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3Q’s Growth Sciences team is digging deep into data and analysis across verticals to help clients identify opportunities to maintain or grow performance in the COVID-19 age. In today’s post, co-written by Director of Video Strategy Tom Leonard, Director of Creative Strategy Becca Debono, Sr. Creative Strategist Lauren Dawson, and Sr. Social Strategist Jessica Guedes, we pull a few key takeaways out of our Guide to Creative and Messaging in COVID-19, which you can download in full here

Remember: the Status Quo Is a Huge Risk

Multiple recent studies have shown that consumers are open to, and even looking forward to, hearing from brands at this time. But they aren’t looking for a standard message. Brands that maintain their pre-COVID messaging approach risk being irrelevant at best and disengaged from customer reality at worst.

Focus on Long-Term Brand Value

For many industries, the usual target audiences are interested less in products and services than understanding how your brand is helping its users, its community, and its industry. If your product or service provides specific value during these times, communicate that value mindfully. Resist any temptation to go for short-term sales if your product or service isn’t relevant to today’s challenges or needs; build your brand equity with empathy and compassion.

Get Creative with Creative Production

Creative production is complicated with everyone in relative isolation; consider revising old winning creative to keep branding consistent while relaying what you’re doing to support your community, customers, and employees. If traditional production isn’t possible, you can use B-Roll, adding voiceover and text overlay, or ask your teams to act as talent and record on their phones, as these 3Qers did for a social media client:

Test for the Short Term

Testing for the long term is normally recommended, but not in so singular a time; learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic may be outdated in a matter of weeks or months. Focus on short-term learnings based on where consumers are right now, versus where they may be in 6-12 months. Consider orienting your testing to optimize shorter-term messaging and creative around how your brand can provide value during this crisis.

Shift Messaging to Engage New Audiences

In the retail space, brick & mortar stores are shutting down, leaving brands with a hole in their revenue stream. Use your CRM data to identify customers who may now be ready to engage online, and test messaging and copy iterations that call out things like fast shipping, secure payments, or no-hassle returns. If your brick & mortar stores are in large metropolitan areas, consider geo-specific campaigns and messaging.