Here are some tips on how to adapt and move forward with your marketing activity.
These are unprecedented times and we have been working with our clients to help them manage their marketing activity. We thought it would be useful if we shared the thinking we are employing to help guide your marketing activity during the crisis and what to consider when we come out the other side which eventually we will.
Of course, the scenarios will be different depending on the industry sector you are working in but a common theme for many businesses, and for very understandable reasons, is to shut all marketing activity down as an expense that can easily be cut to save costs.
We understand this reaction, particularly if you are a tourism attraction or travel company or a shop or restaurant that is currently shut in lockdown. There are lots of examples, however, where businesses have ‘pivoted’ (a new term indicating a change of activity to keep going or offer different services). Companies that have fleets of vans have offered their resources for delivery services of vital meals on wheels or prescription or shopping pick up for the vulnerable. Restaurants and pubs have turned their business to providing takeaway meals for those missing the opportunity to go out and eat, or even meals for our key workers funded by producers etc. If you haven’t already considered how your business might help others, then there is still time to do this and continue to bring in an ever-needed income at the same time.
If you can change your offering, then you will need to change your messaging to suit and your website and social media feeds are the first priority on this front. Interestingly, in lockdown, people are resorting to digital platforms more than ever before for entertainment and contactless socialisation and purchasing so more than ever your digital presence should be your priority whether you are operating business as usual or a new service or product provision. Looking at some of the trends on how behaviour has evolved in lockdown it makes a compelling case for improved digital presence
• Time spent on smartphones is up 40%
• Time spent on social media is up 32%
• Consumers who expect to continue to make their purchases online, post-crisis, is up 47%
• Online grocery shopping is up 210%
Now more than ever your digital presence is key to your success both now and in the future. If you are not perhaps operating at full speed it might be a good use of your time to consider the following actions
• Maintain your brand awareness in the marketplace. You don’t want people to forget who you are
• Consider your social media content. People are consuming way more on social media and maybe interested to hear from you. Be careful with your messaging. Hard sell is not appropriate but if you are offering support and services that people want then make sure you are communicating the fact
• Do you have a Google My Business profile set up and up to date? This is how customers will find you and should not be neglected it directly improves your SEO into the bargain.
• Is your website up to date and offering all the right information? If you don’t have dedicated information on how you are handling coronavirus for your business, you should consider building that content. Perhaps set up a FAQ section so that customers can find out how you are operating in this challenging time. If you have different opening times let people know or if you have suspended services, then let people know and communicate that you will be in touch as soon as the situation changes
• Are you staying in touch with your existing customers? It is always harder, and more expensive, to win a new client than to maintain an existing one. You also want to protect your precious marketing budget, even more, when purse strings are tighter than ever, so look after your existing customers. Even if you aren’t offering your services currently you should stay in touch with your customers via email, website, social media and let them know what you are doing. Messaging currently is so important to consider:
o Can I offer help and advice?
o There will be winners and losers in this challenging time and those that have offered help and support will be remembered
o Can I give away tips and ideas to help other businesses or customers?
o What are you doing differently to reassure your customers that you have their health and safety at heart? FAQ?
Whilst protecting the business you do have you may need to reconsider a plan for how to prepare for hopefully a rapid recovery
If you have time on your hands now might be a good time to get trained in skills, you didn’t have before. There are more digital resources available now than ever before and a great deal of it is free so make sure you get tech-savvy and learn the skills that will benefit your business in the long run.
Pre-crisis processes might have been acceptable and worked but there will be tight competition for business and customers when we come out the other side. Perhaps consider if you need to invest in automation to ensure you can offer a slick and efficient service that will make you stand out from the competition.
If the worst-case scenario comes into play and we have an extended stay at home period, this will only accentuate the trend for reliance on digital resources and you don’t want to miss the boat. Things to consider might include
• Update the content on your website so that your organic SEO is maximised.
• People will be looking for products and services and where will you rank in google searches?
• Might it be worth looking into investing in SEO or PPC to improve your rankings?
• Perhaps now is the right time to consider an e-commerce function so you can sell online?
• People are not expecting perfection at this time. We are seeing more and more information delivered with messages from presenters in their front room and recorded on a phone. Customers understand that professional filming and editing are not possible with social distancing so focus on speed and agility of delivery and not perfection in execution.
We are all in this together and need to help and support each other as much as possible. If you need advice on what to do with your marketing during this challenging time or want to consider a plan for recovery after this crisis then we are offering a FREE marketing review to help steer your direction so do get in touch if you would like to know more.