Marketing during a pandemic?
2020 – what a year.
With businesses all around the world being disrupted due to a “certain virus”, it will be unsurprising to hear that many marketing plans for companies were thrown out the window in sheer panic.
However, just like in any ‘vulnerable’ and ‘unknown’ situation, panicking is the last thing you should do, especially when it comes to marketing. Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture to re-strategize and re-focus your marketing efforts elsewhere goes a long way. But we do realise that is easier said than done.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, we are extremely fortunate to have continued working with a growing client base who “get” marketing. They understand that despite another national lockdown, now is definitely not the time to give up or cut costs on managing their profile. Now is the time to get stronger, think creatively and try new approaches that suit the new world we live in.
As we enter 2021, we know the year hasn’t started the way any of us had hoped, but we will continue to do our best to stay positive and look towards a brighter future; a future within reach thanks to the vaccines starting to roll out across the country.
This year our focus, as ever, will be to keep delivering impactful and effective marketing for all our clients. The value of a tailored marketing strategy should never be underestimated, perhaps now more than ever as we all grapple to keep control over at least some of our business priorities.
As we embark on this brand new year, we thought we would answer some questions you may have if you happen to be evaluating your marketing efforts for 2021.
So, we have rounded them up! Here are our most commonly asked marketing questions and more importantly, our experienced responses…
1. There is a pandemic. Should I stop marketing?
Marketing is designed to be flexible.
It is one of the greatest challenges of a marketer to predict future customer needs, wants and desires. When the pandemic hit, consumers themselves were not even aware of their own needs or how purchasing decisions would evolve.
But that should not stop your marketing activities. Instead, it allows you to re-evaluate your marketing plan and be ‘smart’ about how you position your products and services. It presents an opportunity to tap into unchartered territory and open up new market demands.
You should also adjust your marketing strategy to anticipate operational impacts as well as changing customer needs. Your might see your original target demographics shift. All the more reason to get marketing – these people don’t know you! Let’s adapt, remain resilient and tell them… creatively.
2. Is this a good time to re-brand?
Taking time to refresh or rebrand when things are ‘quieter’ is an ideal time. It will rejuvenate your market position and give you back that fire that may have been lost during these challenging times.
This ‘revival’ presents an opportunity for you to present your brand with a new purpose and show to customers that you are listening to the environment and evolving with their current needs.
3. Should I communicate openly with my customers?
Without a doubt.
Your communication with your customers should be stronger than ever before. Not only is it important you show sensitivity to what is going on but updating your customers about operational changes to your services and any other developments brought about by the pandemic is vital – communication is key.
Without communicating, you leave customers hanging, and as a result you’ll likely lose a few to competitors who are being transparent and communicating about ‘what’s going on’ – and evidently it will be hard to get them back.
But with clear, concise communication you should retain happy customers.
4. Should I still spend money on advertising?
It is important to remember that the pandemic is not just affecting your business. Others in your industry and beyond are affected to. Whilst they might cut back on spending, now may be the time to increase yours.
‘Increasing spending’ might be a scary phrase to hear, however ad rates have been decreasing significantly due to other businesses cutting back on their spending. As a result, you get more for your money, allowing you to swoop in and gain a better market share whilst others are lying dormant.
5. Should I still post on social media?
But first ask yourself is it relevant? Does it have purpose? Do not post for the sake of posting.
You must remember the bigger picture too. Remain sensitive and empathetic – never ‘capitalise’ on the challenging times but at the same time you shouldn’t let your voice in your industry be lost. This is especially important for small businesses who are still trying to ‘survive’.
However, just like you would with any social post, question if your post is going to add value to your business and your followers. If it is, then post away.
6. Is now a good time to think about content creation?
Is it ever?!
As your competitions slow down their content creation, now is the time for you to think outside the box and get creative. Even if it doesn’t seem to be the right ‘time’ for you to post, there is nothing wrong with building up a library of content ready to use when things ‘settle down’.
7. Can I share good news?
It might be unsettling for you to share your ‘good news’ in a time where many are struggling. But people get tired of ‘doom and gloom’ and reading positive news can go a long way. Sharing more upbeat developments and successes that are relevant also brings encouragement and a ‘we can get through this’ mentality motivates and can help shine a positive light on your business.
The list could go on and on… so if there is anything that isn’t covered or if you have a specific challenge and you would like to tap into our marketing expertise, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.