We’re living in in unprecedented times.

In the past few weeks, life as we know it has been flipped on its head. Updates from the CDC, federal and state officials, and consequently Wall Street and Main Street, are often hourly and increasingly dire as the COVID-19 pandemic builds.

On the one hand, it might seem irrelevant to talk about marketing at a time like this. Our main concern, like yours, is the health of our families and neighbors, followed closely by the survival of our businesses. On the other hand, we realize, like you, that economic recovery will depend on businesses regaining health.

That’s why, as emotionally fatigued and uncertain as we all feel these days, now is not the time for your brand to go dark and stop reaching out. Adjust your message, yes. Stop, no.

For now, it’s important to prioritize the communications side of marketing. They are closely related, and when done well, both focus on relationships.

Keep communicating

Confusion reigns and confidence disappears when communication stops or is not clear. If we didn’t understand that before, we do now at a gut level because of the mixed messages we’ve gotten from various sources about COVID-19, how we should respond, and when. Scary monsters grow in the dark. Scary futures look scarier in the absence of truth.

Customers who know you well want to know how and what you’re doing in facing this challenge. Above all, you are human and so are they. They will feel valued if you let them know you’re seeing them that way first. Consider phoning your most loyal customers and asking how they are faring. Think creatively with them about how you might be part of a network of resources for them.

Keep marketing — things will bounce back

One important thing to remember (and to learn from history) is this: things will bounce back. Priorities in spending are guaranteed to shift. The best thing we can collectively do as businesses is to be proactive, not reactive, about marketing.

It’s likely that during the first few weeks of this pandemic, all you’ll hear or read will be about coronavirus. And yes, it will be exhausting. There won’t be space for much of anything else.

But in the coming weeks and months, there will be an appetite for other stories and information, especially if those stories are helpful. Our customers and colleagues are online looking for solutions and connections at least as much, if not more, than before COVID-19 hit. How can what you do be adapted creatively to solve problems? How is your business a helpful resource? If you are present in their world with helpful information when they need it and a human touch, albeit digital, they won’t forget it — or you.

In fact, this whole concept of the very best marketing content being helpful is not new. The most successful companies have been practicing it for years. For a quick explanation, check out this article we published: Everyone’s talking about content marketing… but what is it?

We’re here to help

One way our team at Lumen Marketing can help your business during this time is by providing fractional marketing support should you be forced to cut full-time staff, or they are unable to work.

Stay visible. Stay heard. Demonstrate love for your community. Together, we will do our best to emerge and recover on the other side of this troubled time.

What projects or messaging could you use some help with? We’d love to brainstorm with you ideas for  weathering the storm. Let’s talk about how we might team up to accomplish it.