In our current uncharted territory, everyone’s business is subject to rapid change. Here at Power On Marketing, we highly advise a plan that is proactive and a plan that will adjust and adapt as you lead your company and team during these unprecedented times and in the future. The way we speak to customers, and manage brands is changing, don’t get left behind.
Finding your voice during such tumultuous times can be a struggle. It becomes even more difﬁcult during a landscape that is changing daily. With the challenge, though, comes opportunity. Businesses are presented with the chance to show their integrity and also what they stand for. All of this though has to be done sensitively, to not make light of present situations or turn people away. When selling a product or service well-suited for these difﬁcult times, there is a ﬁne line that does not come off as exploiting tragedy and chaos.
HOW DOES THIS ALL TIES INTO YOUR MARKETING, YOU ASK…
Your customer may never know how your business reacts to these events internally, but your social media and marketing are at the forefront. The face of your company is what foot you put forward online. Marketing sets the tone for how customers will perceive the brand during difﬁcult times.
We want to provide you with a four-step plan to deﬁne different scenarios that are arising, monitor customer’s reactions, and plan forthe upcoming marketing changes caused by the issues throughout the world and society.
01 SCENARIO ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING
Deﬁne theoretical best, worst and moderate scenarios that could play out during the crisis from the perspective of the business, its customers, and critical partners. Work with peers in other departments like HR and ﬁnance to develop the scenarios as they apply overall to the business. However, marketing must not rely simply on the high-level corporate scenarios but must go further for their department and brand. Marketers must drill down to identify the speciﬁc challenges that customers, the brand and the marketing organization could experience in each scenario, and identify actions to take. For example, if the best case “business as usual” scenario involves ad purchases during the Tokyo Olympics or an industry tradeshow, a worst-case scenario in which that event is canceled should identify alternative ways to reach customers.
02 LISTEN FOR CHANGES IN CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR
Long before the coronavirus emerged, consumer trust in both government and large brands had begun to erode. People want any excuse to shop local or support small businesses. The current climate has made it even more of a plus to shop smaller, and we see smaller brands emerge from the ashes. Here are some ways to use that in your marketing tactics and keep the ball rolling:
Listen. Now more than ever, it’s essential to know what customers feel and do, and why. Determine who your ideal customer is and make sure you are speaking to them, but unlike the ways of the past, don’t just speak to one person, but make sure not to exclude other voices that might vary.
Stay true to your brand, but don’t alienate. When marketing your brand needs to support customers while still staying true to what you stand for also but what you can and cannot deliver at this time
03 PREPARE FOR CHANGES
During a crisis, it is highly likely to see hiccups in the average production of daily activity for your company. Nothing is business as usual anymore.
In the marketing industry, we have to adapt clients messaging to reﬂect the mishaps and realities as they roll out day by day. So it is more important right now than ever to be ready to go with the ﬂow and think quickly on your feet. Some steps to take to make this process either could be:
Avoid promises. Set realistic goals and realities for your customers, so you do not over promise and disappoint. Evaluate current policies and consider rational changes — for example, allowing cancellations or extending payment terms.
Go fully digital. Now is a better time than ever to promote yourself online. Make sure people can shop for your company online and that your social media presence is accessible.
Increasing your digital marketing budget. Prioritize your spending, and do not forget to include all things digital for it to adjust to this technology world-driven shift.
04 SHIFT THE MARKETING PLAN
Now that you know changes are right around the corner shift your marketing plan to address them. With preparation and awareness, you will not only succeed but thrive in what is being seen as such a trying time.
Anticipate the future and create suitable action plans to stay ahead of the market disruption pick value-added partners.