If you want to succeed in business, you can’t stay idle for long.

At the Excellence Group we have examined the marketing spend, success and campaigns of luxury brands and spoken directly to over 1000 companies and distilled down our research and feedback from clients into a simple guideline of best practices for marketing during the Covid pandemic.

70% of the global population is spending more time on their mobile devices consuming content during this pandemic.

Long-term studies show that the best approach during economic uncertainty is to increase, not decrease, your marketing spend.

Whilst some brands are going into hibernation, others are reaching out more aggressively, seeing an opportunity.

People particularly want to hear how things can be made better and how a brand is helping the community.

Brands should be more than just sales and consider the positive impact they can have on the people they rely on as customers and the community.

Escapism is particularly strong, as evidenced by the surge in online entertainment such as Netflix and online purchases with Amazon. Amazon’s particular strength is of course same or next day delivery, which puts a large dent in their profit margin, but maintains their monopoly of online sales.

Times of change like these mean people are very receptive to new ideas, products, and technical innovations, picking up new habits and spending patterns.

Brands should be marketing now. People are starting to promote again, those that are slow are missing opportunities, as media are desperate for content.

Goodwood, BMW and Ferrari amongst other luxury brands are now holding discreet VIP events, even the Queen of England is out and about in-person presenting art (with every safety precaution taken), for the first time in almost a year.

A brand’s PR or media campaign should be ongoing, consistent and share a clear simple message that resonates with the right audience and excites and influences them to take the first step of buying for the first time and coming back for more.

Do Not Wait
Many brands think things will go back to normal, as before, so they have paused their marketing. They will not. The pandemic has accelerated many changes that were coming anyway, just slowly. Also, the pandemic is not going away, it will remain in some form for years, even with the vaccines. The most conservative analysis holds that Covid will be with us well into 2022. Brands need to adjust their long term planning to incorporate safety and VIP treatment of customers for the long term. Make it part of your strategy and you will not be unpleasantly surprised again or caught off balance.

Plan For The Future
Make plans to continue providing products and services with Covid factored in. Safety, care, one to one presentation and VIP treatment are essential. A business should now make Covid a part of the strategy for the next five years. Once implemented it will not add costs and will simply form a part of the added luxury service.

Voice Of Customer
Listen to your customers and find out what they want. Your data from six months ago is already out of date. Find out what they are looking for now, regularly. Double down on customer engagement, bringing more to the clients you already have.

Empathetic Marketing
Present luxury, aspiration and dreams as products and services that bring joy and happiness, with an understanding of the hard times some people are going through. Give something back, particularly if you are promoting an exclusive luxury lifestyle. Luxury does not have to be exclusive, but a treat for all. Empathy for others is critical. Aspirational marketing, but considerate.

Brand Value
Look after your clients, drop some fees during troubled times. Many of these actions may not bring immediate sales but will build loyalty, trust and goodwill. In the long term, your brand will see positive results.

Better Digital
More people are being pushed to use digital communications and are becoming more tech-savvy. Digital take-up is accelerating swiftly. This presents a perfect opportunity to gain a march on competitors by rolling out better digital services. Make things simpler and easier for customers to find and enjoy your services, and interact more closely with your brand.

Educate
The more people understand a product or service, the more they connect and engage with it. Humour and simplicity are the best ways to communicate the benefits of any product. Social media, YouTube and live feeds are all ways to get closer to your audience and attract new buyers.

Celebrity Online Experience
Meeting, dining, dancing and engaging with celebrities online is a growing trend. This can be applied to marketing brands across the board. Virtual experiences are not as good as face to face, but they can be scaled up in a way that makes them cost-effective, targeting a much larger audience. Examples such as wine classes, art classes, Polo demonstrations or a day in the life of a yacht captain. The Faroe Islands created a remote tourism guide, where you can direct a local guide around carrying a live video camera. They could be asked to run and jump, or look in any direction. People appreciate a sincere effort, particularly if presented with honesty and a little humour.

Entertainment
Share positive stories of self-isolation. Entertain people. Challenges, online events, free resources, live streaming and the most important of all, humour. Live shows on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

Still In Business
Customers want to know that you are still communicating and promoting your brand and products. Let them know you are still in business and that they can rely on your services. You are not going anywhere, and happy to help further.

Correct Tone
Promote your services with Covid in mind. People want to experience the better things in life just as much as before, just judge the tone in light of contemporary restrictions.

Good Deeds
Give something back. Make it personal. Include something you and your audience care about. Luxury brands should lead the way here.

Employee-Generated Content
Your work culture is very much a part of your brand. What employees like to do together and in their spare time. If you can share the humanity of the company, people will identify with your brand more. Personal is better.

Treat All Clients As VIP
Large companies are known for keeping feedback impersonal so they don't take responsibility and can cut costs. The best companies make the service personal, so people are genuinely cared for.

Email Marketing
Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to keep in touch with your clients and keep them up to date with good news and good deeds. Well written, engaging content that excites and influences is vital.

Luxury Brand Events
Luxury Brand Events are still vital to promote with all the right safety measures. But their main focus should be the PR coverage they can generate for you.