Adapting Your Marketing Strategy to Cope with Coronavirus
With millions of people having been confined to their homes, the way we’ve been communicating in both personal and business lives has been almost completely reliant on digital means. Although the world was already moving in this direction, the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis led to a significant shift and driven digital and social like never before - over a matter of days.
The sudden global increase in people staying at home led to an explosion of online activity, particularly on social media platforms. From a business perspective, while the bigger online commerce brands have probably not struggled much in terms of targeting and sales, many typically offline companies have found themselves looking down the lens at a completely different type of consumer.
Why do you need a new marketing strategy?
Marketing departments and agencies have really been tested over the past few months. There is little doubt that the marketing strategy worked on for this year will have already gone out of the nearest window many weeks ago, when lockdown started. But if businesses can adapt their strategies to cope with the short-term coronavirus crisis, perhaps they should be looking at a new strategy for some of the long term changes that could be driven by the shift in consumer behaviour over recent times.
Although restrictions are lifting, the coronavirus hasn’t gone away. Until there is a vaccine, consumer attitudes and behaviours are likely to remain unstable. It is reasonable to suggest however, that online activity will continue at a high for the foreseeable future and now is the time to focus on creating flexible, adaptable online strategies.
Think about the following ways to adapt your marketing strategy:
Diversifying – consider new ways to connect with your clients, both existing and potential. Could your products or services be remarketed to reach a new audience and give your business additional flexibility?
Strengthen connections – social media platforms are enjoying a burst of activity, fuelled by the recent lockdown measures. Make the most of the opportunity to strengthen your existing connections and don’t push sales too hard. Post regularly and often with a focus on support as businesses and consumers begin to return to work. This is not to say that sales aren’t important, but your clients will remember you for not piling on the pressure.
Reach out to your locals – reassess and polish your online presence using tools such as Google My Business and make regular updates. This part of the marketing strategy could also include app development.
Assess your website – now is the perfect time to look at your current online presence. Does your website truly reflect your business? Does it need a fresh look and feel to attract new clients?
Supporting working from home initiatives – strengthening your IT infrastructure could support longer-term initiatives for remote working. It may also be a good exercise to reassess staff training plans.
There has been innovation in all types of businesses since the beginning of the pandemic, as the initial shock began to wear off. We have seen brands stand up and offer support to their customers, embracing the new opportunities to connect with them to ensure business continuity once the crisis is over and this is now beginning to show in new levels of trust and loyalty.
The changing social consumer
Many businesses have been reaching out to their clients over social media channels on a more personal level than they ever did pre-coronavirus. Rather than a strong focus on sales, a huge number of marketers have approached their audience as ‘real people’. This type of connection can influence the relationship as a whole and can lead to a stronger sense of loyalty, which is key for business continuity as we begin to return to our every day and working lives.
It is important for marketers and business owners to truly understand that the unique situation created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has changed the way consumers think. This could have a ripple effect on the ways they shop, live and do business from now on.
As we look at the ways digital and social have helped during this unprecedented period of restricted physical contact, it would be difficult to ignore the rise in popularity and reliability of digital chat, conferencing services, virtual events, webinars and the consumption of video among many others. Does it make sense to continue to embrace these digital and social opportunities over the long term and should marketing professionals be prepared for a ‘new normal’?
During the current time, this is a good question. As the world asks itself if it indeed wants to go back to normal, marketing professionals really need to find out more about the target audience – who they really are and if and how their expectations and demands have changed during the lockdown.
How J&L can support your new marketing strategy?
J&L provide the same quality of customer support as ever. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and chat with us about your ideas and strategy. As consultants we can help to guide you and as people, we’re here to support you. Times haven’t been easy and you may be facing challenges you’ve never experienced before now you begin to return to business – let us help.