Not another COVID-19 'how to...' article, please!
How to series

Not another COVID-19 'how to...' article, please!

Because let's be honest. No-one needs another one. So let's create some real marketing content instead.

read time 4 mins

We’re in this together. Yet another message from our CEO…

Does anyone really need another one of those right now? Didn’t think so. Or perhaps you’d like to be distracted by yet another banana bread recipe?

Let’s be honest, tactical marketing during COVID-19 has gone stale. We don’t need any more insight into why people are baking more bread (we’re doing the same and it’s pretty obvious why). And we don’t need to hear again from sincere-looking CEOs without their ties explaining how much they are ‘there for us in this unprecedented time of change’. Because, dear P&G and mega-global brand CEOs, we know you’re mainly caring about the effect on your bottom line right now.

We also don’t need to know from every global management consultancy about how we’ll probably get out of this lockdown in either a ‘V’, ‘W’ or gradual ‘tick shaped’ recovery. The fact is that right now no-one knows, and even if we did…will it really make any difference? Who knows, perhaps some over-paid marketing guru will come up with a brand-endorsed ‘VW Beetle Recovery Curve’. Now, wouldn’t that be a marketing lemon to remember?

For goodness sake, no! It’s time to stop this fake ‘we’re there for you’ concern and get real for a moment.

EY's 4 different COVID 19 economic
Which economic scenario is your money on? A V, W or tick shaped recovery? Here's EY's recent take on it.

What we do know

We know governments around the globe are being forced to throw around money like there’s no tomorrow accumulating scary amounts of debt. This is all leading to a pretty serious global recession. Some businesses are clearly currently thriving during this crisis (such as Aldi and LIDL), some are adapting quickly (online garden nurseries and UberEats). There are also a few who are completely stuck not being able to do much at all whilst this is going on (Ryanair and British Airways).

We really feel for everyone out there that has been badly affected by this global pandemic and understand the enormous scale of the challenge that all businesses now face. The next few years will definitely be challenging. Also, if anyone is feeling overwhelmed it is important not to panic and calmly figure out your next step.

The main positive thing that some of us have, however, is some extra time to take a step back, reflect, think and prepare a new way forward.

But, how can you prepare for the upcoming recession and keep your business resilient and relevant in the next 12-18 months?

It's time to roll up your sleeves and get your marketing into shape...

What you should be doing

We enjoyed Mark Ritson’s fantastic video on how to do marketing well during COVID-19. We loved it so much that we watched the full 45 minutes online webinar and then summarised the key recommendations below. Yes, that’s right, we thought you probably didn’t want to watch another long COVID-19 webinar (you’ve got banana bread to bake, remember), so below is the quick cheat sheet and key take-outs for you. You’re welcome.

And if you haven’t heard Mark Ritson before, he’s a famous brand consultant, Marketing Week columnist and former marketing professor who teaches a mini-marketing MBA. You can follow him on Twitter and read some of his controversial articles. You may agree or disagree with him, but the man knows what he thinks and makes some great points.


  • Stop talking about COVID-19 like you’re an expert on the topic, so stop pretending to be one
  • Stop using COVID-19 in your marketing – no-one wants to hear it
  • Stop cutting back on marketing – if there’s anything past recessions have taught us is that it’s your chance to get more market share by strengthening your brand and not reducing your ad spend.
  • Don’t get caught up in the euphoria of change when the lockdown ends. People don’t really change. And that euphoria will be infectious and widespread but very very short-lived.


Why does investing in your brand matter now?

It’s simple…

Recession history shows strong brands bounce back quicker in a recession and continually outperform their competition

So, here you go. Here’s ‘how to market’ and ‘how not to market during COVID-19’. And yes, we definitely get the irony of our title… and Mark Ritson’s amazing video.

We hope you do too.

Want your message to be heard through the noise?

Sometimes that means putting your marketing on hold and thinking it all through. So there's no 'Call to Action' here. You'll know how to contact us if you need our support. ;-)

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