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  • Mark Kalkwarf

Lessons Learned About Digital Marketing During the Corona Crisis

We’re a few months into the new digital marketing landscape spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic. Recovering from the economic downturn is going to take time, as we discussed earlier, but what can we learn from what we’ve seen so far?

#1 Be sensitive to shifting changes and needs

If digital marketers and the CRE industry learned anything from this, it’s that things can change quickly. Not quarterly, or monthly, but within days. And that pace of change is not going to stop for awhile. got the message and got it fast. They pulled a TV campaign they had running in March showing Captain Obvious jammed in an airplane, shaking hands, touching other people–all things we stopped doing with social distancing. They replaced it with a new campaign embracing the new environment, including a tag line about how Captain Obvious will be social distancing for a while.

And the abrupt changes aren’t likely to stop anytime soon. Now that states are rolling back restrictions–all in different ways with different timing–anything can happen. There’s speculation some are rolling back too soon, and these states will see a spike in cases forcing a second shutdown. Another voiced concern from some sources is a potential second wave later in the year.

We don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s why marketers have to be flexible, keep listening, and keep adjusting.

#2 Lean hard on digital tools

People really got digital in the last few months. A Statista survey in March 2020 found 43 percent reported they would spend more time on social media because they were sheltering in place. It’s our nature to want to connect, but when we couldn’t do it face-to-face, naturally we turned to our digital worlds. Apps like TikTok, Duo, and MarcoPolo saw a surge in use. Our communities became more involved in groups and websites like Nextdoor. In the CRE space, we saw the rise of virtual tours to conduct business.

During shifting times, we’ve got to lean on our digital tools to maintain conversations with our circles. Adopting the latest CRE technology, whether it’s a tool like VR or AR or a smart building tech, keeps you competitive.

#3 Listen and be of service

We’re all juggling major concerns. With are cord unemployment rate, everyone’s wondering what companies are going to survive. Even at stable brands, people wonder if their job is at risk as part of company restructuring and spending reductions. Individuals and brands are evaluating their future plans. Just look at CRE news feeds, and you’ll see IPOs scrapped and deals canceled.

With all the uncertainty, it’s no surprise around 64 percent of surveyed US consumers felt depressed, anxious, or both over the last few weeks, according to a McKinsey survey.

Now, more than ever, it’s so important to have personalized connections and conversations with consumers. The companies that are leading with empathy and address customer needs are strengthening relationships. Think about how you can serve their needs. Examples: Adobe making Creative Cloud free to K-12 institutions, breweries pivoting to making hand sanitizer, and media outlets offering free access to their coronavirus content.

Your digital marketing

The ATYPICAL team is here to support you and the CRE industry. We always want to hear what it is you need to be successful at your work. We will get through this together.


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