COVID-19: Marketer’s Survival Guide. Part One

It’s testing times for everyone. COVID-19 has caused so much disruption in such a small amount of time affecting both consumers and businesses. We are all in a situation that we could never have prepared for. For many marketers during this crisis it can be difficult to adapt and pivot, but adapt and pivot to survive we must.

In order to give a helping hand, we’re bringing you our Marketer’s Survival Series. Over these difficult times we will be bringing you a stream of guides, worksheets and webinars to give you the ammunition you need to help your business succeed. 

What’s in this guide:-

We hope you find the guide useful to help you pivot your marketing amid COVID-19. Keep well, stay safe and let’s work together to continue your business success. #weareone

7 things marketers need to be thinking of during Coronavirus

At a time of uncertainty, fear and in many cases isolation, there is no doubt that Coronavirus will affect all businesses. This is not a situation that any of us had envisaged and all the best laid plans for an emergency would not have covered the eventualities we are seeing unravel every day.

On the one hand you have panic buying at supermarkets and food stores where retailers can’t keep up with demand, and on the other a rapid decline in demand for travel and entertainment businesses as the government ramps up social distancing. It is easy for businesses to descend into chaos.

A drop in demand for products and services will lead to a rethinking about how marketing allocates budgets and refocuses attention. However marketing teams should take a leading role in supporting how the brand responds in these times. We look at the things marketers can do to help survive in a time of crisis, which is our main focus as part of our Marketer’s Survival Guide.

  1. Communicate internally

Your employees are key. Ensure your teams understand your business continuity plan. If you have moved to working remotely ensure this is well communicated and plan for regular updates. Keeping your employees aware of the changing situation and how it may impact them and their customers is key. Full transparency is crucial right now.

  1. Understanding your audience

There has never been a more important time to ensure you understand your audience and proving this through your communications. At a time when purchasing your products may be the last thing on the consumers mind – how to do you keep them engaged and the million-dollar question – should you? The answer is yes, but how and with what depends on the audience – the segments within the audience and you proving that you are relevant, useful and your tone is sensitive of the changing situation.

  1. Back in stock/Out of stock

Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically, panic buying has changed stock levels and the supply chain significantly. Being able to advise your customers when products are out of stock or back in stock will be essential. This will prove your usefulness at a time of need and allow you to sell the right products to the right people at the right time.

  1. Reduced ad spends means a bigger reliance on your database

Your database is your asset right now, and treated well and effectively will mitigate the losses on ad spend. This is why it is even more crucial to keep building your database numbers. Ensure you have the right methods in place to grow your lists. If someone comes to your site and sees a product is out of stock give them the option to be notified when it is back in stock. Having a seamless signup process right now is paramount.

  1. Keep being creative

Doing business as we know it is changing and time will tell if it’s only for the duration of this current crisis or whether it will change the way we do business forever. This means it’s time to be extra creative, that should come easy to us right? – We’re marketers after all! If you are a theatre or a cinema look to deliver online content that will continue to engage and entertain your audience. If you are a restaurant you could think about delivering or even sending out portioned food packs and set up online sessions to show customers how they can cook the dishes at home.

  1. Change the subject!

If you have been pushing the same products with the same subject line then this really is the time to change it up. Customer fatigue will set in now more than ever and it may lead to customers getting irritated with your messages and cause them to opt-out. The show must go on, but it needs to do so in a way that is thoughtful and useful.

  1. Re-wire your thinking

This is a great time for you to press pause, take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of your audience. This is time to rethink strategy, to think about your segments and to think about the short term activities as well as those for after the isolation periods. Think about the older segments in your databases that are now unable to leave their homes – how can you be useful to them or entertain them. Think about those who are working from home, are you a local café or shop? Think about how you can help all the different segments – but think about them differently as their behaviours will be changing for the next 3 to 4 months.

The situation is changing regularly, as time progresses and we learn new ways of working we will continue to update you on tips and best practices in this time of COVID-19. Look out for more content on how you can optimise your email and web marketing to better serve customers.

A call to arms for marketers during Coronavirus

A recent survey of marketers by eConsultancy highlighted that marketers are currently in shock, many of which have pressed the pause button on progress. But is this really the right approach? This short term hesitation may have an impact on the long term success of businesses.  Just because the world is in crisis, doesn’t mean you should abandon your customer now. The way a brand behaves now will have a marked impact on how it is perceived when we all return to normality.  As Mark Ritson in his usual eloquent way puts it – the wheels of the industry must keep turning.

We wanted to share as part of our Marketer’s Survival Guide some inspiring examples of brands that are utterly nailing it right now by showing empathy, diversification, understanding and the ability to be agile. These stories will be remembered for a long time.

Examples of Brands that are pushing the boundaries

Dior & Givenchy

In an amazing pivot the luxury goods owner LVMH has switched from making perfume to hand sanitizer as demand for the product is so high. It has said that it will use all the production facilities of its perfumes and cosmetics brands to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel for free to be delivered to hospitals in France.


As the NHS needs almost 18,000 more ventilators to keep people alive during the crisis, Vauxhall is planning to halt manufacturing of cars to switch to 3D-printing ventilator parts. Working from technical drawings Vauxhall has offered to help 3D printing and putting together the crucial devices.

Church of England

The Church of England faced a real problem when the government announced social distancing and restrictions on public gatherings. Instead of closing the doors to the mega buildings of worship, they instead have moved to a digital way of connecting with their congregation. From podcasts to launching where you can find out about local streaming services and events.


The independent brewer has begun making hand-sanitiser at its distillery in Scotland amid shortages driven by Coronavirus. James Watt, BrewDog’s founder announced: “We are determined to do everything we can to try and help as many people as possible stay safe”. They will be giving the bottles away for free.


The trainer reseller store announced via its website that it is donating $20k to feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which helps support food banks across the country. It also launched the #flexfromhome challenge that asks their fashionable customers to “Take a break from your home office, dress to impress and help support your community”. With every tweet or instagram story tagged with #FlexFromHome the company will donate an additional $1 to the COVID-19 Response Fund.

Opera from the comfort of your own home

Opera houses across the world, including Metropolitan Opera and the French Opera House will be streaming the best operas from their HD archives. Each day productions will be available for all to consume!

Cloud Raves

Nightclubs across China are live streaming DJ sets while clubbers at home can tune in, comment and dance to the music.



Pret is giving NHS workers free hot drinks and 50% off everything else to say thanks for all their hard work during the coronavirus outbreak.

As the UK is just starting its journey through Coronavirus, with time, we hope to see many more examples of how brands are adapting whilst supporting the changing needs of the customer. It is a time of uncertainty for businesses but what is certain is the need to not forget about your brand and its importance at a time like this. And ultimately this is the time when marketing is not dead, just the way you are doing it will need changing.

12 stats on how consumers engage with brand email marketing

We know to survive in marketing you have to adapt to the everchanging landscape and that not everyone has the time to read every report and guide that’s released, so to help out we thought we would give your marketers a round-up of the most important stats and learning from the DMA Consumer Email Tracker Report 2020


Consumers believe email is the best channel to receive brand marketing, preferring it almost twice as much as any other channel. 46% compared to 26% for post and 24% for text or face to face.



Most customers have two personal email addresses.


Consumers believe they receive on average 55 emails a week.


When receiving marketing emails consumers say the most important factor in opening an email is “Recognising the brand” (55%) and then “The Subject line” (48%).


Only 13% of people believe that over half of their marketing emails from brands are useful.


65% of consumers want to receive discounts and offers that are relevant to them.


43% consumers like to get advanced notice of new products and services & sales.


Over a third like non-transactional emails.


Of the emails they love consumers love relevancy and usefulness (36%).


When consumers receive an interesting email – only 29% click on the email link – making attribution tricky for marketers.


When on their smartphones and consumers see something they would like to buy only 14% will buy straight away and a huge 35% will go directly to the company’s website – again having an impact on attribution.


The main reasons that consumers sign up to newsletters is for Discounts & Offers (48%), being a regular customer (43%) and joining for some form of loyalty program (40%).

Top 10 tools for running your events online

As social distancing and isolation because of Coronavirus builds momentum almost every industry is affected. With many brands moving their physical events online, marketers are now faced with having to identify and test the best technology and software for their specific needs. With the multitude of choices available this is a daunting experience at the best of times, leaving alone when at a time of crisis.

We’ve done the legwork for you and have come up with our top 10 tools for running your event online. This section of our Marketer’s Survival Series will help you with a smooth transition from physical events to online.



GotoWebinar is an ideal platform to stream your online events, it has a vast range of features and boasts an intuitive and easy to use interface. It is a self-service solution and does not require any IT support so it is very easy to set up and start using. Ideal if you want to quickly bring your physical events online.

GotoWebinar is a very scalable video conferencing software, so it can be used for a small event, say 5 participants up to 1,000, for just one flat cost.

You can record your online events or webinars using your webcam, or share your screen if you would like to present slides or show your desktop, you can then download these as an mp4 to share on your social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook or embed these on your website for further reach of your events. Or even gate these videos if you would like to further monitise your event content or collect additional leads.

You also have access to a reporting and analytics suite where you can discover audience engagement metrics, to help you uncover the most highly qualified leads, being those who were most engaged with your event’s content.

GotoWebinar Graphs

Image source: G2

GotoWebinar has a number of other useful features including:

  • Automated emails
  • Settings to practice your event
  • Customised branding
  • Audience Interaction settings
  • The ability to share event handouts
  • Lead management features
  • HD Video Conferencing
  • High Network Security
  • Desktop sharing
  • Online registration forms
  • Participate live chat
  • Plus more

GotoWebinar has multiple different pricing packages that you can find here and you can also try a 7-day free trial.


Review source: G2



Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing platform that will help you broadcast your events live or pre-recorded. Used by over half the Fortune 500 companies, it is a very well established and respected platform within the video conferencing sector.

Zoom is quick and easy to set up and has a free version if you would like to dive straight in and test it out for your events.

Zoom has a number of integrations including Slack the popular collaboration and messaging tool. It also has its own API so you can build your own native apps or integrate your existing tech stack, for areas such as managing registrations. Their built-in collaboration tools allow multiple participants to share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate for a more interactive event or meeting.

Zoom can support up to 1000 video participants and 49 videos on-screen simultaneously.

Features also include recording your event/meetings locally or to the cloud, with searchable transcripts. You can schedule or start an event/meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal. The chat feature is also great allowing you to chat with groups, searchable history, integrated file sharing, and a 10 year archive. Easily escalate from 1:1 personal events to group calls.

Open a free account and try launching your online event with Zoom.


Review source: G2



Thinkific is a software platform that allows you to create your own online courses, where you can stream live or pre-recorded videos to your participants. Their mission is to help revolutionise the way people learn.

The platform allows you to create fully customisable courses that you can offer for free or monitise. This is ideal for online training events, seminars, one to one or group meetings, plus much more.

They have helped more than 25,000 course creators in 164 different countries.

Here are just some of Thinkific’s key features:

  • Create your course curriculum with their Course Builder
  • Build a customisable website to deliver your courses
  • Fully integrated ecommerce to accept payment for your courses
  • Market and sell your courses to the masses by integrating your favorite business and marketing tools
  • Better serve your audience with participate success tools and deliver your courses in their participant learning environment

    Thinkific has a free plan, so you can test their platform out and launch your online event or course free today.

Facebook Live


Facebook Live is a brilliant feature that should be utilised by event organisers to live stream their events. Live broadcasters can decide who on Facebook can see their video and use this content to engage their audience during events and their moments.

According to Vimeo, 78% of online audiences have been watching video on Facebook Live since 2018.
It’s quick and easy to launch Facebook Live, here’s a quick how to:

  • Tap the camera icon to the left of your search bar.
  • Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted.
  • Switch to “Live” on the bottom of your camera screen.
  • Choose your privacy and posting settings.
  • Write a compelling description.
  • Tag friends, choose your location, or add an activity.
  • Set your camera’s orientation.
  • Add lenses, filters, or writing and drawing to your video.
  • Click the blue “Start Live Video” button to start broadcasting.
  • Interact with viewers and commenters.
  • Click “Finish” to end the broadcast.
  • Post your reply and save the video to your camera roll.

YouTube Live

YouTube Live is an easy and ideal way to reach your audience for your event in real-time.

An advantage of using YouTube for your live videos for your events is they can become a  part of an archive and have replay value, especially if you organise them into playlists. Viewers can watch your events far into the future, giving your content more longevity compared to some other platforms.

You can stream directly from your webcam or directly from the YouTube app (in order to stream live from the mobile app you must have at least 1,000 subscribers).

You can also monitise your videos, so this is ideal for your events by promoting sponsors and other companies that would like to reach your audience. You can add pre-roll ads before your live video starts, mid-roll advertisements, you can even have display and overlay ads during your live stream. Live chat on YouTube Live also gives you an opportunity to chat and gain reactions from your audience throughout the live stream.

Overall YouTube Live is a must for companies that want to engage and scale their online audience, with real-time interactions and the ability to build an easy to access archive of videos that can be repurposed and easily shared.



BrightTALK is a leading online platform to showcase your events and webinars in real-time or build up an archive of content over time.

BrightTALK allows you to create unlimited webinars and videos that can be embedded anywhere. For viewers, they only have to complete a one-time registration and then they can access thousands of hours of content on-demand, they can search by category and follow specific brands that interest them.

BrightTALK is a great way to build up an engaged online community for your events and webinars, and you can also invite your own subscribers to signup and follow you. The platform has millions of subscribers and integrations with your tech stack including a wide range of CRM’s to push your registration straight into your database in which you can nurture and engage with, so it’s ideal for lead generation from your online events.

Features include:

  • Alerts/Notifications for registrations and reports
  • Customise your own branding
  • Event management capabilities
  • Live chat with your audience or support
  • Q & A sessions with your viewers
  • Views can vote and complete polls
  • Add multi hosts for your events or webinars
  • Screen sharing capabilities
  • On-demand webinars (that can be pre-recorded and uploaded) 
  • Access to analytics and reports to view engagement
  • Promote your events or webinars on social media
  • Plus more

Discover more about BrightTALK’s solution here



Asana is a leading project management software solution, which is ideal for managing your events to stay in sync, hit deadlines and to maximise the effectiveness of your online events.

Asana’s platform allows you to visualise your work and move these easily through different stages of managing your events and projects.

The timeline feature within the platform gives you a detailed view of how your projects fit together, giving you a clear view and notifications if things change, which is especially if you are running events that involve multiple team members.

Your team can request work and submit ideas though forms in order to prepare for your events, as well as access a personal or unified calendar to make all the preparation for your events to make sure they are on track and make adjustments where necessary.

If you are running multiple online events you can create portfolios so you can update key stakeholders and gain a fully holistic view of all of your upcoming events.

The preparation for online events can be demanding so you can manage your teams’ workload in one view to make sure that the work is spread evenly and no areas are lagging behind, to ensure you meet those crucial deadlines.

Asana Platform

Asana has over 100 integrations available so you can ensure that you tie all of your data together to easily manage your online event, from emails, files, tickets, registrations plus much more.

These features all tie together by being able to track your collective goals and work towards milestones to ensure your online events run smoothly and offer your registrations the best possible experience to ensure attendance. This is coupled with you being able to add your own custom fields to make sure the platform works to your bespoke requirements.

Overall Asana is the perfect project management and collaboration solution to manage your online events, unify your team’s working processes, and execute an effective online event strategy.

Asana has a free package for teams of up to 15 people. Find out more about Asana.



Brightcove is an industry-leading solution for live streaming at scale, their platform allows you to quickly and easily live stream events without the complexity of some other platforms. This is via their intuitive interface, self-proclaimed unmatched quality, and industry-leading support before, during and after your event, giving audiences a broadcast-quality experience.

Their platform bypasses ad blockers with a one-of-a-kind server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology. This allows your live videos to include ad-supported content into one continuous stream, so it’s an ideal way to monitise your online event. This also gives your audiences pause-free, glitch-free and buffer-free viewing, which really gives your viewers an amazing experience throughout your online event.

Brightcove is a really stand out solution to be used for your online events as it has some awesome features to help extend the reach of your live streaming content. These include publishing full live streams on your social channels, creating clips during the live stream and pushing them to your website or again your social channels or embed a fully interactive live experience on your website.

Brightcove Platform

A standout feature that they offer for streaming live events is the ability for the viewer to ‘time travel’, this lets the audience pause, play and rewind a live stream with just the click of a button. They also integrate with leading social networks such as Facebook so you can stream your live events on those social platforms for further reach.

Brightcove is a very scalable solution and caters for everything from a single live stream for an event to a 24/7 channel, coupled with monitisation features such as pre-roll ads, sponsorship opportunities to a range of ad insertions. This is a robust solution that will really make your online events stand out.

Based on Amazon’s AWS multi-region servers, Brightcove can cater to your scalability and GDPR requirements. Their API also gives you the opportunity to unify their platform to your tech stack to make your life easy running your online events.

Discover more about Brightcove.



On24 states they are on a mission to transform the way marketers market, powering the live, always-on and personalised webinar and content experiences that businesses need to create engagement, deliver data, find demand and drive revenue. It’s a great statement and one which their platform truly lives up to.

Their platform helps build a data-rich, interactive event/webinar content experience, ideal for getting the most ROI from your event as their analytics allows you to understand your audience’s behaviour and turn that intelligence into ways that you can action. These include polls, surveys, offer additional resources and more. You can chat live and engage with your audience and interact with them on a more human level.

Overall ON24 looks like a feature-rich, solid solution to successfully run your online events. Prices vary for requirements, but they do offer a free trial.

Cameleon Live


Cameleon Live allows you to stream your live event over multiple social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Periscope, VLC, Weibo, Wowza, Livestream, Ustream, Codem, JwPlayer, Adobe Media Server, Nginx, Dacast, Red5, Pandora TV,, Brightcove, Cameleon and others.

This is an ideal way to gain maximum reach for your live online events on a wide range of different platforms, without the hassle of streaming on one platform and then having to repurpose your content on multiple platforms after the event.

Their solution also allows you to easily design your own live-streaming apps, using their robust and easy to develop software, using their original source code, so if you want to configure their platform to suit your own requirements for your event, the world’s your oyster.

A testimonial from one of their customers, shows the simplicity, robustness and time saving their platform gives, rather than developing your own solution: 

“Easy, simple and extremely powerful. The absolute must-have for everyone working with social media. It saves you a tremendous amount of time and has more features than you’ll ever need.”

We hope you found the first part of our Marketer’s Survival Guide useful, we know it’s tough times for us all and we are here to fully support you. If you have any hints or tips that you would like to share with us that we can include in the next edition of our Marketer’s Survival Series, please contact us on as we would love to include them.

In the meantime, if you would like a free consultation for our experts to help you enhance your email marketing strategy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stay safe. #weareone

Become a better marketer

With our free learning resource! Sign up now for access to the UK's best strategy advice, industry innovations, best practice and tons of actionable insights. #betterstartshere