If you like this post, please share:

If you liked this post, please share:

Within a matter of weeks, our whole world has been turned upside down.

Working from home is the new normal for those of us in non-essential jobs. Leaving our houses or apartments to do anything other than shop for food is the new normal. We’re cooped up with our significant others, kids, and pets.

Whether at home or in the healthcare workplace, we’re all focused on how to connect with and serve our customers, clients, patients, residents, etc. Starting new marketing projects or spending money on marketing is probably low on the list.

And yet now is not the time to stop marketing. Because connecting with those we serve is marketing.

Times of crisis are an opportunity to build your brand in more meaningful ways. Sure, everyone is sending out the obligatory email about how they are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic — protecting their employees and ramping up customer service.

People Are Looking for Resources

But now more than ever, people are looking for resources. They want a place to go — and it has to be virtual.

Bring the smartest marketing minds in your company or organization together and start talking about the resources you have or can create that are relevant to what’s going on in the world. Ask yourselves, how can we bring the people we serve together? And how can we communicate that we understand what they want and what matters to them?

Because the essence of modern marketing is empathy. Even more so right now.

Here are four essential marketing tools your company or organization should be using to connect with those you serve:

1. Email

When you can’t meet in-person, email becomes an even more effective way to create and maintain personal connections, bridge social distances, and build strong relationships. Make your messages brief, though, and include links to information you think they will find useful.

Think about how you can be of service, not sales.

And don’t be concerned about sending too many emails. If you’re providing useful information, your customers/clients will want to hear from you.

>>More email tips for these challenging times.

2. Virtual Events

Are we tired of webinars yet? They are still a great way to share information and earn much-needed CEUs now that most conferences in the next six months have been cancelled.

But I think we’re craving more engagement and entertainment, too.

Companies and individuals are doing Zoom meetings, lunches, and cocktail parties. Many of us are participating in concerts, church services, yoga classes, and other live events via Facebook Live, YouTube, and Zoom.

What can you do to bring your customers/clients, sales reps, residents, patients, or employees together virtually?

>>New to Zoom? Download my Zoom Instruction-Tip Sheet.04.03.20, which includes recommended settings for highest security.

3. Articles/Blog Posts

People in the healthcare and design industry are also writing all sorts of great articles and blog posts right now about infection control strategies and planning for surge capacity during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

I don’t think it’s too late to add your voice to the conversation. Everyone is hungry for information and looking for ideas for how to deal with Covid-19.

If you or your company doesn’t have a blog, many magazines and non-profit organizations/associations post guest articles/blogs on their websites. Or you could try more public platforms like Medium or The Conversation.

4. Social Media

Not surprisingly, social media use is up since we’ve all been staying at home. Which is why your company or organization needs to have a consistent presence on social media now more than ever.

And that doesn’t just mean posts from your marketing department. Those who are on the front line with customers or clients should also be posting updates and sharing information.

A sales rep I’m connected to on LinkedIn posted pictures of his dog and his little boy (dressed as Spiderman) with the message that he’s still working and is available to help with anything his customers might need.

Okay, so I know dogs and kids (and for me, cats) have become the new stars of our social media feeds. But, since most of us are home with our pets and/or kids, sharing pictures of them not only communicates empathy, but also is refreshing and honest — both of which are key to building trust.

Please Share What You Are Doing

What have you or your company/organization done to communicate with those you want to reach or bring them together that’s been creative? Or that you’ve seen from someone else?

Please share in the comment box below! Or email me.

P.S. Please do me a favor — if you liked this post and like this blog, please share it with others by sending them the link or posting it on your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, so you’ll get emails when new content is posted. Thanks!

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Leave a comment



Mark VanderKlipp

7 months ago

Sara, thanks for this – since I work at mostly the “systems level” these days, I see that most of my clients have gone from macro to micro in a heartbeat. Healthcare and social services clients have no time whatsoever to focus on the types of initiatives that I’ve been working on. So I’m doing two things:
1. Pro-bono crisis communications for any leader needing support to reach out to their audiences. I have a set of skills in writing, editing and design that can take some work off their plate. It’s been very much appreciated by my clients and those for whom I have never worked.
2. Getting really thoughtful about my online presence: Website, LinkedIn, etc. I do feel it’s inappropriate to market my services right now given my client base, but when this subsides I’ll have an opportunity to reach out to speak to the importance of systems work in light of the tremendous shocks that our clients and the people they serve are experiencing.

Sara Marberry

7 months ago

Thanks, Mark. I love the idea of pro-bono crisis communication for healthcare providers!

Camille Morehead

7 months ago

Sky Factory designs virtual skylights and windows for Biophilic engagement. We have begun pivoting the use of our acrylic material to produce a modified intubation shield to help protect workers during COVID-19 intubations.

We will be providing these to our local and regional hospitals across Iowa, and also make the design available for free for those who have the capability to produce more.

Sara Marberry

7 months ago

That’s great Camille that you are providing this service. What types of marketing tools are you using to communicate this to your customers and what’s the message?

Bill Coble

7 months ago

Sara, perfect timing and the key thought for me is Empathy for your customer, supplier, consultant, not for profit, academics. – those in your professional life you have built trust with that you know together we can help others – now more than ever this about US.

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Sara Marberry, EDAC, is a healthcare design knowledge expert, thought catalyst, and strategic marketing and business development consultant. The author/editor of three books, Sara writes and speaks frequently about industry trends and evidence-based design. She can be reached at sara@saramarberry.com.

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