Coping with COVID-19: How to Keep Marketing Proactive, Positive, and Productive

Marketing to an audience that’s homebound during a pandemic requires advertisers and marketers to think creatively and compassionately while embarking on challenging, newfound territory. So how do you keep clients engaged in this coronavirus age—while still adhering to pandemic protocol and promoting positive messaging?

Engage with Clients and Their Needs on an Individual Basis

It’s important to remember that this pandemic has impacted every person and business, but in many different ways. Keep in contact with your clients by assessing their needs individually.

What does this specific client need from me right now to feel protected and secure? Who are my clients and businesses that are considered essential? Which clients are just trying to keep business flowing? What clients have been severely impacted by COVID-19? From there, sort each of your clients into categories and determine the best way you can provide help.

For Essential Clients and Businesses:

  • Offer what support you can via email
  • Repost and share their messages on social media
  • Send them your product or service free of charge as a thank you

For Clients and Businesses Who Want to Keep Business Moving:

  • Suggest projects or services that you have been meaning to get to, or that require downtime to execute properly
  • Share their messages on social media
  • Offer brainstorming sessions to generate new projects and ideas

For Clients and Business Who Have Been Greatly Impacted:

  • Offer your support and call them to check in
  • Send them your product or service free of charge

Keep Social Media Relevant and Stay Connected

Social media and online consumption are at an all-time high right now. When marketing to an audience via social media it’s crucial that you change up your messaging to make it relevant and timely to what is occurring in the world. You might think your customers are sick and tired of seeing social posts about the virus but ignoring the situation at hand can make you appear out of touch.

Tips for social media:

  • Share positive, uplifting stories from clients
  • Build up your community by sharing posts about local businesses and organizations
  • Reward people for participating in online activities—like webinars and giveaways
  • Give hope through your social media without appearing out of touch

Tips for Online Messaging:

  • Share situation-sensitive content
  • Authentically comfort your audience
  • Be a part of the solution and inspire action
  • Proactively communicate
  • Appropriately connect

Now is the time to build trust with your clients and show them that you have their backs. People are looking for strong leaders to take charge, giving companies a clear opportunity to be there to support their clients and their businesses. When it comes to your marketing tactics, be strategic and have a concise timeline and messaging plan. Keep in mind that all messaging and content should be proactive, positive, and productive in order to keep clients and customers engaged and to ensure that we will get through this together.

Programmatic in a Pandemic: How and Why It Benefits You

With social distancing policies and stay-at-home orders in place, everything and everyone are currently online. While many campaigns, events, and plans have had to be rescheduled, revamped, or even cancelled, there are some opportunities that come with this “new normal”. For marketers and advertisers, now is the time to take advantage of programmatic advertising. 

What is Programmatic Advertising?

If you have never heard of the term “programmatic,” the general definition simply means a form of digital display advertising. In the world of marketing and advertising, it’s a method of using software to automatically purchase digital advertisements on a network of websites and apps to viewers who meet precise targeting criteria.

So How Does it Work?

Through this process, advertisers can use exclusive data that is obtained through users’ browsing history, cookies, IP addresses, online purchases, and more. Advertisers can use this data to their advantage, and display ads that are directly related to a person’s online behavior.

A simple programmatic tactic that people are most familiar with is retargeting. For example, let’s say you own a cleaning service and you spend an hour or two searching for the some of the best, eco-friendly household cleaning products. You read reviews, watch a few cleaning videos, and then you exit out of your browser. At a later date, as you are browsing the web, you see an ad promoting a company’s all-natural bathtub cleaner.

Why it Works:

This “audience-first” works so effectively because it targets a certain individual instead of speaking to a vast audience who might not have any interest or need for your product or service.

Another great point: this technique is 100% trackable, delivering detailed data on clicks, click-throughs, video views, time on a site, bounce rates, form fills and more.

Advertisers can benefit from buying digital media programmatically for a multitude of reasons:

  1. People are at home, spending more time online, and making online purchases, or at least researching products and services for future purchases.
  2. The programmatic tactic allows advertisers to purchase quickly and efficiently, relying on less “man-power” because it’s completely automated!
  3. It can be a cost-effective option because the advertising inventory is purchased at a larger quantity.
  4. Digital ads are relatively easy to create, and do not require production studios or teams, like television or radio spots.
  5. It can launch quickly. Once you place advertising, it can be up and running in a couple of days.


Think programmatic only works for the retailers of the world? Think again! The D&A media team has implemented successful programmatic advertising campaigns for healthcare systems, attorneys, public safety initiatives, nonprofits, professional service providers, and more.

  • Vectren 2019 Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year — American Marketing Association Baltimore. The Don’t Be That Guy Public Service Campaign had a 66% video completion rate compared to the industry benchmark of 60%, as well as a .10% blended clickthrough rate compared to the 0.5% industry benchmark. As a result, three out of four people agreed that Vectren ensures public safety.
  • Carroll Hospital – The Family Birthplace Campaign significantly raised awareness for the hospital’s expansion. Results included nearly 3.6 million digital impressions on a small nonprofit-sized budget, a .31% overall display advertising clickthrough rate—more than 6x the national benchmark, and more.
  • Carroll Hospital2019 Award of Excellence for Community Relations – Mid-Atlantic Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development. The Health Esteem Campaign succeeded in boosting call volumes to the service by 7.3% and achieved a digital newspaper ad clickthrough rate 24x higher than the industry benchmark for all display advertising.

Learn More:

Interested in creating a programmatic strategy of your own? Contact us today for a personalized plan, we would be happy to put you on the right track!

Devaney & Associates Takes Home Four Healthcare Advertising Awards

Devaney & Associates was honored with four awards in the 37th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards for its work with Carroll Hospital, Tuerk House, the Baltimore City Health Department, and Chase Brexton Health Care.

With more than 4,200 entries, this year’s Healthcare Advertising Awards is the largest healthcare advertising competition, as well as one of the 10 largest of all advertising competitions. All entries were carefully reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges based on qualities such as creativity, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design, and impact.

Silver Award: Carroll Hospital Family Birthplace Campaign

In the Total Ad Campaign category, Devaney & Associates was awarded a Silver for its efforts with Carroll Hospital’s Family Birthplace Campaign. The integrated campaign was designed to raise awareness for the hospital’s Family Birthplace expansion and cutting-edge Neonatal Couplet Care Program, while showcasing Carroll Hospital as a one of the top leaders in obstetric care.

Through stakeholder workshops, mom-approved messaging, and a digital advertising strategy built to reach online-research-savvy moms, the campaign was able to drastically change the prevailing consumer perception that Carroll Hospital can’t handle higher-risk obstetrics.

Silver Award: 2018/19 Tuerk House Annual Report Silver Award: Tuerk House Website

Devaney & Associates brought home two Silver Awards for its work with Tuerk House—a nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment facility in Baltimore City— and their 2018/19 annual report and website.

 Throughout the annual report, Devaney & Associates used powerful photography, illustration, and stories to showcase the exceptional work that Tuerk House is doing to provide help and hope to those who struggle with addiction in our community and our state.

The website uses the same visual storytelling approach to reflect the nonprofit’s mission to “transform lives by providing help and hope for enduring recovery.” It was strategically designed to resonate to three distinct audiences—patients and their families, referral sources, and donors—while remaining true to the mission, services, and stories of those whose lives have been impacted by Tuerk House.

Merit Award: Baltimore City Health Department and Chase Brexton U=U Maryland Promotional Videos

In collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department and Chase Brexton Health Care, Devaney & Associates’ U=U Maryland promotional videos were recognized as a Merit winner in the Digital Video category.

 Undetectable Equals Untransmittable (U=U) means that people who are living with HIV who follow their treatment plan and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot pass the disease on to their sexual partners.

Through two short animated videos, Devaney & Associates was able to generate community awareness for this important breakthrough and drive people to the website to learn how to protect their sexual health.

View a complete list of the Healthcare Advertising Award winners here.

6 Viral Videos to Brighten Your D&Ay

Looking for something to break up your WFH routine that will instantly boost your mood? To help brighten your day, our team got together and shared our favorite mood-enhancing, laugh-out-loud, viral videos. Take a pause from work and enjoy…our selections are guaranteed to make you crack a smile:

1. Toddlers Hugging in the streets of NYC

Video Source: Inside Edition

2. Tiny Dancer Commands R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

Video Source: CNN

3. Family’s Lockdown Les Mis Adaptation:

Video Source: The Guardian

4. BBC Sports Announcer Calls Play-by-Plays for His Dogs:

Video Source: Savage Entertainment

5. Little Boy Catches Fish with Toy Rod

Video Source: HuffPost

6. Cheer Dads Surprise Their Daughters with Their Own Routine

Video Source: NBC News

Send us your favorite viral video on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and don’t forget to follow us!

D&A and Chase Brexton U=U Videos Educate on HIV Treatment and Protection

U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) is a huge step forward in ending HIV and reducing the stigma that surrounds it.

Devaney & Associates joined forces with Chase Brexton Health Care, the Baltimore City Health Department, and 16West Studios to create three videos about the U=U movement in Maryland. The series was created as a way to educate the community about this important new public health initiative.

The videos are a part of the ongoing U=U Maryland campaign that Devaney & Associates has been developing with Chase Brexton Health Care on behalf of BCHD. The initiative first went statewide with the launch of our campaign website on World AIDS Day 2018.  

Get Educated…Learn About U=U

The first two educational videos served as a way to introduce U=U to the public and generate awareness about this breakthrough. In collaboration with 16West Studios, we created an animation style that was intentionally free of any constructs pertaining to race, gender, or sexual identity. In doing this, we made it clear that HIV impacts us all.

The short videos showcased how individuals who are living with HIV and following their treatment plans can maintain undetectable viral loads and therefore not transmit HIV to their sexual partners.

Our goal was to not only inform people about U=U, but to encourage viewers to learn how to protect their sexual health by visiting

Real People Talk: HIV Treatment = HIV Protection

In our third video—a testimonial video—we asked real people who live and work within the HIV community to tell their stories and experiences with U=U.

HIV community activist Melanie Reese shared her thoughts on the movement: “Everybody has an HIV status. You’re either negative or positive. There’s nothing wrong with being HIV positive. You don’t have to be afraid of getting a test or finding out what your status is—life goes on.”

We had the pleasure of working with HIV specialists, healthcare workers, and members of the HIV activist community to bring positivity, hope, and straight talk to the general public, in hopes to end the stigma around HIV and encourage individuals to get tested, treated, or educated on the matter.

Go to to learn how to do your part, protect your sexual health, and join the conversation to end HIV!

What to Do With Your Day: How to Start a Virtual Book Club

Have you always said you were going to start a book club, but never actually got around to it due to your busy schedule? Now that you’re spending more time at home, with countless hours in the day to fill with stay-at-home activities, it seems like the perfect time to start a virtual book club! Below are several great tips to get your club up and running… so round up your literary loving friends and co-workers and get to planning!

Tip #1: Reach Out to Your Fellow Bookworms

You should decide early on if your virtual book club is going to be intimate, with only a few close peers, or a large group for socialization and easy conversation. Whether you’re engaging in deep discussion about classic, feminist literature or drinking wine while chatting about a guilty pleasure pick, you’re going to want members who love to read just as much as you do!

Tip #2: Pick Your Virtual Platform

Lucky for you, there are plenty of great communication platforms where you can do face-to-face, video chats. Some options include FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangout. Pick your favorite, learn the ropes, and you’re set!

Tip #3: Use Online Resources for Planning and Scheduling

Since your book club is virtual, you’re going to want to have an app or online tool for scheduling purposes or for planning your next read. Some great options include GroupMe, Google Hangout, or simply by creating a Facebook Group. Once you select your favorite, start planning and scheduling when you will read your books and when you will meet.

Tip #4: It’s All in a pick a good one

You might think naming your club is silly, but we think it’s a necessity! Brainstorm with your virtual book club members until you come up with a name that fits your group the best. Try including fun elements like favorite genres, authors, or book titles… the possibilities are endless!

Tip #5: Establish Rules (Every Good Club Needs Them!)

Before you get too wrapped up in the reading, make sure your group creates a solid list of rules. Try creating a virtual discussion protocol, like deciding how long each person can share their opinions, or choosing a designated facilitator for conversations. While they might seem restricting, setting some good ground rules will be worth it in the long run.

Tip #6: Pick Your Books and Dive Right In

Once all of the logistics of your virtual book club are settled, you can finally get to the good stuff…the books! Decide on the first couple of books you want to read, follow your schedule, and then crack open your first pick and get to reading!

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