Coronavirus, most commonly known as COVID-19, has now been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). While we’ve seen the impact of this virus on the economy, it is important for marketers to be fully aware of its effects on both campaigns and business relations.
We want to be proactive rather than reactive with regards to the virus and vis-à-vis the local Digital Marketing family.
Digital Marketing Mauritius team believes that your health matters most and the basic hygiene habits can save lives as well as slow down the progression of the virus. As such, we would like to remind you of the recommendations from WHO:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Alternatively, you could use hydro-alcoholic solutions;
- Avoid direct contact with your neighbouring and this includes handshakes;
- Cover your mouth with your elbows or shoulders when coughing;
- If you feel sick, please stay at home and seek medical intervention;
- Avoid large crowds gathering;
- Avoid visiting elderly persons; and
- Limit your travelling both locally and internationally.
For more recommendations visit the World Health Organisation website.
As much as we need to stay safe, we also need to ensure business continuity. As a matter of fact, we are outlining key actions that local marketers can do to ensure the same.
Disclaimer: These should not be taken as guidelines. Rather, we would advise teams, professionals, and members of our community to have conversations, awareness and design key action plans for their business reality.
Refrain from using COVID-19 to promote and market products / services.Not only these be seen as a non-philanthropic approach but can also go against several social platforms guidelines. For example, Facebook recently announced blocking any content using COVID-19 as a key message to promote products. Google is also blocking YouTube content and pushing for co-working tools as well as search features to disseminate information about the virus.
Go through your active campaigns.
The virus is impacting the world and customers’ behaviours towards products and services are changing. Reviewing your active campaigns and allocated budgets can help you be sustainable on the long term and decide whether to keep the campaigns running or not.
Keep your communication channels readily available.
In these times of uncertainty, your customers will come to you regardless of your industry. Keeping your communication channels open can definitely help your business maintain relationships with your customers. We would recommend automation, default automatic replies or chatbots with close monitoring from your team.
Communicate accurately and as much as possible.Share accurate information about your organisation and how your operations are continuing. It is important not to contribute to inaccurate information being shared online. Always check our recommended websites i.e. WHO, UNICEF, and local authorities.
Inform, educate and influence.
Create accurate content to inform, educate and influence your audience. The Internet is booming with all kinds of news around the virus and in the midst of this, your customer can be confused. Whether it is through videos, blog posts, or social media posts, your content can really help in keeping everyone together in this battle.
Read the Support Programme to accompany local economic operators in COVID-19 context presented by Dr The Honourable Renganaden Padayachy, MP, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development on Friday 13 March 2020.
Become familiar with the 27 measures announced to support local economic operators in the context of COVID-19. Click here to read the official document from Bank of Mauritius (BOM).
Review your business operations and staffing.
Discuss the possibility of remote working when required and based on your business nature. Equip your staff and office with preventive ways against the virus. Again, communicate accurately with all your stakeholders, including your employees and clients. Use tools such as Google Hangout, Messenger, Facebook for Business, Slack, and Whatsapp for instant conversation and online teamworking. We would also advocate for Google Tools such as Word Doc, Spreadsheet and Google Slides for remote collaboration.
Support the global efforts to combat the virus.
The World Health Organisation recently launched its crowdfunding platform on Friday 13 March 2020, asking individuals and organisations to donate. Read more about the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and donate.
Create an internal task force.
The best way to ensure business continuity is to have a task force in place. This team will operate as the drivers of the organisations both internally and externally. Ideally, some key members should be from Human Resource, Finance, Logistics and Operations, Communication, Health and Safety, Risk Management, and any other departments you deem critical to your business.
See urgency of tasks and projects.Go through the list of tasks and projects in the pipeline and see which ones can be postponed in order to allow your team to focus on the immediate ones without putting the health at stake. If you believe a project might cause harm to the community and facilitate the virus infection, please communicate and postpone.
In these difficult times happening now and in the future, we wish to show all our support to every individual working hard to prevent the propagation of the virus in the world and in Mauritius.
As a community, it is our duty and responsibility to share accurate information to our members to ensure that they, primarily, stay safe and secondly are well prepared against the virus.
In the midst of all this, we need to show how we can collaboratively fight against this enemy by being proactive, caring, and most importantly united.
We can and we will!
Digital Marketing Mauritius Team