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COVID-19 Advice for business – External marketing - news article image

COVID-19 Advice for business – External marketing

26 Mar 2020

3 minute read

Client and prospect communication

Your customers will want to know that there is someone there who cares about their business, they will also want to know whether you are still open for business.

By now, you should have emailed or spoken to all of your customers personally. Where possible, providing reassurances about your resilience and ways in which you can help them or avenues in which you can collaborate to overcome economic difficulties.

Keeping your hands clean

Try not to be negative and above all, do not use the health of the nation or economic uncertainty as leverage for your brand.

If you are actively involved in Community Hubs, NHS volunteering or other philanthropic activity around COVID-19, use your website and social media platforms to promote these initiatives (think Brewdog who produce craft beer moving production to branded hand sanitiser).

Pull all scheduled campaigns/comms which are likely to be seen as distasteful or no longer appropriate (think KFC, still using ‘Finger Lickin’ Good in TV advertising)

Do not use this as an opportunity to send your COVID-19 policy to cold prospects you haven’t spoken to or dealt with for years, this is not interesting and has been likened many times to the GDPR policy mailings of 2018.

Do look at your pipeline and maintain communication with those warm or hot prospects, particularly the hot (who should have been provided with a quote by you) to see if you are able to move them through the pipeline. Approach them gently, ie ‘How are you coping with the UK lockdown? Is there anything we can do to help you?’

Regular COVID-19 updates

If you are in the professional services sector, there will have been, and will continue to be, a great deal of content for you to produce for your websites and social channels. Be mindful that these will need to be updated regularly whenever a new announcement is made. Try to avoid direct mailing all of your clients and prospects with every new announcement as this is already a crowded space.

Where possible, write your own content and provide insights and tips rather than just reiterating or re-posting Government guidelines.

Social distancing

All of the in-person events have been cancelled and this will prove to be a problem for most businesses which rely on face-to-face interaction to foster relationship building.

However, other channels are available and are increasing in use:

TV advertising TV tends to see a spike during times of bad weather or other periods where people are more likely to stay indoors so some TV executives are predicting huge increases in ad spend as consumers are forced to stay at home

Social media advertising It is likely there will be a huge increase in digital ad spend over the next few months as consumers will naturally be spending more time online. It is predicted that social media advertising spend will increase by up to 22% as a result of coronavirus

Webinars Move events online when you are confident you can do them with finesse. Be aware that some networks and platforms are overloaded and connections can, and will drop.

Webinar attendance also tends to have the following characteristics:

  • A low conversion from acceptance to attendance
  • A distracted audience

Keep your webinar to 30-40 minutes max and remember that as with all events, the follow-up is the most important part of the process.

COVID-19 Advice for business – External marketing - news article image


Fran Kidd

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