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Growth Marketing in COVID-19: 3 Takeaways from David Rodnitzky’s ANA Webinar

Published: July 23, 2020

Author: Lauren Laub

This week, 3Q Founder David Rodnitzky starred in an episode of the Association of National Advertisers webinar series; the topic was how to tackle growth marketing in the COVID-19 age. Here are a few key themes that David, who led marketing teams through the post-9/11 era and the Great Recession, focused on to help you think differently about growth marketing:

Expect and react to constant change

Customer behavior has been changing at a rate that we have never seen before. Each week we are seeing shifts in the way that customers interact with companies and their advertising. David says it is crucial that we listen to the customers and pivot accordingly. He suggests testing new messaging frequently and taking a look at what your competitors are doing.
David mentions that customers are ready to take their money elsewhere if companies are not keeping up with the changes. It does not matter how targeted your advertising is; if you aren’t listening to customers’ changing needs and desires and adjusting your product and offers, you will never be able to make customers convert.

Be empathetic to all of your stakeholders

There is always a lot of value in empathy, but now more than ever we should focus on being empathetic throughout all layers. David refers to the ‘four human emotions that will sell anything’: fear, greed, vanity, and exclusivity. These emotions have been used in advertising for years, but he believes it is time to pivot. David feels that highlighting safety, ease, flexibility, and no risk will be better in the long run. Rather than the fear-based approach that some companies are using, David says to go with a positive message to demonstrate empathy toward your audience.
Companies also need to be empathic toward their customers and employees. David suggests offering things like free trials and extended cancellation terms to show your customers that you care about them. It is also important to remind your employees that their work is appreciated and that you are there for them during this hard time. At 3Q, we have created specific Slack channels dedicated to helping with challenges related to working from home and have started to offer stretching sessions for the whole company. We continue to explore opportunities to improve our employee experiences everyday.

Focus on your own company data more than macroeconomic data

The last theme that David mentions is focusing on your own company data more than the macroeconomic data you may be seeing in the news. Marketers tend to make the mistake of overemphasizing overall trends and do not take the time to look at their company’s microeconomic data. We are seeing a lot of fluctuations in marketing data at the moment, but much of that data may not be relevant to your business.
To apply the right focus to your own data, David suggests using a method called cohort analysis.

This approach allows you to begin modeling the expected performance of your marketing campaigns over time. You are able to look at a cohort of users before COVID-19 and then compare performance to what you are seeing during the pandemic. These insights will help you predict the outcome of your campaigns much more quickly than your competitors and give you a huge advantage.
David wants everyone to remember that this, too, shall pass. Look at these trying times as a way to connect with your customers in a more empathetic way. Work with your marketing teams to help them figure out the quickest and most effective way to pivot, and always remember that data is the key to success!

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