March 25, 2020 @ 12:00am

Learn from the past ... think of the future; pen in the middle of two pieces of paper

Brands large and small are finding new and creative ways to reach customers during a time of uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. While these are great reactionary strategies to remain in front of consumers, the savvy and more disciplined marketers are determined to not overreact but recognize the need to adjust strategies and respond to shifts in consumer behavior driven by the virus.

As our president at 6AM Marketing, Wayne Harris, likes to say: “You can spend your time trying to figure out how to stay in business, or you can spend your time figuring out how to increase your business.” And he’s not wrong. Making adjustments now to your strategies and positioning your marketing for planned growth in the long term always will win out.


In a time of recession—and this appears to be where we’re headed—it might seem like slashing your marketing budget is the simplest solution to saving money, but if history tell us anything, that is the opposite of what companies should be doing right now:



What was true then is true today. Those that consistently stay in front of customers will prevail. The good news is, as a marketer:

  • Your marketing dollars will go a lot further as ad rates decline. Lean times = Best times to advertise.
  • Your target audience will change their buying behavior based on the circumstances. Adaptability = Viability.
  • Your advertising will have more eyeballs than ever, as people spend more time at home searching for information to pass the time.


Because people are spending much more time online, many clients are learning to pivot, meaning they are redirecting their standard marketing expenses to online marketing efforts. With less travel, fewer trade shows and conferences, and reduced office spaces and workforces, money has become available to share more of your messaging online.



Timing is everything they say, and perhaps more than ever during this pandemic, as we watch the world around us change drastically, it's time for marketers to change too. It is the perfect time to invest in your brand and develop a strategy to adjust to our augmented reality. It might be hard to know what to do and what will be effective, but what we do know is that if you don’t invest in a new strategy now, you will be left behind.

Your customers might be pinching pennies, but they still are spending money, and they want to spend with companies they can trust, like yours; you just need to reach them. Not convinced? Here are reasons to increase your marketing budget during the current climate:

  • The “noise level” in a brand’s product category can drop when competitors cut back on their ad spend. This also allows advertisers to reposition a brand or introduce a new product.
  • Brands can project to consumers the image of corporate stability during challenging times.
  • When marketers cut back on their ad spending, the brand loses its “share of mind” with consumers, with the potential of losing current—and possibly future—sales. An increase in “share of voice” typically leads to an increase in “share of market.” An increase in market share should lead to an increase in profits.
  • Worried consumers see familiar, trusted brands and products as a safe and comforting choice in trying times. Reassuring messages that reinforce an emotional connection with the brand and demonstrate empathy are vital.

There is no denying all companies, big and small, are entering into unchartered territory. Consumers not only are looking for understanding from brands now more than ever, but they will only continue to support those that can make a strong connection during this time of uncertainty. So before you hit the panic button on your marketing initiatives, take a lesson from history. This is your opportunity to look at new revenue streams and reallocate funds to reach your audience in a new way. This is your chance to put a strategy into place in the short term that will lead to long-term results and brand loyalty.

The good news is, our savvy, experienced team at 6AM has helped shepherd brands through challenging times before, so we know how to get you to a position of strength—and keep you there. Let’s leave normal behind and, together, make the new abnormal work for you.



About the author: Wayne Harris

Wayne Harris is the President of 6AM Marketing.

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