Some Communication Lessons From COVID-19

Marketing communication is a very well studied process given its key role. The exchange of messages between brands and consumers is a very complex task that requires the concerted efforts of various professionals. A failure in any of the stages of designing and issuing a note or advertisement can result in very costly consequences. This element of marketing is so important that there is a popular Latin American saying that goes: «God does not hear anyone who does not speak.» And it is that if we do not know how to inform our target clients of what we offer, we will be able to offer goods of the most elementary consumption and nobody will look for us to acquire them.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, communication made special sense since it was a tool for both health authorities and detractors to socialize their positions and gain followers. The forms and times may not be the same as in the past given the facilities of new technologies. Today we want to list some points of great interest that may be useful for the development and dissemination of future messages that we want to share with our target market based on examples seen in the media in various latitudes.

  1. Clarity and simplicity. One barrier that people have faced in complying with the sanitary measures suggested to contain the spread of the virus has been the difficulty of understanding the announcements and warnings from the authorities, which have been issued on several occasions in complex and highly elaborate terms. Although there is a whole world and a great science behind a promise of value, the consumer expects to be told in the most efficient and practical way possible what is expected of them and what the service or product we offer can offer them.
  2. One line. Another obstacle that has fueled people’s criticism of the messages received from those in charge of the health sector in this pandemic, and that does not completely depend on them, is the change in the line of published information. Initially, a series of actions was recommended. Over time modifications were made to these indications given the advances in learning the behavior of the epidemic. However, people tend to respond to these changes with caution and distrust depending on the degree of perception of incongruity in these turns.
  3. Choose valid interlocutors. Just as in daily life we ​​can verify that we assume the same message in different ways depending on who shares it with us, it works the same in the media. The more validated the sender of the message, the more impact it will have on its audience. In the pandemic, the emitters are usually the national or regional authorities of the Ministry of Health or Hygiene. Sometimes the Heads of State or Government are added to the issuance of notices and in other cases the collaboration of public figures with great popular roots will be sought. The latter tend to produce better response rates when campaigns are evaluated.
  4. The media matters. In a health crisis it is vitally important to cover as many of the population as possible with the messages that are necessary to combat a spike in infections. This in some cases involves having as many channels as possible: radio, television, outdoor advertising, print media, social networks, among others. However, it is not always possible to have so many resources and personnel to cover so many different mechanisms to reach people. Therefore, based on the knowledge of media consumption of the public we seek to reach, it is essential to choose which channels are more efficient and practical for the objectives set.

As can be inferred from the points mentioned above, it is essential to know in advance a series of data and information about the market to which we want to make known about us. This knowledge of the people we seek to impact with our messages can be acquired through market research. Since communication is a complex and lively development, we never finish investigating it. Therefore, investing in understanding the elements that make it possible to understand people is a never-ending task and requires constant attention.

There are multiple tools that allow us to have enough elements so that communication efforts coincide with our market plans; exploratory studies and qualitative techniques are some of them. At Acertiva we have experts in these and other methodologies that can help you have a better interaction with your target market. We have 18 years of experience and we have coverage in Latin America. Write us today to quote your next market study.