Corona crisis: Why you need to advertise now!

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Christian Waske, April 9, 2020

Corona crisis: Why you need to advertise now!

Reading time: 6 minutes

Corona, SARS CoVid 2 and CoVid-19 will be the (in)words of 2020. The pandemic is not only keeping politicians and the healthcare system on their toes. Social life and the economy are also experiencing a storm whose extent could neither be estimated nor whose consequences can be calculated. However, on the basis of some key figures, we can infer various options for action, which we do not want to withhold from you. 

In summary, we elaborate three facts in this article:

  1. "In the crisis is acquisition!" - Advertise now! 
  2. Customers are not gone. They are just inactive or "somewhere else" at the moment.
  3. "We have to redo and digitize everything!" is one way, but not always the right way.

1. Advertise during the Corona crisis instead of "just sitting it out".

Please do not misunderstand us: Far be it from us to exploit the current situation. We see people around the world buying up everyday products and those from the medical technology sector in incredible quantities in order to resell them for 5 to 10 times the usual market price. This is not clever, but a cheek. This has nothing whatsoever to do with entrepreneurship and ethics. 

More importantly, such behavior is not only lacking in solidarity, but also very short-sighted. Sure, you can make a quick buck through such business practices, but they won't last. You are better off spending your time building and expanding something long-term. 

The basis of an advertising strategy during the Corona crisis

You know that emotions such as fear and greed are an important element of marketing as well as sales. You can use them to consolidate your positioning in the long term and gain a strategic advantage over your competitors. For this, we need to make some basic considerations:

  1. The Corona crisis brought social life to a virtual standstill due to various (economic and political) processes. As a result, companies were closed, production and sales chains were interrupted, and customer contacts were cut off.
  1. Many companies have no reserves. They have to keep their heads above water with grants and loans to at least secure their existence.
  1. Parents in the home office currently have to increasingly take care of their children. They are torn away from their usual working environment and (presumably) perform less. 
  1. Unanswered questions, possible existential fears and uncertainty about the next days and weeks drain people's personal as well as financial resources.

What do we conclude from this?

Many people are currently increasingly concerned with generalizing questions, such as: 

  1. How do I survive (existential issues)?
  2. What could happen (potential issues)? 

Less attention is paid to questions that require more detailed answers:

  • What will definitely happen?
  • How are my competitors currently reacting?
  • How do I reach my customers?

The market has been freed from competitors due to the Corona crisis, as they have (or see) other problems than strategic approaches. This means you have an outstanding starting position to address your (existing) customers via targeted advertising and thus stay in their minds.

Therefore, be brave and dare to invest in smart marketing strategies now, true to the motto: 

In the crisis is acquisition! #incrisisisacquisition

Trends also emerge during the Corona crisis

Identical conditions or "natural economic rules" apply to all markets worldwide. It can be generalized that trade in products and services never comes to a standstill. Even barter transactions fall under it. This means that there is always a supply, a demand, a resulting price and "sellers and customers". People do not stop wanting to fulfill needs during a crisis. It follows from this: 

Customers are not gone. At most, they are less active or elsewhere.

This finding is central, as two others can be derived from it:

New customer acquisition is possible even during a crisis or even recession.

You can - and should - still court customers.

Let's look at some numbers together. 

Corona crisis: Why you need to advertise now, Golden Web Age GmbH


People (customers) are searching Google less for content on travel (Travel), transportation (Transportation) or real estate (Real Estate). In these areas, the flow of customers may also be declining. At the same time, other subject areas are growing within the scope of their interest, such as media (Media) and finance (Finance). 

2. advertise cleverly now and secure your customers

The background lies in the changed living conditions. During the current exit and travel restrictions, citizens are not allowed to go on vacation abroad. Accordingly, the number of requests on the subject is also decreasing. The reverse conclusion, people stay at home, opens up the question of entertainment possibilities. This is mostly answered by media consumption, which is why this area in particular is in greater demand. 

The people are the same. They are interested in other areas of life due to an external circumstance; i.e., the customers have not left, but are simply inactive or "somewhere else" at the moment. 

It can be assumed that quite a few companies believe that this is a reason to cut their marketing and advertising budgets. That would be or is fatal. Since your customers are there for the long term, you should also stay in contact with them. To do this, place ads that may be cheaper due to lower competition. 

-> We will be very happy to advise you on which ad placement options are currently advisable. 

Social media campaigns can also lead to people's lasting memories or even generate new customers. At the moment, it's not just a question of profitability to invest in your own positioning. It is also a question of courage. As Warren Buffett said (to paraphrase):

"Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." 

Warren Buffett

Excursus: Why online advertising is particularly favorable now

Ad prices work just like any other prices: They are determined by supply and demand. However, it's like an auction. Let's look at this using Facebook as an example. 

Facebook makes itself available as an advertising platform. Let's assume there are 100 providers for the same product, but a stagnant number of people who can be reached with it. The higher the number of those who want to advertise, the higher Facebook can set the price mark for ads. 

We are currently seeing a reversal of the situation. More and more people are online and spending their time on a social media platform like Facebook. At the same time, companies are cutting their advertising budgets. This means Facebook has much less demand for ads and an oversupply of reachable customers.

This means: supply > demand -> price decreases. 

Expressed in numbers: Facebook calculates, among other things, with a so-called CPM value (cost-per-mille). This value indicates how high the amount of money invested must be in order to produce 1000 impressions. In January of this year, the amount was around €3.70. In the meantime, an average value of 2.55€ could be determined. That is a loss of just under 31.1%. 

Now, just before Easter, people are additionally preparing to not work from home either. So they are likely to have even more time to spend online. 


3. May makes everything new

The Corona crisis is causing many business sectors to rethink. Educational institutions are closed and are not allowed to hold seminars in classrooms. As a result, video conferences are switched on. The same applies to concerts, lectures and even conferences run exclusively through them. For these sectors, digitization is a way to circumvent or even solve problems. 

The situation is different for business models that rely on proximity to people. Tattoo artists, cosmeticians and hairdressers can only do their (main) work if people are present. Craftsmen also depend on being able to operate on site. So is a digital solution for these professions also conceivable? - Yes. At least in part.

Regardless of the company's purpose, it makes sense to have a presence online. Website, Google My Business listing and a marker on Google Maps should be updated regularly (or set up at all). But that's not all. Everyone(!) can adapt part of their activity to the situation through targeted online measures and thus successfully advertise even during the Corona crisis.

Digitization of processes, not of companies

Many marketers try to sell (potential) customers that a complete digitization of a company a) makes sense and b) is necessary. This is wrong. The activation of isolated marketing measures depends on the customer group to be served. If your target customers are not active on social media channels, you won't reach them via this either. So why go down that road? 

The answer is found in the question: 

Do you want to retain customers or/and reach new customers?

The development of a marketing strategy always depends on its purpose or objective. Let's take a look at two examples. 

Example 1:

A bike store on Chemnitz (Saxony) specializes in downhill bikes and mountain bikes. Customers normally come to the store, discuss their concerns and can either give their bikes for repair, pick them up, buy spare parts or purchase a new bike. 

Currently, customer contact is prohibited for business operators. So what to do? The mechanics were resourceful. They advertised on their website and on some social media channels that they could accept and hand over bikes contactlessly. The order is placed via an automated mailing form or by phone. 

Customers are given an appointment to drop off their bike. Numbered combination locks are available for this purpose outside the entrance to the workshop. The customer locks his bike to the lock provided in advance, the code of which is also transmitted to him automatically or by telephone. The process is repeated for pickup. 

Example 2:

A permanent makeup artist from Aschaffenburg was surprised by the consequences of the Corona crisis, as were many other individual entrepreneurs. From one day to the next, contacts were prohibited and thus an indirect professional ban was imposed. But she remembered two basic aspects: 

  1. The contact restrictions have a calculable or at least foreseeable end.
  2. Customers still want to feel comfortable.

She is currently acting accordingly. She is offering her network vouchers for fixed dates in May via Facebook and WhatsApp, because she assumes: "At some point, the exit restriction has to end. And even if not in May, then in June. But appointments I can make." Likewise, she posts offers in status updates and via Facebook as well as Instagram stories for cosmetics that can be purchased via online store. 

What you can and should digitize now

The examples show which aspects of a business can currently (and generally) be handled digitally: On the one hand, a part of customer acquisition or sales as well as appointments and, on the other hand, customer management or customer care

Please consider which process chains are active in your company and how they work. We would be happy to consider this with you and help you find and implement a strategy to keep your business running during the Corona crisis. To do this, write to us or get in touch by phone. We will be happy to assist you. 

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Christian Waske

Managing Director & CRO expert

Christian is Managing Director of Golden Web Age GmbH and an expert in search engine optimization. With his knowledge, he has already been able to place many well-known companies on page 1 of Google.

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