Hayley Baxter: Sharpen your marketing message

Mark my words – a very interesting decade lies ahead of us.

When we get on top of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be more big challenges to face, and more changes to make.

Here’s how to do marketing in the shadow of a pandemic.

Stop talking about the pandemic and other trending topics 

This is the express lane to becoming irrelevant.

Tell me if this social media feed looks familiar to you:

(post about the pandemic)


(post about the pandemic)

(photos of someone’s kids)

(post about the pandemic)

The pandemic, coronavirus, new normal conversation is incredibly overcrowded.

To put it bluntly, nobody really cares what your business thinks about it anymore. 

This is not because people don’t care about you or your business.

It’s because this is how your audience is experiencing your content:

(post about the pandemic)

(your business’s post about the pandemic)

(post about the pandemic)

Trying to talk in the same way about the same topic as everyone else — a topic that your audience is undoubtedly inundated with already — is a great way to signal to people that you have nothing interesting to say. 

Focus instead on what information you can give your audience that they can’t get anywhere else, and which they might want to know about now.

What insights or wisdom can you share?  

Respect your audience’s inbox

Last year was a bad one for marketing email.

You probably personally experienced a barrage of emails in March and April, when every business who had ever acquired your email address dropped you a note to say, ‘We are all in this together’. 

If you were like me, you used those emails to go on an unsubscribing spree.

The problem here is that those businesses just kind of assumed that what they had to say was important to everyone.

This is understandable under the circumstances, but it could have been avoided by simply asking whether their audience really cared to hear their opinion on how we are all in this together. 

The email frenzy of 2020 has become a cautionary tale for marketers; consider the recipient’s inbox, or risk getting kicked out of it.

How to avoid sending “we’re all in it together” emails

There are two questions agencies should ask before sending marketing emails.

  1. Does our audience actually want to hear from us?
  2. When was the last time we sent them an email like this? 

If the answer to number one is an emphatic yes, and the answer to number two is ‘more than two weeks ago’, you’ll probably be OK. 

Find other ways to reach people

You don’t have to only use email. Since we’re a digital nation now, you have other options.

Here are some email marketing alternatives:

  • Enable browser push notifications. These let your users opt-in or out of receiving notifications when a new article is posted to your website (for example).
  • Create ebooks, calculators, and other ‘download magnet’ content. You don’t have to be James Joyce to write an ebook.

If it’s more than 10 pages and contains useful information, you can call it an ebook.

This kind of content is a great way to start conversations, and draws people to your site, grows your contact/subscriber list, and builds trust without spammy tactics.

  • Install a chatbot on your website. This is not as hard to implement as you think.

Basic chatbots can help you identify prospects earlier in the buying cycle and pass them directly to your BDM team to follow up.

Most of them ask for specific responses and provide set replies back.

  • Get GrowthLead set up on your BDM’s and principal’s LinkedIn accounts, and use it to connect with people who match your ideal buyer personas.

If you don’t know who your ideal buyer persona is, identify the demographics of those of your current customers who are ideal to work with, including their interests, professions, and so on.

Then use these insights to find more look-alike prospects, and connect with them.

Make sure that what you say is going to age well

I’m calling it: we are entering the age of upheaval.

The pandemic has been a shock to the system, producing clear winners and losers.

But as we brace for more impacts in the future, we will continue to see tables turn, and new winners and losers emerge.

And for this new age, this advice might be of life and death importance to your business: show everyone (really, everyone) the same respect, courtesy and dignity in your business dealings.

Be completely professional, and genuinely compassionate, even to people who aren’t worth a cent to you. 

I’m not saying bend over backwards. I’m saying that nobody can afford to be a jerk, even if you really, really want to or they really deserve it. 

While we don’t know who will win or lose in the future, I can guarantee you this: people you treat badly now will never forget how you made them feel.


  • Hayley Baxter is a Senior Digital Content Producer for Console. For more information visit

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Hayley Baxter

Hayley Baxter specialises as a content strategist, writer and social media editor for Console. As a marketing professional, Hayley has developed an eye for quality data, hype versus reality, and identifying trends worth following. For more information visit