COVID Means Understanding Your Customer

The Numbers Of COVID

As of today, according to the World ‘O’ Meters Web Site, there are currently 298, 228,946 COVID Cases.  There have been 5,481,882 deaths.

But there is also good news, there are 256, 768, 846 recovered.  From the active cases, numbered now at 35,978,218, there are 35,886, 226 in mild condition.  Who likes death?  And if you have lost a loved one to COVID, five million is too large of a death toll.   

Some might even dare to suggest just burning the virus out.  You can’t kill COVID through just the boiling of clothes.  Not like the other germs.  This virus burns out at 158° F and would damage buildings, let alone the human themselves.  COVID looks to be here to stay and even if it were to leave us (which would be a wonderful thing) the aftermath is quite daunting.

At the time of this writing, the variant named Omicron is looking quite strong.  The New Year’s Rocking Eve celebration limited their live audience to 15,000 from the regular 60,000.  The Grammy’s recently postponed their broadcast.  Unthinkable, right?  The COVID variant has swamped New York hospitals again.  The good news is, that it looks like people will recover well from this mutation.

But there is a hitch.  Even after the patients recover from treatments, there are after-effects.  Long-term symptoms can cause fatigue, irregular heart rhythms and other issues months after.  So, if you didn’t die, you will feel the blahs.  I’m putting it mildly because I am assuming that you didn’t have any prior health problems before.  Now, don’t you feel great staying at home?

There are long term effects on people that do stay, and this is going to be especially important for you to know as a copywriter.  Keep reading, it will save your life.


C– Care for your customer, put yourself into their position.

O– Stir one core emotion.

V-Keep your voice of friendship and intimacy.

I-Include something revealing about yourself.

D-Distinguish yourself from the enemy.

The Effects of People Staying at Home and Social Distancing…

According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the participants under a stay-at-home order reported having higher depression.   They also experienced stress and some insomnia.  But what makes this most interesting was that even if they were just social distancing, and not under a stay-at-home order, the two groups experienced the same thing.  This is great for copywriters because we now know that we can market the same to both groups.

Why the stress and sleepless nights?  Insomnia is due to an increase in loneliness and isolation.  Keep this also in mind while you write.

What can cure depression?  How about curing insomnia?  What can appease their feelings of marginalization?  Remember, that the first rule of thumb of being a copywriter, is being a friend first.  This is the only way for the consumer, to allow you entry into their personal space.

Commercials might be intrusive, but that’s why we are partly relying on the graphic designers to attract the viewer’s eyes, including the actor’s voices and looks to attract them like a cat to catnip.  But it is your job to make sure, that the customer feels right at home with your words.  And home is more important than anything else, more than ever before.  There was even a market trend during the beginning stages of COVID in beautifying their personal spaces.  So, home improvement stores and designers saw an increase in sales, which is great for them, but not for you if you didn’t see this trend and seized upon it.  Home is where your money is.  You must be their friend.

If your customer feels marginalized and left out, then make sure that they don’t feel that way with you.  They must look to you as a way of rest bit.  Words like, “buy today” might not cut it, if you put it right there in the very first line, without establishing a repour with the consumer first.  “D” is for differentiating/distinguishing yourself from the enemy.

Also, within this state of emergency, you might want to bring in a little bit of humour as well.  Now, some may say that this isn’t the way to sell, but it is yet another tool to use when you are looking for “the way in” with your reader.

According to the BBC, solitude and isolation can affect your social skills.  People have also lost a sense of who they once were.  Overall, the trend during COVID was that the makers who were there once before, such as Chanel and Dior were still the top brands in style.  People couldn’t forget quality.  They couldn’t relinquish that “at home” feeling as they sought stability within a hectic world.   Chanel was a woman, who wanted women to feel strong and powerful yet beautiful at the same while.  See?  Without the “C”-caring for your customer at the beginning, they wouldn’t have gotten the sale during these tough stages.

Stay Human, Don’t Be a Sale’s Robot

When someone is just coming home from work (yes, people are still doing that) who had someone cough on their face in a crowded subway, coming home, won’t want to hear a sale’s pitch.  So, they are going to tune you out.  But no worries.  You have the number one tool at your disposal.  And that tool is you are first a human being, not a seller robot.   What more in, could you have?

But to do that, you might also want to share your customer’s interests and hobbies.  Understand your audience.  Understand that there are a lot more things that you can offer other than just the sale.  You are offering their friendship by showing them a product that is going to help them.

Understand Your Audience’s Needs, Understand These Turbulent Times

Remember, understanding your audience doesn’t mean just sharing their hobbies and what they like to eat.  Yes, that can help you with the sale.  For instance, if your demographic likes pizza, then put it in your copy with a story without emphasizing the pizza through the repetition process of your piece.  Pizza is just the way in, pizza is not the seller.

Picture yourself with your best friend and remember how you spoke with them.  Did you share secrets?  Another way, to understand your audience, is when you show a little bit of your vulnerability to them, they become closer.  If you had an embarrassing moment, tell them about that moment.  News is, they had that instant too.  “I”- Include something revealing about yourself, get them every time.  This also ties into, the “O”- Stir one core emotion at the beginning of the piece.  Rousing that emotion, with a good moment with your product is another way to get the sell.  But there are other factors to remember in understanding your audience.

Price is also the greatest selling feature of any product.  The less, the better.  During COVID, there is a reoccurring problem.  Inflation.  This beast makes things expensive.  Making people think of only buying the priorities.  You might have felt the sticker shock at the grocery aisle.  The savvy consumer will only permit the necessities.   If your product isn’t a priority, then you make it seem that way to your audience.  Your boss wouldn’t be selling it if they didn’t think it was a priority to make.  It is also your job to sell it, and they need to buy it so that your bosses can see you as an asset to their company and not hire someone else.  Putting food upon your table is a priority too.  But that’s not all.

Always prepare for the worse.  Inflation never lasts, and there is always a bubble popped.  The Stock Market Crash of 1929 was something that pushed people to their breaking point.  This was right before the Spanish Flu in 1918.  And that is why you as a copywriter need to establish that friendly writing voice.  When this happens, the money that those consumers have, those consumers will spend with you and your product of value.  Recall, you were nice and human enough to give them good products and just at the right instance.  Not to mention, you shared the same good tastes as well.  Ensuring that the product you are selling is effective and valuable isn’t always going to make you successful.  But making sure your high-quality product lines up with good/true facts does.

Nothing irritates a customer more than dishonesty or even flawed testing of products.  Look at the countless recalls from many of the sunscreen goods we have used and lathered on our families in the United States.  The minute that the findings came out that these may have been ineffective, CVS made the decision of caution to pull the products off their shelves.  Not to mention the countless medications that are now currently in litigation over because of side effects alone.  According to an article by the, U.S. health care spending reached up to 4.1 trillion in 2020 alone.  And this number is only going to rise through inflation and pandemic numbers.  And when I talk about pandemic numbers, I also include the effects on those not hospitalized.

Investors lost $945 million dollars, which is something she might have to pay back and then some after punitive compensations.  Never build up numbers to get the deal, because you might not be able to keep the money or your career.  The tried-and-true saying, “a stitch in time saves two” is something important to remember even during this digital age.  Fast money isn’t always a blessing.  Make sure that the blessing made was through honest means, then no one can take it away from you.

Continue Reading: 5 Ways to build your digital presence during COVID-19

    In summary, in COVID times, you must understand your customer’s needs.  They need you.  Clients need your product.  Marketing well means you must put yourself into their position.  Identify your demographic.  Find out what they do in their day.  Picture yourself sitting there as their friend having your favourite food together, pizza!  You are already there in their private homes.  Make sure that your voice is friendly and doesn’t sound like a selling robot or they will ask you to leave.

Secondly, tell them that embarrassing moment.  They would only like you more because you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position.  And don’t be afraid to stir that one core emotion.  The emotional sell is that graduation day moment.  Their first kiss.  They’re longing for the past in these times of uncertainty.

Lastly, make sure that the product that you are selling is indeed a reputable product of good standing.  Distinguish yourself from the enemy.  A friend won’t sell another friend a piece of crap.  Overall, people need people.  Just like the song says.  We as copywriters can write our way into the hearts of the consumers and not just sound like annoying selling people at a time of crisis.

About the Author

“Charlie” is a self-taught writer/illustrator from New Jersey who hopes to create meaningful content for a magnificent world.  She lives with her elderly mother and her two amazing rabbits, Caramel and Piggy.  Her short story, “Screaming Ghosts of 1552” was published in, Alternatives Journal.  She is currently working on a literary novel that will prove to be the greatest literary work of the age.