Tips On Navigating Your Marketing Strategy Through A Testy Political Climate

marketing strategy political unrest

It's obvious that there is a growing chasm when it comes to many issues in the US and worldwide during 2021 going into 2022. People and even many businesses have a prevailing "you're with us or against us" attitude. Political unrest certainly isn’t anything new for the United States. Over the past few decades, it’s become increasingly clear that Americans on the opposing side of the political spectrum fervently dislike their supposed political opponents. 

Going into 2020, it was apparent that this divide was only going to worsen amid political choices relating to candidates running for public office. The outbreak and subsequent handling of the Coronavirus pandemic and new COVID-19 variant outbreaks has only deepened this divide in 2021, with anger and unrest teeming across the spectrum. 

As a business, you might feel worried about entering into this turmoil. The last thing you want to do is allow your business to be taken down by making a poorly worded political take. 

marketing strategy during covid-19 pandemic

Even during the continued political unrest present in the United States and many other countries around the world, your business can benefit from taking a side. But knowing where your business sits is part of the battle—you don’t want to alienate the core demographic of your audience because you say something or like a tweet with your business account that is seen as unbecoming of your brand. 

Determine Where You Sit In The Political Spectrum 

Most businesses make the decision to remain in the center aisle when it comes to politics: remaining objective, eschewing sharing political opinions, and using language that is non- politicized. It’s totally fine if your company wants to remain in this position—there are no particular forces stating your business has to take a stance. 

But, depending on the ethos of your company, it might be in your best interest to undertake such an endeavor. Doing so might embolden your audience, and it may lead to you gaining more followers who appreciate you being confident enough to take a political stance. However, others might be put off by your decision to politicize your marketing strategy, seeing it as being in poor taste or simply unwarranted. 

You’ll genuinely have to analyze your existing audience to determine whether such a stance is worth it, and how you’ll go about enacting such political stances going forward. 

marketing strategy political unrest social uprising

Consider Corporate Responsibility

Where is your brand most interested in joining the conversation? Are you interested in supporting inclusivity in the workplace? Do you want to commit yourself to addressing the ongoing environmental crisis? 

Whatever political stance your company wants to take, it can take a serious stance by backing up your opinions with honest action. 

A corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan can help you achieve just this, by outlining brand morals and goals that intersect with your business’s social responsibility endeavors and marketing strategies. Examples include creating marketing campaigns focused on increasing wages for your suppliers, integrating racial- and gender-inclusivity training within your office, or transitioning workspaces into LEED-certified structures in support of the environment. 

Find Your Politically-Minded Base 

No matter what position you take, taking a stance or remaining non-political is considered a political choice to many people. So, whether you decide to choose a side or remain in the center, you want to find like-minded people and businesses that can effectively connect you with their own audience—sure to be full of people within the same political mindset. 

An affiliate marketing strategy is a useful way to target your intended political demographic, especially when discussing timely issues. With so much going on in the time of the global COVID-19 pandemic, your business can set brand guidelines that can be shared with affiliates to discuss the goings on of the world and how you’re managing, all while deciding to either be subjective or objective about it. 

Things are tense across the globe, and the oncoming 2020 election is leading many people to take sides, so it’s important your business makes moves to find its target audience. Assistance from affiliate influencers and businesses can help you connect and resonate with these audiences, no matter what’s going on in the greater political climate. 

Remain Honest And Motivated

If you’re going to take a political stance, you need to stick to it. Authenticity is imperative for this reason, as any faux statements will stand out to followers, especially if your business’s actions do not follow a similar political path. 

So, if you decide you want to talk about critical politicized issues of the time, be ready to back them up by acting on it—e.g., If you’re going to come out in support of environmental action, make moves to lower your company’s carbon footprint. 

pros vs cons taking political stance in marketing campaign

Understand The Pitfalls Of Taking A Stance

Taking a political stance might bring along some great success, helping you find the perfect audience for your business, but it can have its downsides. 

First, you’re bound to lose some customers. Not all customers will share your political opinions, and some might be disinterested in hearing another company talk about politicized interests. You’ll have to seriously consider whether these losses are worth it, dependent on the audience you will be left with and can grow with. 

Second, you might make the wrong opinion. While your stance might feel right in the moment, you’re always bound to face backlash. Maybe you got your facts wrong or perhaps your language was imperfect and insincere. You’ll have to handle the backlash well, understanding that an apology may be in order—or you’ll have to double down. 

Third, ask yourself: Can you remain consistent in your stance? People can change over time and allow their political opinions to stray as new information comes along, but businesses that do this can run the risk of being seen as a hypocrite or opportunist. You need to seriously ask whether you’re up to the task of standing for such a political opinion. 

Politics, Principles, And Profits

Defining a marketing strategy during difficult political times is not an easy task. If your company plans on straying from the center and making your opinion known, you need to ensure all hands are on deck, ready to support business decisions and marketing effects as they come along.

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