“We’re looking to try to at least generate some emotional ROI if we’re not doing sales, just to be one of those brands that was standing up and doing the right thing at the right time,” said Tony Verre of The Integer Group during our digital commerce marketing session of Live with Search Engine Land.
Particularly for businesses that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis, Verre advises focusing on marketing efforts that can generate an emotional return on investment (ROI) from audiences.
In light of the challenges that the pandemic has imposed, Verre and other marketers are shifting resources to enable more nimble, sensitive messaging instead of simply going dark with their marketing.
“Everything we do . . . we try and walk that fine line,” said Bryant Garvin of fashion accessory brand Groove Life, referring to the delicate balance between promoting the company and not coming off as overtly opportunistic. As part of its response to the crisis, Groove Life fast-tracked plans for a series of medical-hero-themed rings, of which 25% of proceeds are donated to a non-profit organization for first responders.
Groove Life found other ways to engage consumers and increase emotional ROI. It launched a ring design contest as well as a timely blog post of feel-good stories. “[It] had no sales messaging whatsoever, but it had a really good, positive emotional ROI,” Garvin said, adding that the post was among the top 5% of all blog articles posted to Shopify in March.
Why we care. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in shifting consumer behavior, making many of our traditional marketing strategies less viable or even inappropriate. However, the crisis has also created a new set of needs and pain points that brands can address. Those that create and maintain brand connections with audiences now will be in better position to come out stronger.
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