Just like our daily routines have changed in the wake of COVID-19, business discussions and marketing discussions need to be changed too to accommodate the impacts of the unsettling scenario currently. While some brands may be taking advantage of the circumstances, some may be contemplating on scaling back marketing activities.
However, this need not be the case. You could tweak your long-term marketing strategy to increase your voice in the market. With people spending more time at home, they are almost always using some sort of digital technology for their daily routines. This is the time to leverage on online marketing as digital adoption is at its peak now.
How should you change your marketing strategy?
While economic recovery may take some time, the focus now should be on a realistic response to the available opportunities.
- Intensify Scenario planning
Identify scenarios from the perspectives of customers, brand, key business partners and rest of the organization, and keep action points ready to tackle each. Coordinate with departments like HR and finance, and ensure everyone is on the same page about marketing activities and its impacts on the business.
- Listen to customers
Everyone is scared. Do not take advantage of the situation; rather more than ever, pay more attention to the messages communicated via your brand. Monitor customer discussions on social media and get feedback and inputs from sales teams based on what they hear on the frontlines. Check all points of contact with customers like phones, emails, service chats etc. to keep track of customer sentiments and any changes in it.
- Foresee operational impacts
Be prepared for imbalances in the demand-supply equation. While closed factories and operations may affect supply chains and distributions, customer demand could be increasing depending on your product.
- Your marketing messages should reflect realities while also staying loyal to brand values.
- Manage promises and set delivery dates only as per what you can deliver.
- Pull back ad campaigns of those products that you aren’t sure of producing in the current situation.
- Train teams to handle customer service requests and volumes.
- Realign marketing messages and distribute them via emails and other digital options to optimize reach.
- Enable more digital options to access your products, like better options via your mobile app if you have one. Innovate product delivery options based on industry. For example, online learning, telemedicine etc. However, remember that a human voice shouldn’t be completely absent.
- Adapt marketing plan
In addition to best and worst, also factor in moderate case scenarios and devise alternate strategies in your marketing plan.
- Focus on compelling content as per the current situation. Include comforting and encouraging yet informative content.
- Rethink your marketing mix and get access to apt publications and channels before you lose out on opportunities to reach target audiences.
- Embrace the digital transformation and churn out content to suit the channels to get audience attention.
- Ramp up customer care activities- phone calls, emails, chats – which are direct points of contact with customers.