Coronavirus has increased brands compassion

A new survey by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has found that brands have become more compassionate in 2020.

The majority of senior marketers (74%) surveyed said their brands or clients have shown more compassion and thoughtfulness amid the pandemic – this included 14% who said this increased, with just 6% reported this happening less.

Over 220 senior data and marketing professionals, who judged this year’s DMA Awards, reported their experiences had been difficult, but that these challenging times have led to an increase in thoughtful marketing.

“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on people and businesses around the world. Although there has been a positive side-effect of coronavirus, in that it has contributed to a significant increase in brands compassionate and thoughtful approaches to how they market to consumers,” Tim Bond, Head of Insight, DMA. “Over recent years, we have seen that the values and ethics of businesses are becoming an important motive for consumers when considering brands. The message is clear – brands who put people first are more likely to engage and connect with consumers post-lockdown.”

A desire for more compassion was also discovered in the DMA’s latest ‘Customer Engagement: How to Win Trust and Loyalty’ report, where most consumers (77%) stated that, in their opinion, brands should be more compassionate during the pandemic. Most felt they should do this by communicating both how they’re helping customers (66%) and supporting staff (58%).

How are brands demonstrating compassion?

Most industry leaders point to tailoring content and thoughtful messaging (68%), trying to be useful to consumers (62%) and taking a more customer-centric approach (55%). In addition, around half (50%) mentioned being more generous to essential workers and even reducing marketing spend and volumes (42%) to reduce the impact on consumers during this time.

When asked about the key benefits of compassionate and thoughtful approaches, the two areas most cited focus on people – both the brand’s customers and its staff. Creating a truly ‘customer first’ experience (65%) and improving the wellbeing of their own employees (64%) were followed by a feeling of providing more harmony to society (61%).

Further information can be found on the DMA website: