We are living in troubling times. What’s happening to our well-being and our economy is one for the history books. As we watch countless industries shut down and friends and family get stood down from their jobs, it’s hard to focus on securing prosperity into the future. But as Glenn Turner once said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” As business owners, there is one thing we still have control over, and that’s our ability to be resilient and make choices that will get us through these times. As communicators and influencers in our community, we have to take stock of the situation and look at what we can influence.
FIND OPPORTUNITY THROUGH EMPATHYAs marketers, we are always looking for opportunity. A niche. A different message. And the best way to do this is through empathy. Where are our customers now? How are they being impacted? What do they need from us? Get inside your customers heads. Understand what your customers are struggling with and innovate ways your business can ease the burden of COVID-19. How can your business provide relief in these troubled times? How can you pivot to adjust to the new normal? You need to think about what this may look like for you. There are many examples of businesses already doing this. We love seeing restaurants shift to providing takeaway and delivery options and health and fitness professionals shift to provide online services. Several craft brewers are now making hand sanitiser. The Australian dollar is now at an all-time low. Is there an opportunity to export your goods or services? With everyone now spending so much time in their homes, can you provide a better in-home experience for your customers? If you are in an industry that is fortunate enough to experience growth during this downturn, are you finding ways to connect and support with your community?
TIME IS ON OUR SIDEWhile we are working from home (while the kids are occupied anyways 🤣), we have time to think strategically and focus on the big picture. How should you adjust your marketing strategy when there’s a global pandemic? That’s the question of the year for us. There’s no rule book. No guidelines. Nothing. To start, we recommend:
- Brainstorm different ways to keep your employees productive, positive and supported during this time, especially if they are not used to working from home (we like these tips from Gallup and these resources from Employment Hero).
- Focus on ways to network and social distance. How can you continue to build strong relationships with your customers and suppliers?
- How can you leverage social media to get your message out and secure revenue streams?
- Look at your service model, how can you adjust your services to continue to provide a great customer experience remotely?
PAID ADVERTISINGTo spend or not to spend? It’s been proven that an increase in marketing spend during an economic downturn can help build a long-term advantage for a brand. It’s the strong, recognisable brands that will survive, but how do we promote our brands when our budgets are constrained? They key is to invest your marketing spend in long-term outcomes for your business. We know it’s not the time to be promoting tourism or goods that are in short supply. So strategically, decisions will need to be made on an individual business basis. But with the majority of us working from home there is an increase in time spent on online and online paid advertising is becoming more affordable (check out this great article on how COVID-19 is impacting Facebook Ads). So, a lot of businesses are ramping up ads on social media and digital platforms, if it makes sense for their business. For others, this may be a time to halt your paid advertising and focus on long-term, organic marketing that will give your business a head-start when the economy gets back up and running. These are activities such as inbound marketing, content creation and search engine optimisation.
ORGANIC MARKETINGBy investing time and resources into your organic marketing, you are helping to secure long-term success for your business because it will keep working for you and continue generating leads now and in the future. Organic marketing can include:
- Search Engine Optimisation to get your website prominent in the search engines
- Producing high-quality content for your customers
- Revamping your website and designing bespoke landing pages to generate more leads
- Set up or organise your CRM and see how you can use email and automation to improve your customer experience.
- Design a complete inbound marketing strategy across search, social, email and automation!