Coronavirus is cancelling meetings and events not only around the globe but at the office too.

The global impact of Coronavirus COVID 19 on our lives at work and home is causing many organisations to rethink how they engage with customers. With many organisations cancelling events, imposing travel bans and work from home polices, the human and financial fall out is already being felt on the stock market, customer demand and changes to communication strategies.

Many major brands including HSBC, Apple, Facebook and Uber have indicated profit warnings and are already switching marketing budgets to digital marketing and streamed events rather than hosting large events.

Marketing events cancelled and moved online due to Coronavirus

Major marketing conferences and events in APAC and now in the US and Europe have already been cancelled or postponed. Ticket sales for future events are down and Drum has recently issued a list of cancelled events:

The shift to virtual events and digital marketing

Many brands have opted to move events online. Using virtual events enables you to keep a sense of community without the risk. Virtual events are the safest way of engaging staff and customers in these uncertain times, and you can reach more people and share information, protecting their health, while saving money, too. Presenters can be located anywhere or pre-recorded presentations can be shared.

Offering a virtual engaging event experience into an integrated digital marketing campaign with emails, following up with online guides and speaker notes: video is a best practice that more companies are adopting.

Consumers interact with brands they trust

High street retailers have seen a significant drop in traffic, as the news about Coronavirus increases. This is also reflected in a decrease in consumer confidence as people become more cautious about having parcels delivered to homes, are reticent to spend and are cutting back, with some sites already recording a 15% reduction in website visitors.

Brands need to address concerns and uncertainty, with messages how you are supporting your staff and customers, your policies to ensure you offer safe services and how you are taking precautions. Sharing stories of customer satisfaction and experiences can help reassure uncertain mindsets.

Put customer experience first

Now is the time to put customers at the centre of your campaigns, reward loyal customers with offers, be transparent with communications and use new and engaging channels such as virtual events and videos to communicate and share your message. Focus on sharing content your customers are interested in, by using online insights and SEO to put their content needs first.

Focus on prospecting campaigns

With so much uncertainty, the priority is to support business sales with lead generation campaigns that retarget existing customers and generate new prospects with offers and promotions. In the short-term, focus on campaigns that reinforce brand trust and confidence with clear call to actions that remove barriers to purchase. Integrated campaigns which touch multiple touch points are ideal.

Re-allocate event funding online

Events are expensive, so there is an opportunity to re-allocate this funding to online communications with big impact. Embrace the opportunity with well-funded campaigns that raise confidence and awareness in your services. By live streaming events and using video – you can humanise your communications, with more remote working yet personable communications.

Marketing will rebound

There is talk that this pandemic is the start of a recession, demand is slowing down as buyers become more cautious. Marketing strategies need to adapt to support this, by building confidence and thinking about new ways to communicate across more virtual channels, using video and well-targeted communications

Digital marketing helps colleagues and customers stay connected – not isolated in these uncertain times.