How to Run a Successful Promotion During COVID-19

When it comes to promotion planning, we are constantly observing trends to help shape our marketing effort for both DMA Solutions and our clients. From choosing clever themes, to selecting exciting prizes and navigating varying communication styles between brands, the nature of our society often shapes our messaging and approach when planning promotions so they are relevant and in the “now.’  


Given our current circumstances, we feel it important to share our tips for running a successful promotion in the midst of COVID-19 based on our own recent experiences:


1. Find ways to level with your audience. 

Keeping your promotion relatable and empathetic while also generating excitement during a time like this can feel like walking a tightrope.  Being honest and forthcoming while remaining thoughtful and empathetic in your approach to your promotion planning is key. 


2. Don’t ignore what’s going on. 

Being bombarded with bad news and negativity these days can be incredibly disheartening and make us want to shut down our devices instead of using them for fun and entertainment. On the other hand, have you seen some posts or advertisements that just feel completely out of touch? We sure have. When planning a promotion, it is important for brands to focus on finding a happy medium between reality and having fun. Right now it is true, we ARE all in this together and acknowledging that is a good thing.


Idea: Knowing that your audience is spending more time at home, you can create easy at home recipe books to make their meal time decisions a sinch.  Creating a promotion around at home activities and giving away family-time focused content and items like coloring books, board games, puzzles, cozy blankets etc, can be an easy way to engage, empathize and be “in it” with your audience.


3. Make your goal to be helpful before anything else. 

Right now, people aren’t looking to be “sold to”. The brands that will win in the end will be the brands that are shaping their marketing and promotions with the goal of being helpful first and foremost. If you can use your brand to be a source of comfort and entertainment, you will be successful.


4. Position yourself as a guide. 

On our journey to become better storytellers, we’ve learned that if you lead with sales, your audience is not going to care, much less listen to what you have to say. Brands can overcome this challenge by positioning the brand as a guide to solve the audience’s problem! Promotions that we’re finding are most successful are using their resources and creativity to understand what it is that their audience is struggling with and finding unique ways to solve the problems with simple and helpful solutions.  


Now is the time to be empathetic, helpful and thoughtful with your promotions.  Not only will this approach help to establish trust with your audience, it will lead them to seek out your brand when making purchasing decisions.  As you plan your next promotion, remember to stay focused on the outcome for the consumer.  They may or may not remember your creative theme, but they will definitely remember the way you made them feel.

For more tips on navigating this uncertain time and planning your marketing strategy, email to talk more about your promotion planning.  We’re happy to brainstorm with you!