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Ethical marketing in times of crisis. How to run it?

Economic crisis, recession, war or pandemic – these are events on a European or global scale that affect the purchasing behavior of users and their expectations towards brands. Some companies may seek to take advantage of the situation and promote the company on the existing terms. This is a mistake. Promotional materials prepared in “normal” times are likely to prove ineffective. Let’s check how to conduct ethical marketing for a company during a crisis.

Crises and Internet Marketing – Mutual Influence

World crises, pandemics and war may cause companies to completely give up promoting their services and products due to the fear of negative reception. To completely give up marketing activities for the company is a mistake. How are people supposed to find you if you are not on the Internet – Google search, social media, Google My Business? It is important, however, to conduct ethical marketing for companies in times of crisis. Recession or war may affect the purchasing behavior of customers, their preferences and choices. An expression of understanding of the situation is ethical internet marketing. What does it mean and how to drive it?

>> What is Internet Marketing? <<

How to conduct ethical marketing for a company in times of crisis?

Ethical marketing for a company means promotional activities tailored to the economic and economic situation, as well as to what is happening in the world. We do not recommend that you completely stop marketing and apply the brake. The appropriate action, in accordance with automotive nomenclature, is a gear change.

1. Ethical marketing for companies. Choose a message tailored to the situation

It often happens that in the event of an unusual crisis situation, marketing specialists do not revise the previously planned activities. This is a mistake. The message, prepared when the world is calm, will not reach the worried and unsure of its future recipients. Therefore, when a crisis strikes, you need to prepare a new marketing plan, new content and assumptions. Consider:

– what promotional slogans to prepare in times of crisis,
– what content will reach the audience,
– what pricing and discount policy to adopt in the new situation.

2. Ethical Internet Marketing. Be empathetic

Empathy should always be part of your marketing strategy, but in times of crisis, it needs special care. It should form the basis of your ethical promotional and marketing activities. You cannot afford to lose your audience just because you seem indifferent to the situation in the country and the world. Empathy-based marketing demonstrates an understanding of customers’ emotional needs and motivations, and presupposes that the plan is tailored to meet them. In times of crisis, you experience emotions similar to those of your clients. Show solidarity, say that you too feel the effects of the recession and want to go through it with your customers. Think about what content you are looking for in the situation you are in and provide the same content to your audience.

3. How to conduct ethical marketing in times of crisis? Get involved in charitable activities

In difficult, crisis situations, many people want to help. You can join this idea as a company and get involved in charity activities. Suggest that on a given day a certain percentage of revenues will be donated to help victims of war, economic crisis, etc. In this way, perhaps, to encourage undecided people who want to help themselves, but do not always know how to do it. If you promote the action properly, you have a chance to record a large number of orders, much more than the one generated every day.

>> How to keep sales in times of crisis? <<

4. Marketing of the company in times of crisis. Be honest

Honesty is the basis of ethical marketing not only in times of crisis. If you want to keep your existing customers and their interest, you need to be transparent and openly talk about the situation in your company. In this way, you will build the trust of customers in e-commerce and show that you care about the users. In what situations is honesty worthwhile instead of avoiding contact?

– In the event of delays in the delivery of components and the related delays in the execution of orders for customers.
– If it is not possible to execute the order due to the economic situation, war, etc.
– In case of necessity to raise prices.

Transparency is also showing the customer what costs are associated with the production of a given product. You can also use this tactic on a daily basis. On the product page, specify what costs you incur to produce the product and what your profits are. Also, take care of a quick refund for customers whose orders cannot be fulfilled. Also inform your customers about changes in shipping prices or changes in working hours.

5. How to conduct ethical marketing? Offer specific discount offers

The desire to maintain sales in times of crisis is a natural activity of every online store and company. However, to gain the trust of users, you need to focus on a specific message. Keep in mind that some customers are struggling financially and may be willing to cut expenses. Therefore, you need to keep a balance between the willingness to sell and informing about promotions. You can apply discounts on certain products for a specific period of time, for example, a week of hair masks at an online drugstore means that in a given week all products in that category are 10% cheaper.

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6. Ethical internet marketing for the company. Take care of the content of advertising slogans

Effective advertising slogans are your secret weapon in the company’s Internet marketing in times of crisis. Take care of their content in such a way that they actually speak to the audience. How can you do it ethically?

– Appeal to the emotions and feelings of your audience.
– Show your solidarity with your users, for example through the slogans “We will survive the crisis together”, etc.

Also take care of other content on the website. Keep your promotional content to a minimum. Focus on content that is useful to users, brings real value and helps in making purchasing decisions. Use the language of benefits and show how your products or services can help your audience in everyday life, business, etc.

7. Ethical Internet Marketing. Do not copy the actions of the competition

It is worth finding your own way to ethical internet marketing during the crisis. You can be inspired by the actions of your competitors, but do not copy them. Find a way to reach your target group: look for unique and effective messages, check which activities are highly effective and which are less effective. Use the data about the target group that you collected earlier and use it to build marketing during a war or a pandemic. Copying the actions of competitors can arouse audience aversion and cause a drop in interest, traffic, and sales. Also, avoid the content of phrases. Be specific, show what your company is doing in difficult times and how it supports business or humanitarian activities.

8. How to conduct ethical marketing during a crisis? Avoid passivity

If the situation in the world is difficult and everyone is talking about it, you cannot remain passive or pretend that nothing is happening and continue with previously planned activities. Most consumers and business partners remember how certain brands perform in difficult times, so it’s worth taking advantage of this. To this end, be active, talk about the situation of your company, support charitable activities and conduct non-intrusive marketing. Such actions can positively influence whether your customers will use your services again in the future.

>> How to conduct consumer research in internet marketing? <<

9. Ethical internet marketing for businesses. Use storytelling

How to get your audience’s attention in difficult times? Use storytelling in your ethical marketing strategy. It is the art of creative storytelling that effectively speaks to your audience, allows you to put yourself in the shoes of buyers and convince them to choose your company. What’s more, by storytelling you can build and strengthen the bond of recipients with the brand, and this will pay off both in times of crisis and later, when difficult times will pass.

10. How to conduct ethical marketing for the company? Don’t hold back your marketing efforts

Many companies in times of crisis give up marketing activities in order to reduce operating costs. This is a common mistake. Why is it not worth committing? Because opting out of marketing activities entails:

– loss of previously worked out effects,
– a step back from the competition that continues to invest in internet marketing,
– loss of potential customers – through internet marketing you can reach new recipients,
– the need to start promotional activities anew after the end of a crisis or recession.

11. How to conduct ethical marketing in times of crisis? Optimize your budget

You cannot give up marketing in difficult times. A much better solution is to optimize your marketing expenses. In times of war or pandemic, you need to focus especially on those areas of online marketing that actually work. For this purpose:

– regularly verify and evaluate KPIs for marketing activities,
– invest more resources in more effective activities and reduce expenses on less effective ones,
– assess where your audience is coming from and focus your actions on these channels.

12. Internet marketing for business in times of crisis. Be active on social media

At the moment of the crisis, many clients are afraid of the execution of their orders and the loss of funds due to the company’s insolvency. If you want to alleviate the concerns of business partners and consumers, be active in social media. In this way, you will be able to stay in touch with your customers and keep them informed about the situation in your form and about any changes and problems. Respond to messages on an ongoing basis, and if necessary, take care of the implementation of live chat on the website.

How to conduct ethical marketing in times of crisis? Summary

There is no perfect solution to ethical marketing in difficult times. At the time of a war abroad, a pandemic or a humanitarian crisis, it is worth remaining human and adjusting the strategy of marketing activities to your market situation, the industry in which you operate and the products or services you offer. It is much easier for mothers who offer basic necessities, and much more difficult for those who sell premium services or products. However, the most important thing is not to suspend activities in difficult times, but to adapt them to a new, unusual situation.

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