It’s been a challenging few weeks for all of us, and many marketers are sitting at their desks trying to figure out how to continue to market their brands and keep their businesses on track. With all that’s happening, if you haven’t already shredded the 2020 marketing plans you developed late last year, it’s time to do so now. What you had planned probably won’t work anymore.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a business still looking to drive customers to your retail outlet, or you’ve had to close and are driving to your website. Maybe you’re still trying to generate traffic and leads to your website for your products or services, or maybe you’re a politician or non-profit looking to solicit fundraising dollars. Navigating this is incredibly challenging. So, here are some things to consider over the course of the next few weeks as this situation evolves.
Consider your audience.
We need to take a step back during the next few days and think about what our target audience is experiencing. Are they paying attention and is this a product or service that they need right now? For example, if you market to the healthcare industry, it’s safe to say that they are otherwise occupied with bigger challenges right now.
Consider your tone, style, and approach.
With a high degree of uncertainty, continuing to press people for money, to drive people to retail locations or to market travel offers might be wasted dollars. Having a tone and approach that’s overly positive and happy might rub people the wrong way too. Instead, think about seeding future customers with images or online offers, gift cards for the future or information about the location for future consideration.
Consider your timing.
As people are looking at the stock markets and their investments, and wondering about the impact that COVID-19 may have on their own finances long-term, consider whether this is the right time to solicit for a fundraiser vs. offering some inspiration, support, leadership or positivity. Brands do business with the brands that they like – first and foremost.
Here are some top tips for marketing to your targets over the next few weeks:
While your target audience may not be in the right frame of mind to purchase something, more than likely they are at home and spending more time on the internet and social media. Consider sharing information via your social channels and drive to a valuable asset that demonstrates your thought leadership on a particular subject. Provide valuable materials that they might like. Consider also sharing information via email nurture campaigns, but make that information valuable. We all don’t need anymore emails about hand washing techniques.
Provide online learning.
Drive your targets from social to a webinar with a customer case study come to life, virtual panel discussion on a thought leadership topic, or general short video that demonstrates some unique insights that you can offer. This will capture the lead for you, a lead that is engaged enough in these challenging times to come to your landing page and view your asset. There’s value in that for when we come back out of this period of time and can focus again on marketing more broadly.
Customers want to do business with brands that share their same values. Demonstrate what your company is doing to support others during this challenging time. Show that your team is still operating and bring to life your mission, vision, and philanthropic endeavors.
Consider offering a discount or additional packaged incentive to prospective customers for the future, so that they stay connected with you, save that email or social post, and they look for you again when they’re able to focus on the business of their business again.
Now is the perfect time to redo your social media calendar, develop the assets you want to deliver for the remainder of the year, redesign your website or update your messaging. Take this time where you might be experiencing a shift in priorities to build out your tools and resources to come back stronger than ever.
We are all in this together and we share a hope that we’ll all get back to business as usual soon — healthy and prosperous again. But, in the meantime, as we navigate these challenging times, we need to be considerate as marketers to the needs of our audience and also level-headed when it comes to the approach of our brands. Have you seen a brand who is navigating this effectively from a marketing perspective? Please share in the comments so we can spotlight as a best practice.
By: Heidi Davidson- Co-Founder and CEO, Galvanize Worldwide
( photo credit: oko_swanomurphy via getty image pro for canva pro)