Consumers believe the effort to tackle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be more effective if governments and business work together, according to research from Edelman.

Across the 10 markets surveyed, one-fifth (20%) believe government alone can most effectively tackle the virus. However, this rises to nearly one-half (45%) when government and business work together as a team.

Brands could have a particularly strong role to play in Germany. While just 11% believe the government alone is most effective, this rises to over three-fifths (62%) when businesses are included. Brands in Brazil (19% to 59%), Italy (21% to 54%) and South Africa (15% to 49%) may also have significant roles to play as well.

South Korea is the only market where consumers have more faith in the government working alone than with businesses in tackling the outbreak.

However, businesses should support government efforts rather than lead them. In none of the 10 markets did more than 8% of consumers say business alone is most effective.

One way brands can support the work of governments is by sharing key information – half of UK and US consumers say they lack enough information to stay healthy. By taking a proactive role, brands can gain trust and respect, something that may last even when the outbreak ends. However, to be effective, brands need to be continually listening to the customer and deliver real action rather than just words.

Marketing in the COVID-19 crisis

This article is part of a special WARC Snapshot focused on enabling brand marketers to re-strategise amid the unprecedented disruption caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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