Give Your Marketing Expertise to Help During Covid-19 (& Always)

On July 14, 1960, young Jane Goodall and her mother set up camp at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, where Jane arrived to research chimpanzees with the goal of a breakthrough observation. Weeks later she had spotted the chimps, but was still unable to approach them.

One day, after coming back down the mountain in the dark, she expressed to her mother how frustrated she was that she hadn’t learned anything remarkable yet. Her mother insisted that simply wasn’t true saying,

“But Jane you found that peak [where the chimpanzees are] and through your binoculars you’re learning more than you realize: you’re learning the different calls they make; you’re learning about the foods they eat; you’re learning how they wander around sometimes alone, sometimes in small family groups; and sometimes as a group of males hanging out; and you’re also learning how at night they climb into the trees and bend over the branches and make themselves a woven platform bed.”

Sometimes, especially in the moment, it’s not clear to us how much we have actually learned.

Outsiders can give us amazing perspective.

And there are plenty of outsiders who need marketing help right now, as Covid-19 brings our economy to a standstill.

While you might not think of sending an email newsletter as a particularly challenging task, someone who’s never had to use the Internet for their job or doesn’t speak the native language might.

You won’t know what skills you’ve learned that others will find useful until you ask what they might need.

I recently read about an NYC courier for Relay, Lenin Cerón. He made seventy dollars and seventy-one cents in a night delivering food, while having multiple mouths to feed at home. And after that, he biked an hour’s ride home through empty streets to the Bronx! “In one of the most humble jobs, I’m helping,” he said, “I feel O.K.”

I bet someone with digital marketing learnings could set up a GoFundMe for him or set up an Amazon Wishlist for him where people could buy the supplies he needs to clean his delivery outfit.

Or a marketer could help set him up with his own delivery service website where he could tell his story and charge more for the trouble he goes to to ensure deliveries aren’t infected. Or could create an even slimmer operation over only text message and Venmo.

Furthermore, they could help him identify and serve a niche that’s currently unaddressed such as delivery of Trader Joe’s grocery items, since they don’t currently collaborate with any of the big delivery services. I bet some customers would be willing to pay a premium that would all go directly to him, and already know the exact items they want.

And, most importantly, a marketer could help him distribute all of those pages to get more views by creating an awesome social media account for him, detailing the stories of his night, the extreme measures he goes to to ensure he doesn’t bring Covid-19 home, and revealing his amazing story and personality (something along the lines of Tim at the National Cowboy Museum).

So don’t hesitate to offer to use your marketing learnings to support small businesses and friends and family – especially right now. Taking a cue from my pal David’s actions, I’d recommend setting up call blocks and proactively asking people you know if they’d like your help for free. Post on Facebook and LinkedIn that you’re available to help, and make it as shameless as possible for folks to get in touch privately by providing your email address.

Or if you don’t want to take a 1:1 approach, you could write a blog post or create a video sharing helpful ways others can do marketing on their own. People are very open to help and learning right now. The chart below shows how the highest approval ratings currently are for those brands providing practical information which help people to deal with the situation – 89% of consumers support this.

People's opinion about brands during Covid-19

Basically, people that share learnings will be giving others what they most crave right now, and as a result will build positive relationships for years to come.

And while you’re giving away your learnings, you will benefit — from realizing how much you have accomplished, the feeling of helping someone, and from the positive brand perception you will build.

By the way, speaking of gaining new knowledge, Moz is giving away all their online academy courses for free.

Would it be too crazy to ask you to send a $5 tip to my Venmo tip jar because you enjoyed this article? @megsterr.

Or to my Paypal:

Up next, find out how to see which of your web pages are getting the most traffic during Covd-19, so you can maximize that exposure.

By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.