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How Are Buyers Feeling About Marketing Efforts in a COVID-19 Culture?

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To better understand public perception towards marketing efforts during the COVID-19 crisis, PAN surveyed 400 buyers (ages 25-44) through market data and analytics provider, Dynata.

Buyers are exposed to an overwhelming amount of content and messaging from news outlets around how to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic. But how are they feeling about the marketing they receive from the brands they know and love?

Consider the findings of this survey to help guide your content and strategy adjustments during this time of uncertainty and change.

73% of respondents believe that companies are communicating well during COVID-19 and feel they should continue to market their products/services. consumer sentiment dataMarketing messages are not falling on deaf ears. Buyers are listening, and they believe that the products and services you’re offering remain important amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

The key to not turning your buyers off: your messaging & positioning. Now is the time for knowledge sharing – not hard selling. Ensure that you’re still providing value to your target audience during these times. They’ll remember whether you did or not when things return to “normal”.

49.5% of respondents are extremely likely or likely to make a purchase from company marketing right now; but 61.4% of respondents said they are extremely likely/likely to make a purchase from a company whose employees are talking about the brand’s quick response to COVID-19.

consumer sentiment towards marketing

COVID-19 is not a time to put a halt to all marketing activities. Your audience is still receptive to your marketing strategies, but employee advocacy is more important now than ever. Buyers are impacted by other people’s perceptions of a company, not just their own.

Encourage your employees to remain active and to share the valuable resources they and your brand have created. Make sure employee communications from executives and brand leaders are consistent and transparent. Don’t lose sight of the people who make your brand succeed.

48% of respondents say the most important message to receive from a company during the COVID-19 crisis is about the steps they’re taking to make business safe for customers. This is followed by 31% saying they want to know the steps they’re taking to protect their employees and 21% wanting to know how they’re serving their communities.

consumer sentiment towards marketing

Buyers value transparency. Even if your external comms haven’t been up to par throughout this pandemic, it’s not too late to keep your audience in the loop on the steps you’re taking to keep them, your employees and your community safe. Plus, everyone needs a feel-good story to brighten up the days!

Encourage your C-suite to stay active on their channels. Thought leadership can take a different form in times like these.

To learn more about how your peers are adjusting their thought leadership and content strategies during this recovery phase, download our 2020 Content Fitness Report for insights.

66% of respondents strongly agree/agree that transparency and internal communication from the executives of a company impacts their level of trust in the company.

consumer sentiment and marketing

While we’ve determined that transparency is a top priority, stakeholders are the ones held accountable for communicating during times of crisis. Buyers rely on honesty from the people who matter most in order to build trust. Building trust now sets up a better future when we get to the point of recovery.

52.8% of respondents strongly agree/agree that the communications they’ve seen through email/social make them optimistic towards the future.

marketing sentiment during covid 19

Overall, the sentiment towards the future is more positive than negative, but we have a long way to go. It will take positive messaging from more than just brands before optimism is the overwhelming feeling among consumers.

For more resources to guide your preparedness and recovery strategy, reference our new resource center.

crisis communications resources

An image of PAN's Brand Experience Report on the Potentials and pitfalls of AI for marketers

In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.