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Visa and how to pivot with empathy during a crisis


Welcome to the Social Spotlight, where we dive deep into what we love about a brand’s approach to a specific social campaign. From strategy through execution and results, we’ll examine what makes the best brands on social tick — and leave you with some key takeaways to consider for your own brand’s social strategy.

Overview

Brands are in a tough spot right now. Not only are most struggling to determine how to best support customers while also ensuring that their businesses can survive a global economic threat like the current pandemic, but the world’s biggest brands have the added scrutiny of public opinion about how they conduct themselves to worry about. Social has become the primary stage for proving that a brand understands what its audience is experiencing and can adjust its communication with consideration and empathy. And the brands that have the most challenging path to walk are those whose business is most threatened. Financial institutions top that list, but Visa has been able to demonstrate both empathy and optimism by making quick, thoughtful and appropriate adjustments to its social strategy.

What you can learn

1. Pivot your partnerships.

Visa spends a considerable percentage of its overall marketing budget on event sponsorships, the most visible of which is the Olympics. A look back at Visa’s social content from early in 2020 shows a heavy push for its sponsorship, focus on partner athletes and promotion of the event itself. When the IOC announced that it was delaying the 2020 Olympics until at least 2021, Visa had to pivot its strategy and make adjustments to its partnerships with athletes. The result is an emerging content series featuring athletes as they experience the pandemic much like we do–at home and in quarantine.


2. Reposition your offerings for the current situation. Visa is one of the world’s largest financial services institutions, and its products are used by a huge range of people and businesses To serve such a broad demographic, Visa has an equally wide range of product offerings that it can promote via social. But we all know timeliness is key to relevance, so Visa has chosen to promote the products and services that best meet the rapidly changing needs of business owners, employees and customers in the time of COVID-19. 


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3. Be the community resource the community needs right now. Visa has long supported small businesses with both product offerings and philanthropic support. But the need for resources may have never been greater in the small business community than it is right now, and Visa recognizes that now is the time to step up its efforts through new tools, services and partnerships. 



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