Comfort Marketing: A Return to Basics

It’s a stressful time to work in marketing. But here’s the good news: You don’t actually have to overthink in order to compensate for the challenges introduced by the coronavirus.

In fact, for marketers and consumers alike, this is a time for returning to basics. Everyone is seeking the comforts of the familiar. That means that your approach to promoting products, services, and brands can actually be simplified. People are responding well to clear-cut, concise, honest messages.

You don’t need to talk exclusively about the pandemic—or even mention it at all. You don’t need to deviate broadly from your original campaigns and marketing plans, as long as they don’t seem completely uninformed or dismissive of the current climate.

We’re calling this “comfort marketing.” It has the same premise as “comfort food,” which is something known and safe. It’s something you turn to when you’re sick or there’s additional stress in your life. In marketing, that might mean steering away from experimental videos and interactive digital ads. It might mean returning to your best-recognized brand logo and tagline. It might mean that your strategy is to simply explain the benefits of your product and try to share those notes with the people who will make best use of it—nothing more and nothing less. It might mean working with vendors you trust, and media outlets you have an established relationship with. It might mean keeping your marketing in-house or working with vetted, experienced partners.

Remember: Breaking through the noise was tricky before. Today, it can be just as hard to break through the silence. People will veer toward what they know, rather than try something new.

This can be accomplished through either traditional marketing or digital marketing.

For example, you can still place radio ads as long as you’re aware that the demographic has shifted. Essential workers are the ones still making their daily commutes, though the classic rush hour might have slightly changed to accommodate shift workers. Then again, there’s also digital radio and podcasts, which people are listening to at home and during their walks outside. So if you were planning a script to advertise your client on the radio, you don’t need to entirely cancel those plans. In fact, a radio ad that uses the classic tones, messaging, and formula might be really reassuring to someone driving to a high-stress job or important errand who wants to forget that things are difficult right now—if only for a few moments. Maybe a little joke or jingle is the perfect answer. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel if we know our audience and our craft.

In business for nearly three decades, Mad 4 Marketing knows all about traditional and digital marketing—and we have mastered the technique of blending them to strike a perfect balance.

Contact us to learn more about how these recipes can create the “comfort marketing” that will reassure and revive your customer base in uncertain times.

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