Beyond business as usual: Marketing in the face the extraordinary

No one can provide all answers in times of uncertainty. Although it’s difficult, many brands in the region are trying to make this period work. As global conditions continue to change, we can see the benefits of early pivoting business goals and communication strategies in APAC. Marketers who are successful have shifted from business-as usual mindsets to be able to lead in complex times. We spoke with top APAC marketers in order to understand how they are helping others navigate unexpected obstacles.

1. The event gap is being filled by content marketing

Our go-to market strategy also includes the organization of events for B2B marketers. We have had to cancel many of our events due to safety and health concerns. We have instead turned to content marketing to keep our audience informed. Content marketing is also used to provide tools and resources to assist other businesses in similar situations to ours.

2. This is your chance to invest in yourself

We at the IAB SEA have adapted our 2020 business strategy goals to help accelerate initiatives that can unite our members in times of increased social distancing.

Teleconferencing has been adopted by the regional board, working groups and interest groups that are driving the development of key industry resource resources. To ensure strong talent pipeline, we have also prioritized initiatives like online certification from H2 – Q2.

Businesses must not have a reflexive reaction to stop investing in either people or spend. This will hinder the sustainability of the digital ecosystem. We are offering a free course called Digital Fundamentals for those who want to re-skill in order to be able to enter the digital industry.

We will see green shoots of recovery across Australia following the tragic bushfires.

3. Show your love by speaking from the heart – show your customers that you care

The core of the travel industry is about people serving others. Even though people don’t travel as much, the principle of caring for others is still in place. We are proud of the support provided by our colleagues to families affected by the crisis and frontline medical staff.

We know that customers are not receptive to traditional marketing messages at this time. It is also not the time to stop communicating with customers.

We wanted to be able to communicate with our customers in a positive, meaningful manner. We did not want to use a generic, “we’re here for you” message that lacks substance. We are proud to share stories about community engagement and social responsibility around the globe. There’s no marketing pitch, no call for action — only humanity. It’s amazing to see these pieces of content being shared and liked the most.










4. Stay flexible and communicate across silos

Our unique situation is that we not only have businesses who rely on our on-demand delivery services but also have drivers partners who make it possible for us to deliver these deliveries every day. We are committed to ensuring their safety and making sure their concerns are addressed.

Our communications strategy had to be quickly adapted to communicate various incentives that were devised by city teams in order to support driver partners and small- and medium-sized clients during these difficult times. It is essential that the whole company works together and communicates openly. We ensure that we listen to customers’ sentiments and keep our ears open so we can respond accordingly.