“Wrigley’s. 5¢ a package before the war. 5¢ a package during the war. 5¢ a package NOW. The flavor lasts so does the price!”
Stepping up their game, not stepping back, made all the difference in the world for the Wrigleys during some of the most challenging periods in American history.
Throughout two world wars and the Great Depression, William Wrigley Jr. and his son, Philip Wrigley, depended on the power of advertising and out-of-the-box marketing strategies to maintain the company’s status as a powerhouse. Due to their flair for public relations and their generosity, both also kept others’ spirits up, both within the company and in the general public.
They also revolutionized the way they did business by keeping up with trends and consumer demand. What started as a soap company under William Wrigley Jr. later offered baking powder and eventually became one of the largest manufacturers of chewing gum in the world.
Due to their advertising and marketing savvy, the Wrigley company suffered little during the Great Depression. Wrigley earned respect for keeping gum prices low regardless of the economy’s ups and downs, and they transitioned their famous marketing campaigns into emerging radio markets.
They even implemented benefit packages that kept their employees in good spirits during some of the roughest years of the Depression. In 1933, Philip Wrigley increased workers’ wages by 25 percent, and the following year, he announced an employee assurance plan that would pay personnel 60 to 80 percent of their working wage should they be laid off.
Wrigley was also strategic enough to combine their marketing efforts with America’s greatest pastime: baseball. In fact, to keep fans interested in baseball during World War II, Phil Wrigley established the All-American Girls Baseball League.
So what does this story have to do with what’s happening in the world today? Well … everything.
How Marketing can Make a Difference During a Crisis
More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and we have yet to truly see the impact of this economic downturn. Nearly 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing their doors permanently if the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are as drastic as some people believe.
But this does not have to happen to your business. Reassurance, virtual assistance, and peace of mind is what consumers need right now from the small businesses they rely on.
Contrary to popular belief, a time of crisis is when you need marketing services the most. Timely, smart, and most of all compassionate marketing reinforces customers’ faith in you during a crisis. It helps your business stand out as a strong, confident, reliable entity that is able to adapt in order to provide customers with what they need.
Without a powerful strategy, you may find your business struggling to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead.
In other words, if you do nothing, you risk everything.
Marketing can help during a crisis with:
1. Public relations assistance.
A marketing agency can be your greatest ally in the face of a crisis. The team can serve as your spokesperson, as well as draft statements on your behalf and send them to the appropriate audiences.
The role of public relations is to shed the best light possible no matter the situation, and skilled wordsmiths and communicators are needed to do so.
For instance, medical science has faced more challenges in 2020 than anyone could possibly have fathomed. Yet, we still have faith in the power of science – and if anything our appreciation for their ingenuity has grown.
Positive public relations techniques aim to create that sort of connection with families, general consumers, and specific audiences. By shedding positive light on a devastating situation, families gain at least a small sense of relief and maintain their confidence in the particular business.
2. Additional resources on your website.
In the face of a crisis, you must keep your website visitors informed in order to reinforce the fact that you are keeping up with current events.
In regard to the coronavirus pandemic, for instance, several of Basso’s clients have requested us to place notifications on their homepages that briefly describe how the business is handling Michigan’s stay-at-home order. This requires the content writing and website development expertise that you can find at our marketing agency.
3. Positive messages to your audience on your social media pages.
Warm thoughts, kind words, and a friendly face might be all it takes to brighten someone’s day. If you can do that in your personal life, that’s great, but the same goes for your professional life. It’s important that you are a source of comfort, of reinforcement, of consistency, of reassurance. People need to know that this too shall pass and that life will be better in the future.
For now, however, let them know that they can count on you as they always have, which offers a sense of stability in the face of uncertainty.
4. Email communications to your consumers.
Marketing can help your business maintain a level of normalcy. While you can’t ignore the problems, you can’t dwell on them.
Receiving a simple email from you that mentions current promotions or that contains a birthday greeting can remind them that it’s going to be OK.
On the other hand, you can also use email marketing as a way to tell people your plans in the face of the crisis, such as new business hours or additional online services.
5. Continued sales of your products and services through digital and traditional marketing strategies.
Consumers who find something they love want to feel confident that it will be there when they need to buy a new one or use the service again.
With marketing, you can show the world that you are strong enough to carry the weight of the burden, not crumble beneath it. When a business can showcase its creativity, ingenuity, and resiliency, it reinforces customers’ faith in it.
Marketers are focused on a particular area of your business, so they’re more likely to see problems before they have a damaging impact on your productivity.
For instance, your agency can quickly recognize when a feature on your website isn’t functioning properly or notice negative reviews on online sites and take steps to minimize the impact.
They can also identify potentially damaging social media posts and respond appropriately. While it might not always appease the person who initially posted the comment, others will appreciate that you were open to communication and professional in your online demeanor.
7. Identification of financial support and resources.
Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic can have a devastating economic impact in small- to medium-sized businesses as well as large corporations. Marketing agencies can help you identify opportunities that can minimize financial losses and increase profits, such as grants that you may have overlooked.
Basso Has Your Back
As a leading marketing agency in southeast Michigan and a steward within the Oakland County community, we feel obligated and proud to help our clients cope with these difficult economic times.
Whether you need marketing support, website updates, or reputation management, please let us know what we can do for you throughout this crisis. Whether it’s in person or over the phone, you can trust that Basso has your back.