COVID-19 has impacted nearly every country and every person around the world. While the front liners help keep us safe, healthy and look for a way to fight back, it is up to the rest of us to do what we can to flatten the curve and keep the rest of the world from collapsing. This is, by far, the biggest challenge this generation has seen and the impact it will have will affect us for years after. It is important to adapt marketing strategies during COVID-19.
As we transition from working in the office to working at home we must also alter our marketing and business strategies. Customer attitudes and behaviours have changed overnight and marketers must adapt in order to keep the message on point with their target audience. Life prior to COVID revolved around new experiences and getting out, now digital experiences will replace these. As the digital age has already come and continues to, this move to a remote society will be as if we threw gas on the fire. Some new habits we develop as we work remotely, and how we interact with each other and businesses online, will become the new norm. The best companies in the world and those who can adapt the fastest to this change, have already implemented new marketing initiatives for this new world. Don’t expect to make temporary changes and then to find your customers where they were before, they won’t be there.
What is the marketing goal during COVID-19?
During this time of crisis, the role of marketing may seem redundant, however, this is not the case. Quite the opposite, this is an opportunity to learn the new customer behaviours and to pick up on the new virtual way of attracting customers. As the new goal of marketing has changed overnight due to the change to a fully digital experience, it can feel like playing a new sport blindfolded, how do you find the net? It is now more crucial than ever to equip your marketing team with the tools to track customers and traffic in real-time, behaviours, transactions and new customer profiles. With these new personalized insights not only will the company benefit, but the customer will benefit from positive engagement that is relevant regardless of distance, device, or journey, as they navigate this new full digital experience.
One (Not So) Simple Question, How?
To put it simply, in order to survive this economic slowdown one must fully embrace the new tool-chest of innovation, resilience, agility and most importantly, empathy and these must be conveyed through your marketing strategies during COVID-19. As more and more industries are working solely from home, marketers must discover where they are, their lifestyles, new habits, and how they are taking in content.
Read The Signs and Anticipate The Play
As we are all well aware by now, social distancing can have some effects on your mental health as at one time or another we are all left with the feeling of boredom, stress, depression, and a sense of loneliness. It is crucial to identify these individual customer needs and address them before it becomes a problem area. IT has never been more important to anticipate your customer’s behaviours by fully understanding your customer profiles and how they engage with content. Brands must create meaningful, engaging and supportive messages and deliver real-time assurance to convey the connection we are all looking for, especially now.
Our New Best Friend – Technology During COVID-19
It has become increasingly challenging to meet new customer needs (or you wouldn’t be reading this right now), and you must think about how you can do so with the limited resources you have available to you due to social distancing. Organizations, especially e-commerce, are being buried with online orders while trying to ensure the health of employees, they don’t run out of stock, and other worries we all have. It has never been more important than now to leverage technology, whether that be online orders, utilizing your CRM tool for customer retention, lead generation tools, or chat functions. Ensuring every customers’ needs are met and the experience is what is expected is what your goal should be with every individual customer you encounter.
Social Butterfly – Using Social Media During COVID-19
Your marketing strategies during COVID-19 for your business regardless of your current situation must include posting on social media regularly. Even if you have to temporarily shut your doors or move to a fully online experience, you should never stop posting on social media. Customers look at social channels when researching new business opportunities and any outdated posts, gap in posting or lack thereof does not look good. Some ideas for posting during these times if you do not have any content to share are:
- Your crisis management strategy with any steps you or your employees are taking
- Changes to working hours
- Moving to solely online (if you have a brick and mortar location)
- If you have curbside pick up or online orders
- Uplifting or personal messages to keep spirits and morale high
Fact Check Everything
There is a lot of misinformation out there about what is going on in the world or in your area, and before you share that post, reply, or create a post on that topic, be sure to fact check everything. You do not want to give your customers the wrong information to put anyone in danger or hurt your reputation. Map out your crisis management strategy and ensure all facts are correct before sharing anything with your customers and followers.
Check 1-2, Testing, Testing
Test every new marketing initiative and any marketing message. After implementing new marketing strategies, ensure that you and your team are constantly checking the data to ensure you are reaching your target audience, they are engaged, it is relevant to them in their new life, and it properly represents your business. Unfortunately, trying to base your marketing off what your customers used to do or how they used to be, is no longer relevant, customers were forced to change how they receive and interact with content and the world overnight.
No one can predict what is next in this global pandemic or when it is going to end, all you can plan for is that tomorrow will be the same as today and adapt if necessary. But, to survive these unprecedented times you must stay sharp, focused, and determined. In order to achieve this, it is crucial to understand, anticipate and go beyond your customer’s needs. Leverage the right technology and stay ahead of the challenge by managing your data and customers appropriately. Be agile with any new marketing initiative and constantly test these messages. And continue to interact with your customers on social media channels regardless of the business situation you are in. There are multiple marketing strategies during COVID-19 that can be adapted from your current strategies and improve on. There are still multiple online marketing courses that can give you an edge.