You know how this starts, “we are in unprecedented times” and by gum we are.
You’ve probably already heard (too many times) that marketing in an economic downturn has proven to help businesses survive and eventually thrive. There is a lot of research around to support this but from an economic and business perspective we really don’t have much to compare the current Covid-19 situation with.
Once we are out of lockdown, we aren’t sure how long it’ll truly take to get the economy moving again, 12 months? Years? With that in mind really consider if you should be turning the marketing tap off completely.
Although there is much uncertainty, it is the perfect time for businesses to produce a marketing strategy – ahead of us there is a marathon to be run and the businesses that are ahead will continue to widen the gap between those reducing to a walk.
- Your existing market position
- Who your customers are and if these are likely to change going forward
- The ways to reach your customers – the channels may have changed
- A budget for a plan of action
- Who will manage the marketing and how
- The measures to put in place to evaluate ROI
There are a few practical marketing actions businesses should be reviewing at this time:
Take a step back
What did your marketing look like BC (Before Coronavirus)? Which activities and plans should be put on hold and which could be brought forward? Offering your services online is an obvious one and most businesses have adapted their offering online quicker than it takes to log into Zoom. However, what future launches/services/new products were in the pipeline that now could have the attention of a worldwide audience sat at home?
It’s the time to collate a contact management platform of champions. Use this time wisely to capture as much data and segment this into categories for targeting by product/service and customer/prospect. All those business cards lying around, chuck the details into a spreadsheet. All the quotes you sent out that never came to fruition, chuck the details into a spreadsheet.
Be careful with this. It’s all about timing. Right now, people are overwhelmed with daily messages entitled “COVID-19” or similar. It’s important SOME businesses maintain regular updates, especially in the professional services such as law and accountancy but I’m afraid everything else is noise and is likely to be overlooked. Instead plan, plan, plan. Take your cleansed data and decide what messages are key to communicate in 6-8 weeks’ time.
Make sure your website is updated. That includes key information that may affect your customers in the current climate, but also remove Jane and Bill under “meet the team” – they left the business 6 years ago.
It gets some stick social media, but what a time to utilise it to the best of your ability. Please remember that content is king and at present you really need to switch your thinking on this one. What does your audience NEED to see right now? Be sensitive to the current climate, it isn’t business as usual.
Nurture your key relationships
Yes, we are already sick of virtual meetings, but you can still pick up the phone and maintain good relationships with some of your key clients. What work with key clients can be postponed rather than cancelled? How can your business help theirs?
Corporate Social responsibility
Corporate responsibility is sometimes known as corporate social responsibility. It is defined as the responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions on society and the environment above and beyond its legal obligations, through transparent and ethical behaviour.https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/corporate-responsibility-call-for-views
You’ve got to play the long game. Can your business give back? How can your brand be remembered for all the good it did during this time? Tip: Don’t make anything about sales. Ever.
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