03 Aug How to market your business post-COVID
Businesses have had to adapt during the global pandemic to survive. The level of adaption required has varied. Pubs offering takeaway drinks, other companies have branched out into new areas to stay relevant. Whilst some have been able to thrive in the new environment, there have been others that have had to temporarily shut down and try to ride out the crisis.
It’s not been a barrel of laughs for any business, with forecasts, budgets and even jobs under heavy scrutiny.
It’s vital that your business stays relevant as we continue to emerge from lockdown and edge towards something resembling normality.
Here are 5 key tips to help you maximise the impact of your marketing.
Many events could have impacted your marketing strategy. Reduced budget, personnel on furlough, different service offerings. The industry that you operate in may have changed drastically. Even if it hasn’t your audience has just been through a global pandemic. Some reintroduction and re-engagement are required.
When planning your relaunch strategy, a key element will be to reacquaint your audience with your brand. You need to demonstrate your expertise and quality. A value proposition is more vital than ever before.
There is a lot of jargon around this area, don’t be intimidated by people claiming to be growth hackers or thought leadership ninjas. Demonstrating that you know your craft better than anyone and how it can benefit your customers is the first step. The second step is condensing this message and conveying it effectively to the right audience.
A scientific and detailed strategy is required. If you felt like your marketing strategy wasn’t as effective as it should have been, this is a great opportunity to reset and strip it back and start again.
Analyse, Adapt, Overcome
This may sound like something Bear Grylls would shout at your while you’re glugging down a jug of your own pee, it’s important to remember when relaunching your marketing (not the drinking your pee bit).
In the wilderness of post-lockdown marketing, you must acknowledge that things have changed and you must adjust. Elements of your marketing strategy that were crucial 6-months ago may be obsolete. Customer behaviours that could be relied upon may now be unfeasible.
If face-to-face interactions were a key part of your lead generation strategy before the pandemic, you will need to adapt and formulate a less hand-on approach to reach your customers and prospects. The chance of trade shows, award ceremonies or large events taking place in 2020 is looking very remote, so you will need to think of a way for your brand to reach people remotely.
The number of people working in offices has dramatically declined, meaning that direct marketing to businesses is likely to be much less effective. I doubt that you have any prospects’ home addresses, so you are probably going to need to have a rethink about how you are going to reach and engage with your database.
It may be inconvenient, but it’s important that marketing budgets are allocated to areas of your strategy that remain effective. With the average household’s screentime increasing significantly as the year has progressed, digital marketing is an obvious choice. Now is the time to think strategically about which areas of your marketing mix are going to deliver and which need to be cut back or cancelled.
Have a Plan
It sounds obvious, but it can be tempting to gloss over the strategic element of your marketing. After all, isn’t the objective obvious? Make more money.
Well, technically you’re right, however, developing a strategy is more nuanced than that.
- Yes you want to make more money, but how?
- New customers?
- Selling more of the same to existing customers?
- Selling something different?
Each option requires a different message and approach.
Work backwards. Set an objective for the next quarter. Make it specific. For example, you may want to increase the number of leads in your sales pipeline by 20%.
When you know exactly what you want to achieve, then you can start creating goals that will help you achieve those targets. In our example, this could be:
- More traffic to your landing pages
- More sign-ups to your mailing list
- More downloads of your latest whitepaper
- More pages viewed per session
You can then develop tactics that will help you achieve these goals and Key Performance Indicators that help you track the progress and efficacy of your tactics. Suddenly, you’ve got a strategy.
This doesn’t mean get into crystals.
When planning your reintroduction to the marketing maelstrom, it’s absolutely critical to think logically. No element of your marketing functionality should be operating in a silo. Everything should be included in your strategy and contributing towards you achieving your objective.
When creating your strategy, it’s useful to map out all of the tools in your marketing mix and how they are going to contribute. This means that your messaging and tactics will be consistent and will give you the best possible opportunity for success.
Consistency does not mean that every aspect of your marketing mix must be the same. Every element will have nuances. It might be audience, tone or functionality, but knowing what all the parts of your marketing machine are, how they will work, and how they fit together will definitely help to make your strategy effective.
Think of the funnel
Let’s be brutally honest here. Your marketing is serving a purpose, it’s to generate leads and to facilitate revenue generation for your business.
As we businesses start to open up and adjust to the ‘new normal, it can be tempting to rush out content. A feeling that you need to post something to stay relevant. You should not be creating content for the sake of it. Every social media post, every email and every decision should be taking you a step closer to achieving your strategic objectives. You should be able to justify every action in relation to your goals. Otherwise, it falls into the ‘for the sake of it’ pile.
It’s important to consider the key stages of the lead generation funnel, and to have content and a plan to advance prospects towards conversion. In case you don’t have a marketing textbook handy, those stages are:
When you focus on the objectives and your lead generation funnel, you will find that decisions are more easily made.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone will engage with your brand in the same way and that one funnel journey will work for everyone. You will need to fully understand your audience(s) and how their motivations and priorities may have altered during lockdown. Are they under more pressure? Are there new challenges that they are facing now due to the pandemic? How have their customers been affected?
Your old personas may not reflect your post-lockdown audience. To avoid any unwanted surprises when you’re reviewing your performance stats, make sure you take the time to research your new audience thoroughly and create user journeys accordingly.
It’s vital that your business reevaluates your marketing objectives and tactics following lockdown and devises a strategy that takes into account how life has drastically altered for everyone. Whilst this is a big challenge, it’s rare to get the opportunity to start your marketing strategy (almost) from scratch. Don’t miss out!