How Today’s Marketers Can Help Their Brands Navigate Forward

April 22, 2020

How Marketers Can Help Lead Brands During this Time of Uncertainty

Marketers everywhere are being asked to help lead their businesses forward during this time of uncertainty. And their roles uniquely equip them to do so. Marketers create markets — with their creativity, their ability to use data to inform transformative decisions, and by cultivating meaningful, sustaining connections with customers.

As we embrace our roles as marketers to help move our businesses forward, we want to invite you to attend a virtual panel of marketing experts on April 23 and 24. During this event, we will share strategies for navigating this time with insights, transformative ideas, and confidence. Register now for your chance to access knowledge and resources on how you can help your brand move forward confidently during this time.

Your Corporate Culture Matters More Than Ever

As a marketer, you are used to positioning your executives as thought leaders. Now, these executives lean into being culture leaders who show a greater level of openness, authenticity, and even vulnerability. As they focus on the safety and security of their own employees, they are also being called upon to speak more openly to customers and other stakeholders.

In today’s environment, you and your leadership team have the opportunity to be seen as the source of information that demonstrates how your organization is living up to its cultural values. Think about how you can communicate your organization’s commitment and the ways you can communicate that going forward. 

Consider what Jim Bell, Head of Marketing for Glint, gleaned from his review of insights from about 100,000 employees who recently took surveys within their organizations: “As organizations demonstrate and reaffirm their values, culture, and long-term commitment to their employees, their employees respond with loyalty that will last well after the coronavirus goes away.” The same holds true for customers and other stakeholders who see brands step up at this time.

Reassess Your Brand Commitment

Every brand makes  promises they commit to uphold. It’s easier to keep these promises in good times, but it’s even more essential to live up to those promises when times get tough. What’s true today may not be true tomorrow so brands are continually reassessing whether their promises align with their actions.

With that in mind, remember that even before the coronavirus, people increasingly expect brands to deliver value to all stakeholders. In today’s world, we are seeing a further shift: People are looking to brands as social connectors providing support to help see us through this time.

“According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, the most trusted types of people are scientists, technical experts and CEOs,” said Ty Heath, Global Lead of the B2B Institute at LinkedIn. “In other words, it’s not just about the message but the messenger. Now is the time for you to position your CEO to clearly share your brand’s updated mission, vision, purpose, and value.

It’s Time to Double Down on Data

These unprecedented times also mean that traditional marketing strategies are no longer the best fit, and you need to re-strategize. Data can be a powerful ally to help you respond appropriately during the coronavirus and emerge from the crisis into a position of strength.

Additionally, it can enable you to remove uncertainty, better understand market and customer dynamics, understand your performance relative to your competitors, and give you confidence to take action. But it can only help in these ways if you lean into your analytic skills.

Here’s advice from Melissa Furze, Global Director of Marketing Insights at LinkedIn: “Look at data across all facets of your company, from campaign performance data and market share to brand performance and employee advocacy. Doing so will help you make sense of how your company is being impacted and identify priorities for you and your team.”

Smart Brands Seize the Opportunity

Though much of the world has been upended in the past few weeks, your role is still to help drive business. To move forward with their marketing and advertising confidently, many marketers are turning to data. Both past and current research show brand advertising has a place even during times such as these. A review of consumer response to ads by System1 before and since the coronavirus shows no difference in their responses. 

According to Jon Lombardo, Global Lead at the B2B Institute at LinkedIn, “Brand building is the investment you make to produce long, durable cash flows, so follow the data and don’t be afraid to advertise. By effectively managing your advertising with great creative and a smart media strategy relative to your competitors, you can actually gain market share at this time.”

The brands that seized the opportunity in prior extraordinary times are the ones still standing. 

McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 B2B companies and found that those who maintained or increased advertising during the 1980s recession grew significantly both during the recession and the following three years after. In fact, by 1985, sales of companies that advertised aggressively had grown 275% over those that didn’t.

Building Your Marketing Strategy in a Time of Change

This is a sneak peek of the insights and guidance these experts and additional ones from LinkedIn and other brands will present during our virtual event on April 23 and 24. Register now to reserve your seat for knowledge and resources on pivoting your brand to survive and thrive during this time.

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