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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While the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation is still far from reaching its peak and continues to disrupt brands’ ambitions and plans, there are certain classic theories and frameworks that can offer some guidance in the post-coronavirus era. Thinking beyond the current predicament, when things return to relative normalcy, where does that leave brands and their 2020 ambitions?

One such framework that can be fruitfully applied is the E.R.G. motivational theory of human behaviour, developed by a psychologist Clayton Alderfer in his seminal Organisational Behavioural and Human Performance article. The framework is based on a three-fold conceptualisation of basic underlying human needs: existence, relatedness, and growth. While existence needs include all kinds of required basic material, safety and physiological desires, relatedness encompasses needs which involve the desire people have for establishing and maintaining important interpersonal and social relationships.