Marketing in a crisis: how to adapt and thrive

Whilst it’s still some way off from a ‘new normal’ the UK public are becoming accustomed to their current reality.  The sense of panic triggered by lockdown, supermarket stockpiling and uncertainty has lessened. New routines, new communities and new means of communication have created an oh-so-fragile sense of stability.  

Two weeks into the lockdown, the sense of unease was palatable. A huge 89% of the population agreed that we could all do with a bit of good news; over half were getting bored of staying at home – up 17% from the week before; and 41% of us were actively avoiding the news. Fear, boredom and frustration were escalating quickly. 

But four weeks in those sentiments have eased.   

The number of people who feel like their way of life has been heavily disrupted has fallen to 61%, (-7%), whilst the number of people who agree that ‘apart from staying at home, nothing has really changed’ has climbed to 42% (+3%).

At first glance, these are perhaps seemingly small shifts in sentiment, but the repercussions for how, when and what brands and businesses communicate, are significant. As levels of exposure return to pre-pandemic levels, we have witnessed a move away from the top-down messaging from the CEO, the gradual re-emergence of celebrities and influencers as representatives of the brand and a change to the preferred content and tone. Demand for content which promotes new products and service or offers, and discounts has increased across every single sector.  

Tempered by the current crisis, all those previously ingrained patterns of consumer behaviour have not been forgotten, but they have evolved. 

Since the lockdown, Opinium have been monitoring consumer sentiment to help brands, businesses and agencies inform their communications and marketing.

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