The spread of COVID-19 has changed the daily lives and habits of millions of people worldwide, and businesses across most industries are scrambling to adapt. 

Brick and mortar retailers, restaurants, and hotels—just to name a few impacted sectors—are hurting from a stretch of time without customers. Some could end up closing their doors for good. Other companies have seen a higher demand for their products and services. Productivity-related SaaS companies like Slack, Zoom, and Trello are seeing sales boosts because their business is crucial for work-from-home environments. Similarly, some direct-to-consumer brands are seeing increased demand from their ecomm storefronts.

In either case, these are challenging times—to say the least. There are various opportunities to improve (or damage) your relationship with potential customers through how you talk about COVID-19. How you address the current moment can “make or break” you. 

As a marketer, there’s never been a better time to stretch your empathy muscle: you’re going to need it. With that in mind, let’s explore how to get it right (and some of the places it can go wrong).


Match Your Message to Your Audience’s Concerns

We, the marketing community, constantly harp on the importance of being empathetic. But what does that actually mean?

Generally speaking, being empathetic means that you are showing your ability to share and experience the feelings of others. (That’s the dictionary definition, anyway.) In…

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