Dealing with change through Covid-19

April 30, 2020

Within a week of the PM’s upscale of coronavirus measures following the first of his daily press briefs, we received our first urgent campaign brief from a client looking to leverage Dotter’s unique capability to answer an ever-more-fundamental consumer question (and do it at both scale and speed): It’s not even “how much does it cost?” any more, just a very straightforward, “Where can I get it?!”. Our first coronavirus prompted campaign will go live imminently with several set to follow soon after, and it got me thinking...

As somebody whose career has been built and focused on sales and all things commercial, my attention on receiving that brief was for the first time drawn away from the personal impact of COVID-19 and on to the commercial one: Are Dotter one of the uniquely placed organisations to help brands benefit from the rapidly changing consumer shopping behaviour - and crucially, help brands navigate communications with their customers (and potential customers) in a constructive and valuable way?

With brands facing a reality of fewer staff, reduced marketing budgets and less focus (have you tried working at home with kids climbing the walls and being the very definition of cabin fever - or even simply, in longed for days of old for me, even just working at home with the fridge infiltrating your every thought with "come hither" messages?); plus an uncertainty in how to “behave” in unprecedented times, perhaps there’s something to be had in making clear to your consumers exactly where they can find your product, facilitating purchase and easing associated anxiety? Zeta Global certainly believe so, quoting increases in visits to FMCG/CPG websites of up to 400% and search volumes up by as much as 2000% (https://zetaglobal.com/blog/how-can-cpg-brands-support-consumers-during-these-uncertain-times/)


Combined with data from Forbes, which shows that online search and e-commerce are already on the up as a direct result of "lockdown", with e-commerce up 25% and online grocery shopping in particular increasing by 100% (https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/03/31/e-commerce-up-25-online-grocery-shopping-up-100-virus-protection-products-up-807/#50f7746e73c9), it feels to me that making sure any brand message you're sharing is supported with clear purchase signposts, is more important now than ever.

Focusing on answering what is undoubtedly an important question for consumers right now (and helping brands to approach that), seems like the way forward, and as such I'm grateful that Dotter is in a position to help solve one challenge in a world of uncertainty

Naomi Broughton