How To Market Towards Gen Zs When You Have No Budget Left Due To COVID-19

Gordon D'Mello

In Behaviour, Marketing Posted

Here’s the thing, COVID-19 is the virus that is truly affecting everyone right now. I mean there are almost no businesses, or customers, that are not impacted in some way – some good, but mostly bad. Budgets are being cut left, right and centre – and in a time like this, the word hustle has never had a truer meaning.

So if you’re a marketer, agency or even a founder, there’s a good chance the lack of consumer spending means revenue is low, and therefore marketing is borderline impossible. We’ve been in constant touch with our partners, and I totally understand – as a business owner myself – the pressure is on all of us right now. So with this in mind, we’ve whipped up some ideas that’ll help you keep the marketing funnel going – whether you have a big budget, small budget, or zero bucks in the bank.

(FYI, all of these tips relate to Gen Zs, but some can of course apply to wider audiences.)

Show Compassion

This goes without saying, but start things by being compassionate with your audience and customers. Connect with them on an emotional level, because they’re hurting just as much as you. Make it an emotional narrative, and you immediately have some relatability – especially important when you consider Gen Z are one of the most emotion-focused generations ever.

We’re all going through this COVID-19 battle together, so it’s an easy way to connect with an audience in general. Add the fact on top that many Gen Zs are particularly under pressure given their often casual working status, and you have a relevant conversation starter.

Collab Like Never Before

If your budgets have been slashed, it’s time to get really creative. Pandemics, global crisis moments and disasters often force us into an environment of uber-creative thinking – mainly because we have no other option. Is it possible to link up with another brand or company and leverage their status, as they can yours? Think of it as a classic TV or movie crossover, two brands is often better than one, and you can both potentially bring new customers/leads to the table.

Build Via High Value Funnels

While buying power is low, and spending has decreased a tonne, don’t look at it as a dead time in market. Now is the time to build with high value offers, and even campaigns that look to build momentum – as opposed to closing the deal. Most Gen Zs will happily give up their email address and personal details for high value, so what can your brand offer in this COVID-19 time? Can you build your database and leads now, so when the virus passes, you can take action quickly?

If you’re a retail/fashion brand, can you offer multiple touch points (content, a high percentage deal, reward etc), for signing up to your newsletter? If you’re a travel brand, can you push a 30% off deal on all or certain flights/tours/trips – then put no expiry date on it to encourage purchases now?

Change The Narrative

It’s easy to view scenarios like COVID-19 as a negative one for your brand, but you HAVE TO change the narrative about it all. Many businesses have adapted to this too; we’ve seen bars and restaurants offer takeaway, gyms rent out equipment, distilleries start to make hand sanitiser. We’re forced to adapt now, and if you can adapt your business’ products or narrative in the short term, it’ll likely win you customers (both potentially now, and in the future).

Educate Through Content

I’m honestly a bit shocked at the lack of content from brands in various industries. I get that content is often a luxury for marketers, that it takes time to create and can be expensive. But we have to think differently here. As mentioned above, it’s a time to offer high value so you can build email lists, lead lists and prospective customers for the future. So creating content that educates and helps people now, will bode well for the future.

For example, if you’re a travel insurance brand, can you make a short video where a claims staff member gives tips to Aussie travellers that are stuck overseas? If you’re a gym or activewear brand, can you whip up short, at-home workouts to help people stay fit while at home? Whatever you do – educate. Help your current and prospective customers, when they’re likely feeling super down.

Ultimately guys, we’re all in this together and it’s time to help each other out. If we can help at all here at 5Why, or if I can help directly, feel free to give me a yell at We’ll get through this!

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