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The New C Word – COVID-19

By Burn •

  • CRM



Clearly this is a time for coming together, for taking care of others and for looking after customers. It is not a time to be overly transactional or self-serving. Never has there been a better time to understand what your customer really needs, how you can help and what ’value’ you can bring right now. This said, if your business can make a difference – do it and do it now!

In home media will be massive. TV offers exceptional value at present, with advertiser demand down, supply up and large, literally ‘captive’ audiences available. (Daytime average TV audiences have grown 29% according to Lindsey Clay of Thinkbox). Email and social have key roles to play as the public increasingly turns to digital channels, from video meetings, to remote learning and lessons. How fortunate, as Bill Gates outlined in his prophetic 2015 TED talk, that we have the tech to share public information and also to turn to for much of our interaction.

That said, traditional channels have a key role to play too – consent permitting. Voice will be key for reaching mature audiences who cannot always adopt tech solutions. And well targeted, personalised direct mail could prove powerful once people are comfortable with de-contamination processes. Even the government is sending a letter to 30 million households to ensure cut-through of crucial messages – despite being on TV so often. It’s interesting to hear the frequency of their radio announcements too – a reliable and cost-effective amplifier.

So in a nutshell, if your brand can fulfil a need or solve a pain point now, there’s every opportunity for successful, multi-channel brand response campaigns and (e)CRM. Don’t hold back because others are – this is a real moment to cut-through and connect.

In all of this, relevance, relationship and resonance are crucial – they create the three indices of connection and community and form the backbone of the engagement framework that drives all client work at BURN. In our model, these are achieved respectively via audience insight, careful comms planning and well crafted, brand response creative.

With insight indicating the customer’s physical and psychological needs, relevance really is then key. Opportunistic cashing-in will not be forgiven or forgotten any time soon but brands that communicate much needed solutions – and that could be a mortgage holiday or frankly a damn drinkable wine at the moment – will forge long-lasting bonds.

So, ask what purpose your brand can serve and what need you can genuinely meet to mitigate this shared trauma. What does the customer experience look like now, in this world where we all face a new, invisible foe each day? What are the new moments of truth? How can your customer journeys adapt to reflect our new normal? Are you listening and acting accordingly?

Make no mistake – this is a new era of connection, community and collectivism. Brands that nurture relationships will build strong bonds. Empathetic, relevant communications and CRM that build advocacy, tenure and loyalty will create long term reciprocity and value like never before.


Brand response agency BURN has consistently been voted UK’s no. 1 agency by clients. If you’d value a view from us, please do get in touch via or call 0208 332 7204.