This week in the US, the focus of conversation has shifted from working and staying home to the possibility of re-opening businesses. While it may take some time to implement these changes and it will take much longer before businesses see a return to ‘normal,’ marketers must take the opportunity to plan their response thoughtfully.
Evaluate Your Marketing
In the time before your state or city officially reopens, analyze your marketing strategy before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evaluate the trends in client retention and lead generation to determine if there are strategies that were more successful than others.
If you have modified your business plan or service delivery to run virtually, determine if you are going to continue that or if you will transition back to in-person services. For some lines of business, the option of virtual services has generated increased traffic to their website and may continue to be a worthwhile model after the pandemic has passed. Periods of uncertainty can be periods of opportunity, and you should not walk away from something that may be going well (even if it is not what you envisioned for Q1).
Furthermore, look at which of your marketing channels have received the most engagement or have generated the most leads. If you are hoping to reduce your overall marketing spend, get laser-focused on the channels that are working for your business and put the other efforts aside temporarily.
During your evaluation, make sure to check in on any marketing automation you may have or scheduled content that may not be well-received in these times.
It's A Marathon (and it’s not just your marathon, either)
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the economy and has devasted many industries (such as tourism, event planning, and nightlife). More than 3.3. million people have filed for unemployment in the United States alone, so while the economy will bounce back, it will take many businesses a long time to recover. Prepare yourself and your business to weather the slow return toward normalcy. Sky-high sales may not be in the cards right when you re-open.
Even if your business is ready to hit the ground running, remember that your target customers may not be financially prepared to purchase your services or products. They may not even be thinking about your business or what you offer. Position your marketing to stay relevant to them throughout the rest of the year; this will keep your business at top-of-mind and within reach when your clients are ready to purchase.
Be A Purpose-Led Brand
Depending on the product or services, it may come off as tone-deaf if you launch your new, fancy, and high-priced offer. For families dealing with being furloughed and homeschooling for the rest of the year, frivolous spending or travel planning will be a challenging sell. However, you can take this time to focus your marketing efforts on sharing the purpose of your organization while building relationships with your existing and potential clients.
Consider how you can give back and support your community. Can members of your team offer their time to local non-profits, or can you release educational resources that will help others? Consumers are savvier than ever and have an implicit distrust of advertising, so, creating genuinely useful offers can build trust and develop brand relationships that will last far longer than a pandemic.
If you aren’t sure how you can help your community, turn to them, and ask for their feedback. Additionally, consider the struggles that most people are facing right now, including loneliness, boredom, increased anxiety, and financial instability, among others.
The most important takeaway as you plan your revised marketing strategy is to remain committed to communication. As ad rates on Facebook are falling, and internet usage continues to surge, the content that you are sharing across your blog and social media channels are still relevant.
Marketing during an economic downturn
Look for potential gaps in the market or opportunities that your competitors may not recognize. Plan your content calendar to continue to provide value to your current clients while offering education and brand awareness for potential lead generation.
is essential and can be the make-or-break moment for a business. Your business has already weathered the most challenging part of the COVID-19 pandemic and planning your marketing pivot for the recovery time will be worth the effort. Need Help Pivoting? Get in Touch!