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MARKETING DURING CRISIS – INSIGHTS FROM STAR TRIBUNE

In the newsletter I sent last week, I characterized what I'd been hearing from fellow Minnesota business leaders as "Learning as we go." I'd say that's just as true this week. As the situation continues to evolve, we're all continuing to adapt our marketing strategies.

At Star Tribune, we interact with a lot of different businesses. We're all in this together – so thought I might pass along some of what we have learned.
      — Paul Kasbohm, Chief Revenue Officer

PREPARE AND COMMUNICATE

This is an uncertain time. One of the most important things your business can do is to tell your customers how to interact with you during the crisis. Whether you are deemed essential or not, take this time to remind them how you are staying relevant and will continue to support their needs.
Google's Small Business hub offers some helpful tips:
  • Update your businesses hours of operation on your Google Business Profile
  • Post updates about how your businesses is operating on your Business Profile
  • Consider setting up an email autoreply with answers to frequently asked questions
Get more tips from Google.

HOW ARE CONSUMERS RESPONDING TO ADVERTISNG DURING THE CRISIS?

One question we frequently hear is "should I be advertising at a time like this?" History suggests you should. Integral Ad Science wanted to find out. So, they ran a study. Specifically, they explored how consumers would react to running ads adjacent to COVID coverage:
  • 78% said their sentiment toward a brand would not be diminished because their advertising appeared next to COVID coverage.
  • Consumers want to see advertising from Health and Pharmaceutical companies and the government near COVID content.
  • Consumers said they would prefer not to see Travel or Food and Beverage companies adjacent to COVID coverage.

CREATE VIRTUAL EVENTS

Your customers must stay home, but they're still your customers. One way to connect with them is to create a virtual event. Think of a unique way your consumers can interact with your brand and promote it on social channels by using digital display campaigns.

Be The Match shares how they are connecting with customers:

"We serve immunocompromised populations and are committed to providing life–saving marrow donations to vulnerable patients – no matter what it takes. A lot of our fundraising work is on hold. #Couch2Cure is a fun and creative way to engage our partners, benefactors, volunteer leaders and supporters in a meaningful way, given everyone’s current circumstances (a lot of extra couch time). We’ve made it easy to get involved: BeTheMatch.org/Couch2Cure."
      — Joy King, Executive Director, Be The Match Foundation; Chief Advancement Officer, Be The Match

ENGAGE CUSTOMERS

If you're looking for a way to engage your consumers, consider sponsoring our Coloring Pages. With schools closed and a stay–at–home order in effect, Minnesotans are looking for activities to do at home. This is especially true for Minnesota parents. On each of the four Saturdays in April, Star Tribune will publish a unique coloring page created by local artist Kevin Cannon. Be sure to ask your Star Tribune representative about exciting sponsorship opportunities.
Learn More

STAT OF THE DAY

Staying relevant and informed: Star Tribune is pacing 4x our normal growth rate for digital subscriptions.

I just wanted to send a quick note to say I am thankful for the Star Tribune every morning. It gives me a sense of normalcy when everything else these days seems not normal at all.
Again, my thanks. You are doing important work.
     — Sandy, Plymouth, MN

SPECIAL RATES FOR A CHALLENGING TIME

Research shows that it is important to continue advertising during a crisis. But we also know that, during a crisis, budgets can become strained. To help you stay visible, we're offering special rates. Please talk to your Account Executive for details.
Woman using tablet to read Star Tribune: Follow the Covid-19 crisis on StarTribune.com. We've made all stories about the crisis free to access. Read More Button.
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