’t take long for the digital space to become overcrowded. Meaning this form of advertising becomes less effective in captivating their audiences on its own.

People are craving human connection

Show your target audience the human side of your brand. People are craving human connection and real human stories even more since the country spent time in the social distancing mode. Make your messaging count and show your customer you care on a more personal level. Increasing the generosity in your advertising messages and integrating gifts with quotes to send to customers is an effective way to do this. This also demonstrates that you are empathetic with the current buying climate they are in. Sending a message of hope and positivity makes a huge impact, with so many doomsday messages on the news. Simply let people know you’re thinking of them. Help them feel understood and appreciated and you’re brand will be a hard one to forget when things pick up again.

Any act of kindness like this that your brand does will be remembered with warm feelings, for a long time – and will help build up your business relationships and brand loyalty in the future.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

Go for the long term and short term gains in your marketing strategy with just one solution. The smart way demonstrate your brands authenticity and empathy in your marketing is by doing brand advertising in the form of a direct mail marketing. Back this up with your online marketing messaging and follow up your customer with a phone call to touch base.

To find out more about implementing direct mail into your marketing mix and how this effects the customers buying decision, read our blog on Getting new customers, by giving small first.



Ref 1: B2B Institute “Advertising in a Recession”

Ref 2: