With lockdowns starting to loosen, businesses need to think about how reopening could be seen by customers. Of course, there are customers who want to be able to go back to their activities prior to the pandemic, there are also those who fear that a second wave of infections will come. During a brand marketing session of Live with Search Engine Land, Cultivative’s Amy Bishop, Clix Marketing’s Michelle Morgan and Survata’s Chris Kelly discussed how their clients are thinking about the issue and the type of messaging that’s most advantageous when audiences are split.

“It’s becoming just so fragmented in the different opinions and it’s becoming really polarized, so I think brands have to be a little bit careful about what they say because it could rub one group the wrong way,” Bishop said. She also said that in order to appeal to as many customers as possible, “being able to share your message of, ‘Here are the different ways we can operate; here are your options,’ I think will be important.”

“I think that . . . it’s something where you kind of need to see if you can find a lane where you can fit in the middle, but there really might just be a little bit of brand playing into it; of ‘what company are you?’” said Morgan. She noted that there are some businesses’ decisions and messaging that could be dictated by their immediate financial needs. When the only options are reopening as soon as possible or closing permanently, businesses should lean in with their messaging, Morgan advised. “Trying to pander to everybody usually means that you’re talking to nobody,” she said.

“A lot of attention is already being given to, ‘Hey if this comes back in the fall, what do we do? Let’s not be caught flat-footed again,’” said Kelly. Some of the CMOs he’s spoken to are planning safety-related messaging for the impending reopening phase, but are also building contingency plans in case of a coronavirus resurgence in the fall.

SourceGeorge Nguyen