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What Hurricane Sandy Can Teach Us About Marketing

If you’re anywhere on the East Coast, odds are you spent some of the last week trapped inside, bailing out water, or nervously watching street signs flap in the wind. But if you’re a marketing nerd the way we are, you were probably spotting marketing opportunities and thinking about how the storm reflects industry patterns.

So Hurricane Sandy’s already taught us about how quickly canned goods can fly off the shelves of a grocery store, but thinking about the storm can help lead us to some surprising insights on marketing and company development.

Mobile is as Hot as We’ve Been Saying

You’ve heard about it from us before, and you’ll keep hearing it. Mobile online presence is critical, and Hurricane Sandy’s fury taught us better than any day-to-day scenario could. You may have been fronted with different circumstances, but by Monday night, the Internet was down, the power was out, and yet I still wasn’t sitting in the dark. The soft glow of my mobile phone lit up with Facebook posts of people complaining the power was out, and thanking God their iPhone battery was charged enough to still make querulous posts on Facebook.

Bottom line? The Internet is going mobile. Get used to it.

Timing is Everything

Yep, we’ve said this before too. In content marketing, timing is everything, and capitalizing on a current (or recent) event is one of the key elements in securing a wider audience and a higher level of authority. This article will not be read for its marketing insights, but rather for its reference to the recent Hurricane. Smart convenience stores likely used a similar strategy to sell more bottled water and alcohol. Know what people are paying attention to.

Visuals Win

Every time. Before Hurricane Sandy even hit shore, there were photoshopped images exaggerating the storm’s intensity circulating the Internet and causing viewers to scream “Awesome!” or “Fake!” depending on their naïveté. Fake images? On the Internet? Sad but true. The lesson here isn’t that fake images get noticed, but rather that a sensational visual form got noticed much faster and by a much wider audience than any textual medium.

So next time you get caught up in a natural disaster, don’t lament—take a look around and see what you can learn about human nature and the scope of the marketing industry.

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