This page is meant as a living document and will be updated during the entire COVID-19 crisis. If you have any questions or suggestions please let us know via the contact form and check out our live events for detailed streams in the coming weeks.
Chapter 2. Knowledge base
Here are some external playbooks and informative articles about how to approach this situation:
We also have set up our own articles regarding this situation. Find more related articles at the bottom of this page or check out our Stories page for more.
Chapter 3. Tactics we think you should be thinking about
I. GENERAL AND STRATEGY
- Create country plans and organise meet-ups based on different COVID-19 regulation, country consumer behaviour and prepare for the recovery phase with adjusted goals & KPI’s.
- Make sure that you look critically at your strategy for the coming sales period (spring/summer) if you are a retailer. There will be more stock left which can result in a very competitive price war this sales period. Can you stimulate the consumer today with a small incentive to avoid having to dispose of a large part of your collection at high discounts in a few months?
- Tap-in on any actual trend & insight data like Google Trends to check if intent for your brand or product is changed and build strategy base on this
- General behaviour and consumer behaviour will shift to online at a rapid pace. Make sure your customer service has a digital focus. Implement chat(bot) functionality or build online service call centres to act upon FAQ’s
- Your loyal customers are a valuable source of information. Set up a survey to ask them for specific industry-related behaviour in the upcoming months. In this manner, you can act upon that data.
- Create audiences who show ‘different’ behaviour than usual and stamp them with Corona. You can follow up on this audience once the storm settles with good deals as they have shown interest but never converted. Make sure you set your cookie duration to the max as this situation will not pass anytime soon.
- Build different media scenarios (high, medium, low push) to prepare and act-upon recovery of COVID-19.
- In case of automated campaigns consider resetting your campaigns to let the algorithms ‘relearn’ on data from this current situation.
- Take a look at the time-windows of your campaigns. Your audience might be browsing at different times when they’re working from home.
- CPMs are relatively cheap right now.
- With regards to paid search, this is the perfect time to do an extensive health check on all your paid campaign settings, like biddings, extensions & ad text.
- For omni-channel brands, it’s smart to not push too hard on “traffic to store” messaging. Adjust local ads, location extensions or dealer search functionality accordingly.
- Use the editor to check all your campaign settings in bulk;
- Use the editor to check all your advertising settings in bulk;
- Check all your keyword settings on broad, modified broad and exact settings’
- Check if audiences are implemented either on a campaign level or adgroup level;
- Check if all advertising groups have at least 1 RSA, 3 ETA’s in place;
- Check if there is at least 1 keyword active per adgroup;
- Check all your extensions properly;
- Add a bare minimum of 3 extensions to campaign or adgroup level;
- Add a bare minimum of 6 site link extensions to campaign or adgroup level;
- And add a bare minimum of 4 highlight extension to campaign or adgroup level
- Focus on creative excellence, so check all ad texts and adjust copy accordingly
- Crawl final URL’s for proper landings on your website.
- Check all your bid strategies, bids & bid modifiers;
- Check the shared library on audiences, KW exclusion lists & placement exclusion lists;
- Check conversion measurement on tracking conversion pixels, attribution settings & conversion window.
Ad shopping and other paid health checks
- Location extensions in Google/Bing Ads
- Local Facebook pages that might have been created decentralized
- Location ads in Google Maps and partners
- Opening hours in Google my Business
- Opening hours on Trip Advisor /Yelp/ Etc.
- Using a fully dynamic creative setup, so you can adjust brand images or product images according to stock- and product availability. And easily change the call to action, proposition statements and copy dynamically;
- Making use of programmatic media buying instead of TV, OOH or Radio. In this manner, you are completely flexible throughout the year and it’s possible to last-minute include / exclude publishers and adjust campaign settings like targeting and creatives according to your new strategy;
- Refresh your black- and whitelist of publishers, and create an experiment list of new publishers and partners to test and experiment with. Extra advantage, it’s probably against much better rates;
- Think of new market moments, which will definitely appear after this COVID-19 period. Like consumer behaviour related to holiday allowance if the impact of the virus will hopefully decrease soon.
- For summer/autumn product launches and/or brand campaigns, think of 100% digital media push in combination with dynamic creatives. In this way, you can last-minute adapt to stock and product availability easily.
- Create a shortlist of relevant, new publishers and partners to experiment with against interesting rates.
- Doing WoW analysis and looking at the trends you see here
- For fluctuating priced products and services connect margins to real-time bidding and real-time pricing to run campaigns and advertise on actual data.
- Seasonality might chance. Make sure you are comparing the right periods (perhaps WoW is better than YoY). Your data will be impacted for the coming 24 months at least by this paradigm shift in consumer behaviour.
- Make “COVID-19” annotations in Google Analytics for future analysis
IV. Website and content
- Make sure you proactively communicate the impact COVID-19 has on your delivery, response time or other services. This question remains top-of-mind of users.
- When products are ‘out of stock’ let users pre-order products so they are first in line when your supply chain is back on track.
- This is also a great way to grow your e-mail database. Make sure products have a ‘mail me when back in stock’ field.
- Be honest and authentic. Is your business not doing so well? Many consumers are open to helping you with, for example, a gift certificate that they can redeem if the measures are revoked.
- Make sure you have a good care strategy in place. Humble communication to your loyal audience will make a huge difference. An email from the CEO or an update on your COVID-19 policy builds customers trust.
- Make sure that at this stage you don’t start communicating things that don’t fit your brand. Everyone loves a good newsjacking, but make sure it suits who you are as a brand.
- With regards to content it’s a window of opportunity to do a content gap analysis on your current website and define content hubs and create relevant content to generate a bigger and stronger share of organic traffic.
- Adjust important website features. Think for instance about stretching the pre-filled date range of your search box on your (travel) website and switch to more digital-focused call to actions and website buttons (no dealer search or physical appointment features)