ETHICAL MARKETING IN TODAY’S PANDEMIC
Marketing—It may be your favorite or your least favorite part of your job. But here’s one thing we can agree on: right now, like so many things, it’s a little complicated. Done right, it can be so rewarding for you and your clients and customers. Done poorly, and it can lead to some big challenges for our industry.
Before we talk about the next steps, let’s get a little context. Right now, retail is both sinking and swimming. Women’s health retail is up 215%, household cleaners are up 195%, the herbal supplement industry is up 132%, and of course breadmakers 652%!
Will that last? We don’t know. While some have kept their jobs and are spending online rather than in person, there are more than 30 million people who have claimed joblessness. Like so many things in life today, we can’t predict a lot right now.
So today, instead of a one-size-fits-all “to do” list to boost your marketing, we’re sharing three most helpful categories that follow a new marketing mindset. We hope it increases the creativity you already have as you continue to market in this pandemic world!
The Truth: Let’s start here because it matters the most. Claiming to cure anything isn’t allowed, especially COVID-19. So, with health products that may provide some benefit, ask: “How can my product be most helpful now?” Preventing or curing may not be the option, but sharing what you know it can do is helpful.
The Angle: Being relevant always matters. Especially in this pandemic. But these intense times also mean we have to be a little more careful. For example, before this situation, it may have been an OK thing to casually or humorously hint that a glass of wine can soothe stress. But is that the most helpful message to send in today’s ultra-stressful (for many) environment? Does it promote a healthy mindset? Instead, think about the most helpful marketing angle related to your product.
- Don’t talk about wine “taking the edge off”; talk about its contribution to recreating your favorite restaurant for an at-home date night.
- Essential oils may not heal ailments, but they can contribute to the sought-after scene in which mom gets 15 minutes to herself, oils running, for some peace and quiet during nap time.
- Healthy food products can reinforce the positive by describing that “boost of energy” rather than reminding busy people that they just don’t have time to eat with all that’s going on at home.
The Most Help: If you haven’t caught it, we used the term “most helpful” a lot. It’s a proper mindset because it’s that spot where truth meets your product’s most beneficial and practical use today. Try this: make two lists. One is the truth of what you know you can market about your product. The second is the challenging situations we all find ourselves in. Put them side by side and match them up, and you’ll find some great ways to market. For example, if you sell cleaning products, list the product and benefits, then list out the increase in kid spills, the lack of paper towels in the stores, the need to conserve any and every bit of soap and cleaning wipe. Then you can start marketing reusable cloths as a way never to have to hunt for disinfecting wipes, or super-concentrated cleaning products that can last.
As a community of direct sellers, what’s the most helpful to us together? Let’s keep each other accountable. When we see a creative idea from our colleagues, send a round of applause, or even ask to emulate it with your customers! And when we see practices that may raise an eyebrow, because we’re all in this together, let’s offer a private nudge or question, not a shaming public refute.
After all, we each have the opportunity to promote what’s most helpful in these times. And that’s what we all need.