How coronavirus brings out the heart in digital marketing

By Holly Milne

As I imagine we are all tired of hearing, a lot has changed over the last few weeks. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that brands are still trying to think of ways to sell to us, and my inbox is currently bursting with marketing emails – albeit with slightly different messaging than I’m used to reading.

At the moment, it is incredibly hard for any of us to find something original to say, as now the whole ‘what did you get up at the weekend‘ line is redundant. But for consumer brands in particular, walking the line between wanting to stand out from the crowd without hitting the wrong note, and appealing to consumers whose buying habits have completely changed, is more complicated than ever before.

At Relative, we wanted to delve into what lots of these brands currently have in common. So, we took a sample of marketing emails that we’d received over the last two weeks of lockdown and compared it against our model of standard English to ascertain what are the key things that brands are saying in a bid to keep our custom.

Looking to the future

Brands are 2.7x more likely to be using language that looks to the future such as phrases like ‘coming weeks’, and ‘look forward’. Everyone it seems is focusing on thinking about life when all this is over

We are all in this together

Brands are consistently using inclusive language and they are 2.5x more likely to be saying things like ‘we’, ‘our’, and ‘teams’. Brands are trying to make us all feel like we are in the same boat.

Emotive language

Brands are 18.5x more likely to be using language such as ‘kindness’, and ‘hope’.

Help and support

The language around help and support is 7.2x more likely to come up. Brands are keen to position themselves as a useful force during this complex time.

It seems to me that in a usually cynical world and marketplace, one thing that coronavirus has brought with it, is heart. In all the marcomms that we read, and (let’s be honest) write – one thing that everyone has brought in from working from home, is their humanity and heart.