For transparency, I want to make it clear that I do have a vested interest in businesses continuing to market. HOWEVER, I would never advise anyone to do something if I didn’t believe it would get them closer to their goals.
If your business is fighting for survival, you won’t be interested in reading blogs about marketing. If you are worried about sufficient cash reserves to get you through the next three months, you won’t be interested in whether Nike spend more or less in times of trouble.
If you do fall into these categories and you want to look at more cost-effective strategies, get in touch, and we will do all we can to help.
Similarly, if your health, or that of those close to you, is affected by COVID-19 that will be your priority as it would be mine. This post is simply my thoughts on how you and we will emerge strong from a crisis.
Why is marketing your business vital in times of turmoil?
Consistency is essential in any business that wants to grow – consistent income, consistent standards, consistent improvement.
So why is it that so many businesses aren’t consistent with their marketing?
Too many companies fall into one of two categories:
- They only invest in marketing when sales are good (because they have extra budget)
- They only invest in marketing when sales are slow (because they urgently need more customers)
But the problem is neither of these strategies are effective. Both will result in peaks and troughs when it comes to sales.
Why you should market your business through times of turmoil?
Marketing budgets are often the first to get cut in times of turmoil, but it’s exactly when you should be upping your marketing activity.
Big brands like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Apple or Google don’t stop marketing when sales are up. Neither do they stop in times of turmoil.
Because marketing is about relationships; it’s about being visible to your customers and potential customers.
Disappearing off the radar for weeks at a time can damage your visibility and credibility.
Which brand would potential customers be most likely to trust when they need something:
- The brand that consistently pops up on their social media feeds with valuable content and great offers, or the brand that only pops up every few months to ask for business?
- The supplier that sends them regular email communications with updates, news and advice, or the supplier that emails them out of the blue trying to get a repeat sale?
Win new business
When there is financial uncertainty, many businesses stop marketing. They need to reduce expenditure, and the marketing budget seems like the easiest place to start.
But there are still people who want to buy.
And if you cut your budget, you reduce your visibility, meaning those people who do want to buy aren’t as likely to find you.
That’s why you should carry on marketing.
Let people know you are there. Let them know you can deliver what they need. Even if you are not fully operational, you can start building those new relationships, so that when you return to full strength, you aren’t starting from scratch.
And if your competitors are reducing their marketing activity, then it’s an even better time for you to increase yours.
How to market your business through times of turmoil
Consistent marketing is important, but doing it right is even more important. Badly thought out communications can damage your brand and ruin your reputation. Don’t rush into new marketing campaigns without proper planning and thought.
Be sensitive but authentic
Be sensitive to the mood of your customers, but don’t deviate from your usual tone of voice. People can see through fake messages and disingenuous marketing.
You won’t please everyone; nobody can. The good news is you only have to please the people you want to do business with, so think about them when you create your marketing messages.
- Don’t be offensive or insensitive
- Avoid ‘cashing in’ on other people’s misfortune
- Don’t bombard your audience with irrelevant communications
- Be genuine
- Show understanding and empathy
- Offer valuable content and relevant products and services
- Offer help for free by “paying it forward” your brand will be enhanced
Adapt your marketing
Be open to using platforms that you might not have used before, adapting your marketing to suit a different audience or focusing on a specific product or service.
Have you considered using direct mail and print marketing to complement your online efforts and visa-versa?
Could you put together a package of interim services until you can return to business as usual?
Is now the perfect time to build up a bank of great content?
Don’t just put out the same messages as all your competitors; think about how you can stand out.
Need some inspiration?
Even if you can’t operate as usual right now, you can still promote your business, stay in touch with existing customers and reach future customers.
We’d love to have a chat with you about getting creative with your marketing, building up your brand or using one to one marketing to get ahead of your competitors.
Get in touch to talk to our team and give your marketing a boost or just for some advice.