When a major crisis hits, one like Covid-19, you can either fall behind and assume there is no way to market yourself, or you can get creative and let your brand thrive.
During this pandemic, several global brands have found themselves unable to innovate and have either significantly downsized or declared bankruptcy because they were not able to make changes. Some of them are big names that we recognize, including: WeWork and Hertz
And more companies are expected to do the same soon. This is true even in countries who are trying to re-boot financial activities and open up their economies again. With all of this gloom and uncertainty going on around us that will last for the rest of the year and into 2021, many companies wonder if it is worth it to continue their marketing activities. And even if you do continue with these activities, what steps do you take to keep your audience engaged right now?
The Paradox of Marketing
If you want your business to flourish, you need to use marketing. However, it is sometimes hard to justify a big marketing budget when your finances are floundering. It is not uncommon for business owners to see marketing is a luxury that needs to be cut out, at least until the pandemic subsides.
Not only are many companies cutting back on the amount of marketing they do, some have to lay of their marketing teams to make it by. While this may make sense for the short-term, it is never good for a company to stay quiet in our social media driven world. If you give up on all marketing, even now, your business will become obsolete in no time.
There is even research to show that marketing right now is a good thing to do. According to one study done in May 2020, 43 percent of consumers wanted to hear from their favorite companies because it reassured them that things would be okay during the pandemic. And a whopping 56 percent want to hear what these brands are doing to help others during the pandemic.
This is in contrast to just 15 percent who had no want to hear from companies at all. This means that despite the costs and the instinct to cut back on marketing, you may find it worth your time to increase your marketing during this time. You may need to change the way you market, but giving up on marketing will harm you just as much now as it would in any other economic period.
So, how are you supposed to approach marketing and branding during the Covid-19 period?
Focus on Interacting
Your goal right now is to interact with your customers, rather than pushing products. Keep in mind that even though many areas are finally reopening, there have been months of social and movement restrictions that have limited people throughout the world. This has changed the psyche of your customer and many have even lost their jobs during this time. This is a challenging and new time for many customers and your brand needs to be aware from.
While you are anxious to restart your business and bring in profits, you need to balance many of those marketing efforts with empathy for your customer. Your customers need to feel more confidence in the market again and will need to pick between which products are the most important to them as they try to recover their own finances. Think about this while you do your marketing campaigns.
Reassure the Customer
One thing that you should add into your marketing campaign is reassurance to the customers. You need to reassure your customers that you will still provide your brand promise and value, even now in these difficult times. Your customer will be more conservative in how much they spend right now, but you should focus on highlighting the strength and characteristics of your product and how it provides value, rather than focusing just on the cost-savings because this is important to your customers right now.
Work the CRM
If your goal is to use more than one channel to reach the market, you may find that a robust CRM platform is the best option. This will help you gather up all the analytics you need to learn more about your customers. The more data you can gather, the easier it is for you to market to them. And it can serve you well even after Covid-19 is done.
Never Promote Fear
There is enough fear going on in the world with Covid-19. Do not jump on board this train and promote fear either. The last thing your brand should do is promote this fear in order to sell their products. This is going to backfire on you. A better idea is to tell your audience positive things they can do during these tough times, rather than all the dire consequences that will happen if they choose not to use your product.
Review Your Products
Since many of your customers will focus more on purchasing the essentials rather than luxury items right now, it may be time to review what products you offer. Even if you have higher-priced or luxury items, you could make changes to this and start offering better deals, or even changing the range of options that meet a lot more customers.
Focus on the Long-Term
And finally, you need to focus a bit on brand longevity. This is all about making sure you will stay relevant both now during the pandemic and more. You need to be able to make changes based on the economy, no matter what the economy is doing at the time.
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, you will find that there are ways to make changes and still earn a profit. Being caring to your customers and understanding where they come from right now, and learning how market to them will help you see success. BOA & Co is an accounting and consulting firm based in Chatswood, Australia. They focus on helping small to medium businesses stay financially healthy and grow in even uncertain markets.