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Marketing During Times of Crisis

April 21, 2020 / By Richard Hatheway

Marketing is a business necessity, but should marketing be done during times of crisis? And if so, how?

This blog will provide you with a few ideas and Do’s and Don’ts to consider.MMG Growth System
Businesses today rely on marketing to drive their sales engines. As such, marketing has become a necessity. Marketing is used to drive both awareness and engagement for products and services, as well as provide customers with information. If it is effective, it will also lead to new sales opportunities.

However, in times of crisis, such as the current global COVID-19 pandemic, is marketing really necessary? Should businesses continue doing business as usual? Or should they use this time for other actions?

I contend that many businesses are misusing this time right now, as they misunderstand what they should actually be doing.

So to help, here are a few Marketing Do’s and Don’ts to consider:


As this is effectively a mandatory break that affects all businesses, use this time productively

  • Re-evaluate priorities for the rest of the year
  • Review your current messaging, positioning, value prop, sales enablement, etc.
  • Review program and campaign metrics to see what is working and what isn’t; make changes as needed
  • Review current Go-To-Market activities and channels
  • Review whether what you are doing to engage with customers is working or not
  • Etc.
    • Do the competitive/market/product research that you’ve been putting off
    • Evaluate and rank vendors and partners you’ve been using
    • Review the rest of your yearly plan, revise or replace it if necessary
    • If you still plan to develop new marketing content, materials, programs and campaigns, develop ones that provide helpful, relevant information, not product pitches
  • Make this information available to the public for free, not put behind a paywall or require people to provide their contact information so that you can add them to your leads list
  • Your company will be remembered much more positively by being helpful than it will by offering discounted pricing and special deals


  • Don’t ignore or downplay the severity of the crisis
    • Everyone knows it is there, ignoring or downplaying it only makes your business seem out of touch
  • Don’t create new messages saying “we’re all in this together”, or “here’s how our product can help you during this crisis” or other similar messages
    • Everyone knows these things, as everyone is in the same situation
  • Don’t develop and publicize “special crisis pricing” or “special deals”
  • Don’t spam people’s inboxes and cell phones
    • It will only annoy people and create a bad impression of your company and/or product
  • Don’t listen to the so-called “experts” who exhort you to use this time to “really get aggressive and get in front of your customer”
    • The truth is, your customers are businesses and people and they are focusing on other things right now, so anything you to do “get in front of them” is actually irritating and counterproductive
A global crisis such as COVID-19 is a watershed event that affects everyone on the planet. As a business, you have two choices in how you respond to it.

  1. You can use this time productively, allowing you to rebuild, refocus, regroup and re-prioritize so that your marketing and your business will come out of the crisis stronger than before.
  2. You can continue forward with a business as usual attitude, making no changes at all to your marketing or what you are doing, and hope that you’ll still be in business after the crisis has passed.
The choice is yours.

This is a guest post originally posted We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Email in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest post author: Richard Hatheway

Manufacturing Marketing Group Louisville, CO US 303-953-4361