Life has changed considerably over the last several weeks. Many of us are under stay-at-home orders and there are policies that are preventing us from going about our lives as usual. The impact on business has been dramatic, and professionals in the field, especially those at a digital marketing agency, are wondering how they can respond.
On one front, marketing professionals have been working from home so the functions of marketing can continue when they can’t go to the office. While this has been helpful, there is a recognition that the business landscape has changed and marketing departments will have to adjust. Plans that were on track a few months ago may no longer be relevant, so many of us will need to look into coronavirus resources for businesses and find ways to adapt to the new reality.
Marketers are going to play a vital role in helping businesses adapt during the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses may need to make a shift in the types of products they sell or they might need to change their messaging to reach customers or clients in a way that is more likely to resonate in light of the new reality.
The following are a few of the steps and strategies for marketers and business leaders who are trying to figure out what they can do to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
Keep Your Clients and Customers Up to Date
Whether you are a business selling products, a B2B service provider or a marketing professional, you have to stay in close contact with your customers and clients at this time. Along with that, you have to acknowledge the current circumstances. If you try to carry on like things are normal, you are going to seem out of touch and unprepared.
Let them know what you are doing to respond to the crisis and assure them that you can still meet their needs. Make sure they know you can develop plans to help their businesses during this difficult time.
You should also stay in touch so you can learn about the challenges they are facing. Ask them about what they need from you and what you can do to better support their mission.
This contact can be in the form of phone calls or through email, but you should also make sure to keep people informed by posting on social media and by releasing information on your website.
Assess Your Market Position
It is actually a great time to reassess and adjust your market position. People are staying at home and using the internet more than they normally would, so this offers the perfect opportunity to get new messaging out there.
Start by looking at your ideal customer. Is it the same person it was a few months ago or last year? Consider how your product or service is going to benefit your customers and think of ways to demonstrate the benefits. With an understanding of who your customer is and how they can benefit from your product or service, you can create messaging that will resonate and inspire action.
Once you know your ideal customer and the value proposition you are offering, you should consider your market positioning strategy. Do you want to be a cost leader by offering the most competitive prices on the market? Maybe you want to differentiate your brand and target a segment of the market. You could also consider combining these two positioning strategies together.
Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
Now that you have established an ideal customer and you know how you want to position your brand, you can start developing a marketing strategy to meet your goals.
Take a look at the audience you are pitching to. What is their age group? Are you selling primarily to men or women? Are you selling to businesses or consumers? Does your ideal customer fit into a specific income range? What are their interests?
The list of questions could go on. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to target the right customers with the right messaging. It will also help you select the right marketing strategy and the marketing channels that will be most effective when trying to reach the customers you want to reach.
Prepare for the Future
Finally, this is a good time to prepare your marketing strategy for the “what ifs”. Most of us did not see the coronavirus coming, and that left us scrambling to react without much of a plan. Now is the time to try to forecast what may happen, run some tests and make plans for different possible outcomes.
Look at different timelines for the economy in your area reopening. Consider the possibility that some of these timelines might change and try to project what the impact will be on your business for different scenarios. Maybe run some market research and try to project the numbers for things like expenses and revenues. Think about how your marketing strategy will need to change to respond to different outcomes and the messaging you will need to have ready for these events.
Marketing won’t be able to solve every problem that businesses experience as the result of the coronavirus, but it should play an important part in the response. By reviewing your marketing strategy and making the necessary adjustments, you can keep your business in the minds of customers and reassure them that you can continue to meet their needs.