Do’s & Dont’s of Crisis Marketing

by 97display on

As many small business owners know, the COVID-19 outbreak is starting to take a toll on advertising and marketing around the world.  Now is a crucial time to switch your messaging and turn your marketing efforts toward creating long-term relationships with your community and existing members. You are an asset to your community, and even in times like this, there is a way to market yourself as helpful, effective, and positive. 


At 97Display, we’re here to help you and your business get through this! We have compiled a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” when thinking about your new advertising plan:



    • Avoid addressing the crisis. If you do not address the issue, people may find your ad to be uncaring and disingenuine
    • – Use any terminology that could feel offensive to the current crisis at hand. An ill-timed joke can make you seem out of touch and dissonant. 


  • Example: With the California wildfires that were recently devastating California families, you wouldn’t want to reference “BURN” or “FIRE” to describe a workout in your ad copy. (With COVID-19, it is good to address that you are properly sanitizing, washing hands, social distancing, etc.)
  • – Be pushy with sales, people will stay away from you if you push what you are trying to sell. 



  • – Address the current situation at hand. Let your community know what you are doing to “flatten the curve,” or how you are practicing social distancing! This creates trust and loyalty, leading to life-long clients!
  • – Think about your brand perception. How do you want your business to be perceived when isolation is over? Make your clients feel heard and validated through this. Your community will remember how you made them feel during this time.
    •    * Reward your current members for interacting on your Facebook page, by creating a small giveaway.
    •    * If you are able, organize a fundraiser for a local charity or family in need.
    •    * Be a source of inspiration and positivity. Allow your ads to be a break from loud news channels. 
  • – Provide a solution to the problem! Of course, you can’t create a vaccine to cure everyone who has been affected, BUT you can provide virtual training to your community that is stuck inside! If this can be a free solution, this is the best way to maximize community involvement. From this, you can build future in-house trials to convert users to members!
  • Keep your advertising alive…but change the tone! The first thought is to cut your advertising, but this can actually do more harm than good. Your advertising should come across as useful, communicative, and informative. And don’t forget to stay positive! 

“‘Marketing’ during a crisis is probably the wrong choice of words here.  It’s really about being present, showing up, and continuing to offer your community solutions…People will still buy things during a crisis but even if they don’t, your business will be the first one they think of when the crisis is over.” -Andrea Vahl, Marketing Expert. 


We understand that marketing can seem tricky to navigate during a health crisis. But if you adapt quickly and truly listen to your audience, your business will come out on top. The most important aspect of crisis advertising to remember is to always add value. Use the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to empathize with, inform, and help your clients.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your marketing during COVID-19, email our support staff at