Now What? Adapting Your Marketing To Meet Your Customers Where They Are
Before COVID-19, you were probably like many others – your company had it’s core offering nailed down, you were embracing some (or a lot of) technology and your marketing was trucking along. You may have reached the first page of Google, had a social media strategy that was working and had been building plans to drive even better results. Or maybe you hadn’t had time to get to these things. Maybe you were still trying to wrap your head around SEO and digital marketing.
Either way, if you’re feeling like you’re back to square one right now, you are not alone. Pretty much every company is trying to figure out how they can remain connected with their teams and customers at a distance, how they can still offer their products and services digitally and just about everyone is getting creative in these very unusual times. One thing for sure, is that every business is saying “What now?”.
In difficult times, it’s important to manage a healthy mindset, especially if you are leading a team. Your colleagues and customers are likely feeling uneasy and how you approach situations can make a huge difference. Finding ways to keep your marketing positive is critical as well. We all need to be open and honest about the realities around us, but that can definitely be done with a positive vibe and always with the intention of seeking or providing solutions and support.
Here are some other ways businesses can gain momentum and stay top of mind in these challenging times:
Let’s face it, in order to maintain any continuity, in person interactions are not available right now for almost every business, so technology has become your closest ally. Do some research, talk to your team & peers and look for companies who have done a great job adapting to new technologies. There are ways to offer many services online and even if you can’t generate revenue right now, you can definitely solidify brand loyalty by continuing to support your customers through one of the most difficult times of our era.
Some great examples include:
Yoga studios, fitness classes and various lessons moving to live streams, Skype or Zoom to continue offering classes and support
Specialty stores offering curbside pick up and delivery to their customers
Chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists offering free resources to keep their patients healthy at home
Connect with your team
Keeping in touch with your team is critical to the continuity of your business and how your customers are meeting our brand. Have a plan, make sure it’s well communicated and regularly check in. Your team is likely to face unusual questions and requests and may not know how to handle them. Model empathy and empower your team to make decisions within the guidelines provided by your local health authorities.
For more tips on setting up your team to work from home, stay connected and manage work flows, check out our blog post for some great info!
Connect with your customers
Social media usage is up almost 50% right now, as more people are staying home and looking for news updates as this rapidly evolving situation unfolds. This presents a great opportunity to join the feeds of your current and potential customers to offer them what they are in need of, whether that is services, products or great content to support them where you now can’t. Don’t be afraid to be real, raw, and unpolished because we are all at home right now, working through new situations so nothing is perfect or functioning as it used to.
An excellent example of providing value through content is a local nail salon. Their customers can no longer come in for nail treatments and fill-ins so they put together a video on how to remove specific types of artificial nails at home. This is counter to their usual marketing about maintaining nails and coming to the salon for regular appointments, but they recognized that their customers are left with no option and
needed support to manage.
Provide what you still can
Your products & services helped your customers before, how do they help them now?
Be creative and find ways to offer what you still can. In many situations, embracing technology, video and unique solutions will allow you to continue selling your offering in some capacity and to support your current customers.
If you are not able to continue in any way, it’s still critical to maintain a supportive presence that reinforces stability and shows you are there for the community you are part of. Social media and email offer great opportunities to let your customers know you are looking forward to being there for them when you can reopen.
You’ve determined there is still a need and a way to get your products and services to your customers, so keep selling!
Adapt the tone of your advertising, but do continue to promote your business online. In order to keep your company afloat, you need sales, so now is not the time to shy away from bringing in business. Be sensitive and respond to the environment around you but focus on sales as your most important metric. Use what you know works best to drive leads and conversions.
Support other businesses in your community
When things get difficult, we get through them by working together and our current situation is an opportunity to do so. If you can afford to maintain your services, invest in new solutions/products, and buy local, do so. If not, you can show support to other businesses by leaving them reviews, using your platforms to give them shout outs, interacting with their social accounts and posts, recommending them to others, donating items that may help them… the list goes on and on. Think of ways your business may need support as well and communicate with others to see how you can collaborate.
Get those backburner projects done
Many companies will find they have more down time right now than usual and everyone has that To Do list that just never seemed to get done in the past. Now is the time to tackle those projects, get your company on to new software, implement automation, whatever it was that needed doing. If you can, invest in those solutions, keep your team busy with projects that will benefit them when day to day life starts to resume and use the downtime to get ahead.
Lean in to the chaos
To say that our society is going through an unprecedented shift is an understatement. Making these types of changes with almost no warning is challenging and takes time to process. Give yourself, your team, your customers and your community a bit of a breather to take it all in and adjust. Some days will be less productive, people might be on edge and there will almost surely be a need to connect to the emotional side of these times. Be kind to yourself and those around you as we all learn to navigate this new way of working together separately
The most important thing to look at when sorting out your business continuity and marketing plans is empathizing with those around you. Consider not only the needs of your business, but of the current emotional state of your team and customers, how you can help them and how you can be of service to the greater good around you. Your business needs to keep selling, so find ways to do so that focuses on the needs of the customer in a genuinely supportive way. How you adapt in a time of crisis will make a tremendous difference to your success now and in the future.
If your business is unsure how to move ahead in these trying times, Digital Monk Marketing is here for you. Please reach out to talk to us about how we can help!