It’s time to focus on those marketing, branding and PR projects that had been put on the back burner, advises Accord Marketing chief client officer Maria Payne

The rapidly spreading Coronavirus is causing major disruption for travel brands and marketers alike. It is on all of our minds, screens and feeds – and for good reason.

So, let’s start by reiterating that a national health crisis and pandemic is not a marketing opportunity. It does, however, offer the time (and most probably the resource) to focus on those marketing, branding and PR projects that have been gathering dust, put on the back burner or simply require more focus.

Of course, business tactics, ad campaigns and messaging have already been adjusted but how can you prepare for a post-Coronavirus world?

Here are our top tips to prepare for a post-coronavirus world:

1. Website – first and foremost, you need to ensure that, right now, it contains the right marketing messages with clear, authentic and credible calls-to-action. But soon it will be time to look to the future. Everyone dreads redesigning their website but now is the perfect time to task a team of key stakeholders with pulling together a proposal that utilises the latest digital technologies and incorporates perfectly pitched content, easy to use functionality and the highest quality features.

2. Database segmentation – will help you identify audiences that you’re not currently reaching, expand into new markets, improve business focus and inform other important decisions with regards to products, pricing and media selection.

3. Listen, track, and measure – use the monitoring tools at your disposal to understand how your audience is reacting and, if possible, create a dashboard with the capability of covering trending topics, channel response and geographical.

4. SEO – now is a good time to improve your overall quality of content and build brand equity. It is crucial that all your product pages are accessible and indexable by Google to ensure higher visibility. Also use this opportunity to generate ideas for new blog posts, destination reviews and newsletter articles.

5. Collateral – company presentations, brochures and in-store retail inventory can be reviewed and restyled.

6. Social media engagement – is one of the most effective ways of building trust and credibility between a brand and its customers, which over time can lead to brand loyalty and even championing. Take this opportunity to form as many positive relationships with your customers as possible.

7. Video – interviews, presentations, tutorials, product reviews/ demos, live streams and testimonials. Take this opportunity to draft storyboards and create as much video as possible. And finally, in this fluid and unpredictable environment, keep up to date with what’s happening across the consumer landscape; how people are reacting, how behaviours are shifting, where they’re turning, and what this means for travel businesses of every kind. We’re on hand to help if you have any questions. We are in this together.