Responsible Marketing: Are you making your communications count?

By April 2, 2020News, Sustainability

As our interconnected planet raises new human challenges for businesses to respond and adapt to, we look at the positive role that advertisers can play, especially via social media right now.

The most effective content marketing strategy is focused on what a brand’s audience needs and provides accessible solutions to their fingertips. At a time when people are turning to their preferred social networks to provide support to loved ones and key workers on the front line – now is an important time to show you’re paying attention with relevant and thoughtful content. 

Meaningful Interactions

It’s important to reinforce why you use social channels as a brand, whether to entertain, to be genuinely helpful, or to promote a new product or service offering. At this moment in time, consider your content strategy over the coming weeks and months to ask: “what does my audience need right now?” – can you genuinely help them, and if so how can you develop that quickly from an idea to an action?

Our client, Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design, has thoughtfully collaborated with BuzzBike to support NHS staff with free bikes to ride safely to work, featuring a ‘stay positive posie’ to keep their spirits up and say thank you to all the healthcare staff supporting the UK. On the collaboration, Elizabeth commented: “Giving flowers, with their inherent sense of healing and atonement, seems highly appropriate here where NHS workers are risking their lives to help the current crisis.”

Honesty & Collaboration 

We’re navigating uncharted waters as a global population, and no-one can accurately forecast exactly what lies ahead. From the point of view of your brand voice, honesty and empathy will not only help strengthen your brand but will earn the respect of the consumer. If ever in doubt, ask someone outside of your business for a sense check. 

Explore some of the human stories that have come out of the industry you operate in, invite partners to collaborate and share ideas to inspire the rest of the business community. We can all do our bit from afar right now, connectivity has never been so important. 

Some brands might feel that they are not relevant or don’t have anything to say. I encourage you to do your research, make plans and get your house in order before rushing into anything that doesn’t feel right. The right stories or commentary will come and will mean so much more when it does. 

Community & Optimism 

As local communities come together to support each other, why shouldn’t brands? If you missed #YorkshireTeaGate on Twitter last month, take a moment to read the thread and responses from KFC, PG Tips and Kelloggs. Whether good or bad, a company’s core ethics will come out in moments like these – Elizabeth Marsh, Mercedes and Mulberry are getting it right, whilst some – Sports Direct, JD Wetherspoon and Travelodge, to name a few – are negatively impacting their brand reputation with decisions that lack compassion to both employees and the general public. 

Amidst the scaremongering and misinformation circulating, there’s an opportunity to spark joy. We’re definitely not saying we should make light of what’s happening in the world, but humour in the face of adversity is part of human nature – consider the lighter side of some of the challenges your business has faced in recent days or weeks, and don’t be afraid to show your personal side in business. 

Hopefully these ideas and examples demonstrate that when brands look beyond profit to understand the true needs of people and the planet we occupy, we can achieve a net positive impact on society together. Make your marketing communications count. 


  • Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design:
  • Buzzbike: 
  • Bad Business practices:


Mark Howarth

Author Mark Howarth

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