How to Reach Audiences During the COVID-19 Crisis

By Anna Livaccari / 3 minutes

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Over just a few weeks, the advertising landscape as we know it has dramatically changed. The rise of the novel coronavirus in the US has brought a drastic change in mobility patterns of citizens, with many government-mandated stay-at-home orders put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

As follows, many of marketers’ pre-COVID advertising activations might not be aligned with the current environment. Here’s how to stay relevant and make sure you are reaching your intended audience with messages that resonate during this trying time.

Target Consumers With Delivery Offers

In recent weeks, COVID-19 has caused people around the world to adjust their habits to be more home-based. While this change has caused consumption styles to be more online-centric, people are expected to maintain their preferences, brand loyalties, and purchase habits. Instead of eating at their favorite QSR or perusing stores on their lunch break, consumers will now access those same services via delivery, pick-up, or online shopping.

As follows, many brands face an immediate need to modify their advertising messaging and marketing tactics to resonate with customers’ current situation and needs. Brands that previously ran drive-to-store campaigns can shift those ad dollars to campaigns featuring delivery offers. 

For example, if McDonald’s previously ran ads for their PlayPlace to bring people into their locations, they can alter their advertising to focus on the food options that are available for delivery instead.

Reach Your Audience Through the Right Channels

Once you have the right messaging to resonate with your audience, it’s important that you run your campaigns on the channels your audience is actively using. The effects of the coronavirus have quickly rendered certain channels significantly less effective right now, while skyrocketing the efficacy of others, such as TV.

According to Nielsen, staying put (indoors) can lead to almost a 60% increase in the amount of content watched. That’s in addition to the fact that media consumption in the US was already at a historical high before the pandemic, with three-fourths of consumers broadening their media options with streaming subscriptions and TV connected devices.

To align with this shift in consumer viewing patterns, brands can modify their marketing mix to focus on channels such as connected TV where their consumers are currently very active.

For example, Walmart might reallocate some of their media budget to connected TV when targeting audiences with COVID-19 consumer support messaging or changes to in-store or online service.

This is a time when marketers need to be nimble with their ad dollars, so it’s more important than ever to make them count by being strategic with audience targeting.

As the advertising ecosystem continues to shift, we at Cuebiq will provide updated recommendations on how you can make smart advertising decisions during this challenging time. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to our newsletter.

About the Author

Anna Livaccari, Growth Marketing Manager

Anna is a Boston College grad, loves being outdoors, and is a huge foodie.