5 Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Should NOT Make In This Pandemic

Marketing mistakes to avoid in a pandemic
(Last Updated On: September 10, 2020)

“There is no such thing as bad publicity”

But what do you do when you make a marketing mistake during a pandemic? A crisis is a litmus test for all entrepreneurs to pull up their socks and think strategically.

Often, this means leaving the marketing to rot in a corner. It is not a priority during a pandemic, is it?

And that is your first mistake.

Marketing’s sole purpose is not to sell. In every way, marketing is the gateway between your business and the world i.e your customers, clients and competitors.

So, even during a pandemic, do not skip out on marketing campaigns. All you need to do is avoid these common marketing mistakes.

5 marketing mistakes you should avoid making in 2020

Marketing to a generic audience

Your customers are now more divided than ever. There will be a section of people who do not want any sales offers, cold emails or social media posts.

There will be another group of audience who are looking towards informational marketing, like webinars, ebooks, expert tips via carousel posts/short video content. It is important to understand what your customer needs at a time like this and fuse that into your marketing strategy.

For example, a good way to know what your customers need to hear is by asking them yourselves. If you have a social media account, ask your customers what they need advice or help with.

An ad I came across recently, highlights this point. Ikea, a company that sells furniture and home decor, used the lockdown as an opportunity to market to their customers about the pleasures of staying indoors. They cleverly pivoted their marketing campaigns to highlight the joys of being home, whilst also being safe indoors.

Tone-deaf to the current scenario

Remember, the pandemic, or in fact, any crisis is not the time to be brash with your marketing.

Make it an important pointer when discussing marketing campaign ideas to avoid over the top campaign ideas. Also, FactCheck any pandemic-related news/content before you post. Stay updated on current news from reliable sources, especially about the pandemic.

For example – A few months ago, our team had scheduled a LIVE with a guest speaker. However, our social media team immediately cancelled the event due to nationwide breaking news concerning the death of a prominent public figure. This conscious and quick thinking helped us avoid backlash from our customers.

Here are a few reliable sources you can check your new facts from, concerning the pandemic.

  1. World Health Organization
  2. Journalist Faye D’Souza’s  Social Media Channels 
  3. Ministry of Health – India

”Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your own family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” – David Ogilvy

Sounding like a bot

Do NOT send automated responses to your customers during a pandemic. Do NOT sound like a bot when they are frustrated and need an immediate solution. Address each problem personally. even if it takes time.

Have a pep talk with your content team. Ensure you use mindful words when speaking to your customers. For example, if you are running a campaign to raise awareness for taking care of mental health during a pandemic, send customers an email that looks like this –

Marketing mistakes - Instamojo SME Wrap

Also, your customers are probably more frustrated now than ever. They need quicker solutions, faster responses to feedback. Do not automate your responses to them when they comment on your campaigns or send a customer query.

Here’s how our team responds to anyone who addresses a concern via our posts –

Marketing mistakes imojo blog

Zero focus on retention marketing

Did you know that only 20% of your business comes from new customers, so if you think that re-focusing marketing campaigns to a new set of customers owing to the pandemic will help boost business – you’re wrong.

Get in touch with your current customer base. Send them emails, feel-good reminders, and go as far as offering them special discount codes too. Everyone is looking to cut costs this time, so it might help to offer discounts and promotions via customer loyalty programs now more than before!

Ignoring SEO and focussing on bigger campaigns

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is still your biggest marketing tool. While you practice mindfulness in your marketing strategy, do not forget your core marketing goals. Your website homepage, blog and product pages must be SEO-optimized to attract customers to your website.

Of course, making marketing mistakes is one of the quickest ways to learn what NOT to do as well. But it is always good to be prepared for the worst. If your business is looking for a little inspiration to bounce back during this crisis, we have a FREE ebook that can help you.

Short term and long term strategies poster



1 comment
  1. Quite informative indeed. Very useful for someone who is trying to sustain his/her business during this pandemic. You can also apply for small business loans from a FinTech company if you are running short of capital for marketing. One of my cousins got a business loan from LendingKart to market his products and services. He said that the approval process was very easy and smooth.

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