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How coronavirus has been a learning curve for the digital marketing industry.

With brands and their agencies having been forced to mobilize quickly in order to meet customer expectations and demand, advertisers – such as the Co-op – are coming out the other side of a Covid-19 learning curve with a more “lean and agile” marketing model, The Drum reported.

The UK’s sixth-largest supermarket chain faced high levels of demand for produce in the early stages of the pandemic (much like its rivals) as people flocked to stockpile essential goods. In line with this, the Co-op was forced to adapt its media strategy daily to keep customers in the loop.

The group instigated daily catch-ups (done remotely of course) with its digital agency Kin + Carta in order to keep on top of operational changes.

Decisions were made based on customer data, with a daily review being instigated around what customers were asking the Co-op’s customer services team and what they were talking about on social.

According to The Drum, community at the heart of its brand purpose, the Co-Op quickly spotted an opportunity to help ease the strain on food banks, which since the start of the crisis have been facing a drop in donations as people focused on hoarding for their own cupboards. As such, the brand decided to partner with food charity FareShare making its own £1.5m pledge and calling on its shoppers to donate their own money to feed the 1.5 million people at risk of hunger across Britain during the pandemic.

Along with Kin + Carta, the Co-op quickly cobbled together a TV campaign to promote the tie-up, dropping its Easter TV ad blitz and instead airing a spot that featured real footage of ‘local heroes’ who were feeding the nation.

As customers move from a reactive phase to more of an adaptive one, Beesley said the Co-op will continue to innovate its marketing and media plans to reach them in these uncertain times.

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