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April Trend Flight: Digital Marketing and COVID-19, Best and Worst Brand Examples, Quarantine Book Reviews

How to Make the Most of Digital During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep the world in a suspended state of uncertainty, proactive marketers have been turning to digital marketing to help generate leads and business. Social distancing, closed stores, and reduced income all point towards decreased marketing budgets and making those dollars work harder. Here’s a few tips on turning to digital marketing as a solution for your brand:

Let’s Get Digital:
Stress often creates great ideas. Rally your marketing team to find creative ways to reach customers, or reach out to a growth studio or agency who specializes in digital marketing. This is the perfect time to look into new opportunities for your brand like optimizing bids in paid search ads, shoppable posts on social media, and shareable content like quizzes. Consumers are more isolated than ever, you’ll have a more captive audience than ever before and your dollars will go further as a result. If your brand can find ways to connect consumers with each other and your product, you’ll be better equipped to thrive amidst the pandemic. 

Cultivating Conversions:

Take time to think about unique ways that your product can fill a need for customers during social distancing. Then choose the digital strategy that makes the most sense for that need and write copy that speaks to it. Planning and being intentional will help your paid ads thrive. One of Room 214’s clients in the outdoor industry has seen a steady increase in their conversion rates since the beginning of the pandemic. A resurgence in customers finding time to be more active, and an increased desire to escape the house is certainly helpful, but some savvy copywriting and bid adjustments are helping our client capitalize on their digital ad presence.

We’re in a stressful time for everyone, there’s no doubt about that. For marketers, turning to platforms that make sense during a time of increased digital consumption is not only a logical solution, but a solution that may be a deciding factor in the success of your brand.

Quarantine Book Reviews

Cracking open a book has been shown to increase empathy and improve mental health. At Room 214, we promote a culture of reading, in fact our Studio Director, Ben Castelli, hosts a staff book club (Their latest read is Thinking in Bets.) Our intention is not to tell you about the latest marketing book, this article is meant to promote reading for the sake of reading. If you’re ready to embark on your next literary adventure (since we can’t go on real ones right now), here are Room 214’s recommendations. 

Libby Turner, Director of Operations: I'm listening to "Such a Fun Age" by Kiley Reid. I like it because the story is a clever way to talk about class. I am also listening to Jessica Simpson's "Open Book" which is super interesting and I'm really surprised at her candor and how much she's been through.

Cassie Clusman, Senior Designer: I am reading The Wheel of Time series — I just finished book two and am starting book three. There are 13 books in the series! It’s this amazing fantasy story started in 1984 where women are powerful…a journey of friends to save the world. Think in a similar vein as Lord of the Rings (actually, Wikipedia says “one of the best selling epic fantasy series since Lord of the Rings”). It’s a great world to enter, especially right now, when we could use an amazing and different place to be. Also, Amazon is making a TV series starting next year, so, gotta get reading!

John Franklin, Director of Client Services: The Stand: One of the best books I've ever read. Dystopian novel about the end of the world and the battle of good and evil. In the age of Corona, maybe rings too true for some readers?

Beneath a Scarlet Sky: Based on a true story, this is a WW2 hero's journey (novel) of Nazi-occupied Italy. A real adventure that makes you feel like you're there.

Vanessa Kahn, Account Supervisor (also the author of this here article): I just finished City of Girls, a delicious novel about a New York Theatre in the 1940s by Elizabeth Gilbert. I love period pieces and love them even more when the character development is on point. It’s one of those stories where every character is flawed, but deeply likeable. 

That’s all we have, now stop reading this and start a new book.


The Anatomy of an Effective COVID-19 Brand Response

We will keep this article short as we don’t need to tell you about all the brands corresponding with you about COVID-19. If you have an email address or a social profile, you already know. We’re sure you’ve seen some good and some cringe-worthy examples of brand communication. To stay on the positive side, and since we could all use some good news, we’ve decided to focus on the positive brand examples. Here are the elements of an effective COVID-19 brand communication, with examples of course. 

The message should come from senior leadership to both humanize the communication and prove the company is taking the virus seriously (it was concerning that the majority of correspondence didn’t do this). 

From an email regarding Colorado Mountain Club programming. 

The correspondence should clearly communicate how the company is taking care of its employees

Sephora’s site details their employee approach for the duration of the Coronavirus disruption. 

Maintain the balance of transparency and realism 

VRBO strikes the balance in their email update. 


Be proactive, instead of reactive

REI clearly outlined a plan of action for its employees and consumers. 

Provide optimism in this uncertain time

The feel better letter from bando.com provided a resource hub for COVID-19 like free journal printouts, coloring pages, playlists and more. 

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For media inquiries please email fwt@room214.com

Vanessa Kahn



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