By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
Nearly a year after the coronavirus abruptly altered life in the US, it’s clear that the repercussions of a global pandemic go beyond a simple industry fluctuation. The impacts extend far beyond what many originally expected. As you and your business seek to prosper, keep these 11 principles in your back pocket to ground yourself and your company in the face of uncertainty.
When crises hit, companies often shrink or completely halt advertising spend. However, strategic advertising has the potential to dramatically alter a brand’s influence and success. Keeping your brand in the public eye through purposeful short- and long-term placement is key. Decreased advertising can result in a loss in sales, which can be difficult to recover from, especially during a recession. If budget is an issue, consider what else can be cut before cutting advertising.
PAY ATTENTION TO TRENDS
Remember all of those sourdough Instagram posts? That was a marketing opportunity. With more time at home, many people decided to upgrade home appliances, which resulted in the demand for pizza ovens increasing 1.5 times in the UK and the demand for gas grills doubling in Germany. To identify the next trend, use a marketing tracking system to follow trends and pinpoint how your message can resonate more deeply with consumers.
CRAFTING MESSAGES FOR THE CONSUMER
As the pandemic continues to alter industries, consumer wants and needs are changing. Marketing messages should take lifestyle shifts, fear and grief into consideration. In a study on consumer behavior, 48% of consumers had seen insensitive marketing messages in the previous 2 weeks. Despite the tone-deaf messaging, 62% of consumers still wanted to receive content from their favorite brands and 49% craved positive messages from companies.
MAKE DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS
By analyzing trends, first sales can increase by 50%, resulting in a 10% boost in the average check of new customers. Making decisions based on instinct won’t deliver the results you need. Sit down with consumer data, highlight similarities and discrepancies and actively respond to problems or opportunities to promote relevance.
MAKE STRATEGIC CUTS
Stay on top of the marketing and sales budget by inspecting what services realistically add value and result in traceable profit for your company. A recent study showed that cutting ads for a short period resulted in few negative impacts while cutting the service indefinitely caused significant long-term loss. Budget cuts shouldn’t force you to abandon your goals.
ADAPT, ADAPT, ADAPT
Because the future is unclear, adaptation is key. Altering strategic messaging to fit the climate will pay dividends for your company, especially when it comes consumers. According to Business, people are segmented into five categories: those who are isolated and unable to work, those who are isolated and working remotely, those who work offline, those who are strictly quarantined and those who ignore the virus completely. Brainstorm ideas for how to address each segment and split messaging accordingly to purposefully solve each person’s problems.
In a world where much has changed, it’s important to find your marketing angle. After evaluating your industry, consumers and competitors, consider a number of scenarios before actual implementation. Now is the time to invest in and test projects, whether they be short or long-term since there has been a decrease in competition at advertising auctions. With a fluctuating pandemic-saturated market, change your message often to ensure continued relevance.
Remind your team of the importance of organization and encourage them to find operations solutions. Consider refurbishing your supply chain, strengthening communication with the consumer or establishing strong leaders to guide remote teams.
Many service industries were rattled by the inability to physically interact with clients but have pivoted by introducing contactless delivery and social media live streams. Despite the limitations, people and companies have grown with the pandemic to achieve genius new methods to interact with their clients. Consider virtual services and programs for your business.
CLARITY ON ONLINE PLATFORMS
Many businesses are now functioning primarily online, so online development is more important than ever. To maintain the utmost clarity, use your website and social pages to inform consumers on business functions, describe company limitations and potential closures, highlight hours and contact information and update your location if it has changed.
Since needs and wants have dramatically changed, engage with your customers frequently. Address concerns and questions with patience and thoroughness and communicate lagging delivery times so that consumers know what to expect. If you didn’t have a community manager before, now might be the time to invest. Your customers want to be heard, and community managers are always there to provide a personalized, informative response.
A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
It’s no secret that coronavirus has taken over news feeds, conversations and thoughts. To bring an aurora of optimism, experiment with fresh, yet appropriate messaging that doesn’t mention the virus. Consider new SEO methods and content marketing adaptation. Give yourself some freedom to play with positive content ideas to brighten people’s days rather than remind them of the global crisis.
Your company has the potential to not only survive but thrive. Despite the circumstances, optimism, analytics and adaptation can help your company flourish. Remind your team to look for growth opportunities and keep pushing for creative and relevant messaging. The relationships you nurture with employees and consumers will pay the biggest dividends in the long run.