Lucozade Sport is trying to help its marketers navigate their “new normal” during the coronavirus pandemic.

As many struggle with anxiety, motivation and childcare, it is difficult trying to find the right balance when working from home. Lucozade Sport’s marketing director, Hannah Norbury, says the brand is focusing on flexibility and prioritising communication to help its marketers adapt.

She advises others to “let people be flexible and adapt and find their new normal”. Lucozade is doing this in two main ways: firstly, letting people follow their passion projects where possible, and secondly checking in daily on mental health.

Norbury checks in on her team’s mental health at the beginning of every call, asking them to rate energy, motivation and presence out of 10.

People are experiencing this in different ways and what works for one person isn’t going to work for another

Hannah Norbury, Lucozade Sport

She says: “Getting people to rate those things at the start of the meeting helps to raise that consciousness for everybody in terms of where people are at. Some people might be having good days and bad days and making sure you are really in tune with that and allowing people to work in away that works for them so just being super flexible.”

She adds that’s it’s important to acknowledge that “people are experiencing this in different ways and what works for one person isn’t going to work for another”.

Lucozade Sport’s marketing teams, and their roles and responsibilities have not changed broadly but it is trying to be “more fluid” with both marketing spend and new projects.

For example, its parent company Suntory is running a Growing for Good initiative focused on reducing its carbon footprint and working with local communities. It has inspired many marketers to come up with new ideas during Covid-19 and Norbury is encouraging them to run with these where possible.

She explains: “We are really just allowing people to follow their passion projects, whether that’s supporting local communities or people more broadly. We are being quite flexible in terms of saying, ‘if you’ve got an idea and it’s something you are passionate about lets find a way for you to work on it’.”

Her advice to other leaders is to “be as clear as you can in terms of communicating what the current situation is from a business point of view but also any other information. I don’t think you can communicate too much generally but in particular at times like this.”

Marketing during coronavirus

The pandemic has also influenced both Lucozade Sport’s budget and marketing mix.

Norbury notes the brand has “scaled back” marketing and is more “mindful” of budget than ever before. She explains: “The coronavirus is going to have an impact on our business one way or another so we need to be carefully managing what we spend.”

Prior to the pandemic, Lucozade Sport spent a large chunk of its budget on outdoor media but the lockdown has led to cuts here as people spend more times indoors.

The coronavirus is going to have an impact on our business one way or another so we need to be carefully managing what we spend.

Hannah Norbury, Lucozade Sport

Norbury says: “People just are not out and about so we focusing more on in-home media channels like TV and way more turning to digital and social. Making sure we’re using those channels where we can talk to the most number of people.”

Lucozade Sport has started a new ‘Keep Us Moving’ campaign that sees it spotlight fitness instructors on its Instagram account. It is asking personal trainers to submit a 15-minute home workout which, if it is used, will see them paid £1,000. Lucozade Sport currently has a £100,000 budget that it will use to spotlight a range of people for different body types and fitness levels.

“It will hopefully be a nice financial support for those guys but also means we’ve got some content that we can then put out there to encourage people to get moving when they’re at home,” Norbury says.

She says authenticity is key at this time and urges other marketers to “be mindful of how you react during the crisis” so that it feels authentic.

She concludes: “You have to look at what your consumers and customers are looking for right now, what your society needs and how your brand can support that in a way that feels genuine and authentic to who you are.

“The main thing is to try to do it in an authentic way that is true to you and is genuinely helping, rather than capitalising on what is a pretty tough situation for a lot of people. It’s a really good time to go back to the purpose of your brand.”

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