Marketing Innovation Despite Crisis

Updated: Jul 5

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, ABI has continued to lead the 2020 U.S. Census marketing efforts for Dallas County. Because of our innovative mindset, we have aggressively sought out and executed new ways to get out the message and convince residents to take the census.

With the temporary closing down of businesses and organizations and with shelter-in-place and social distancing the norm, we quickly encountered obstacles to our initial plans for census marketing. We had been hoping to meet hard-to-count communities where they live and work, so we made a quick pivot and developed a host of other innovative strategies to compensate.

Although we had already planned to have an online presence for the campaign, we found ways to ramp up that initiative and give it a much more prominent role. Since then, we have maintained an aggressive ad and email schedule with consistently refreshed creative content. We’ve had success interacting with people on Facebook Live as well.

We actively reached out to and engaged numerous social media influencers. We hired one influencer and local artist to design a pair of census-themed Nike Air Force 1 shoes – around which we built a robust giveaway campaign.

Since we couldn’t meet people in the places we had originally planned (like libraries, schools and canceled events), we found other ways to engage them in public while respecting pandemic safety guidelines. We made our census promoters available to families waiting in line for the summer school lunch program, at Lowe's and at peaceful protest rallies as well.

Because many of the hard-to-count population do not have access to the internet, we provided and promoted free WiFi hotspots to apartment complexes – as another promotional effort to raise awareness and provide access.

At ABI, we believe that while a crisis will inevitably throw up roadblocks, it can also inspire innovative approaches from a results-driven team that doesn’t like being told our client’s success is in peril.


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