Marketing in Wartime

Marketing in wartime – how do we handle our company's marketing during times like these, when the war in Ukraine is causing unspeakable suffering? Should you, for example, actively address the topic in online marketing and make statements in your posts on social networks or in email marketing, or find other ways to signal your support? Our full-service agency has dedicated itself to this sensitive topic on current occasions and compiled some valuable tips for you here.

Where are the challenges in online marketing in wartime?

The biggest challenges lie in genuine compassion, authenticity on the topic, and the necessary piety as well as real help. Well-intentioned color adjustments of the company logo in the colors of the Ukrainian flag or a post about war and peace is quickly implemented, but you should first carefully check the associated intention.

All too quickly, this serious topic is used to maintain one's own brand image or, in a second step, even to place direct product advertising. However, this form of performance marketing for sales increase, especially online in networks or newsletters, is quickly rated negatively by followers and customers and perceived as insincere.

Influencers and large companies have already paid tuition fees because they have triggered ugly shitstorms and had to accept the accusation that they act out of pure profit and not out of compassion and a sense of responsibility. The actual purpose or perhaps even well-intentioned approach here turns into the opposite, with fatal consequences for the brand image.

Stay authentic

Clear positioning and associated online marketing measures only succeed if they are credible. This is the case, for example, if you have been committed to refugees with your company for a longer period of time or have otherwise shown commitment in the field.

In case of doubt, healthy restraint in the online marketing implementation at this point is more appropriate to deal with the situation adequately. Of course, it's never too late to start with a company's own commitment.

Taking a stand through concrete help

If you support aid organizations with your company or take other measures such as collecting money and material donations for Ukraine, you are making a valuable contribution.

At this point, it is secondary to communicate this in the context of your online marketing strategies. Sometimes it's more genuine to forego external communication on aid actions. Because here, too, a high level of sensitivity applies, and less is more. Because you should only refer to social and political topics if your positioning is meant seriously and does not primarily pursue classic online marketing goals.

In this current situation, it is better to let actions speak than to strive for an ethically questionable increase in sales on the back of those suffering from the war.

Check if your content fits the time

Naturally, you don't have to completely do without online marketing activities, and not every positive contribution is automatically inappropriate. But you should currently check once more which topics you address and which language you use.

Here there is also the possibility to openly and honestly describe one's own feelings and emotions. Put yourself in the position of your addressees as best as possible.

How might they perceive the post or newsletter? At what points can you be misunderstood, or even hurt people with your statements?

Rely on pull marketing

While too offensive push marketing in the current situation is rather to be advised against, companies in online marketing should rely on pull marketing, especially in the area of SEO (search engine optimization), to build their market position in the long term.

With pull marketing, you offer products that interested parties search for online and that may offer the solution to a specific problem. The findability and visibility of your offer are essential in this context.

In this context, you can ask yourself what problems the crisis and related global sanctions and effects will lead to and where your products and services can help in the future.

To the point: This is how you realize appropriate online marketing!

In wartime, it is crucial that you handle online marketing measures particularly sensitively and moderately and carefully examine their effect in advance and check for authenticity.

Avoid generally wanting to make a profit from crises in marketing, as this very quickly seems disrespectful and is punished by many customers.

Our online marketing agency will be happy to advise you on suitable online marketing strategies and show you how, among other things, you can stay effective and at the same time authentic in your advertising activities with pull marketing.