The impact of COVID-19 had been unprecedented and enormous. It has impacted the whole society and every stratum of people economically. However, there are several ways to modify your marketing strategy, ensuring your small business remains at the forefront of your customers’ minds during the Corona virus crisis. Strategy modification depends upon your industry, but the common theme amongst most industries these days is that we’re all finding ways to market online.
Instead of being too focused on sales, financial management, and accounting, it is crucial to focus more on how your company reacts to the crisis, what you’re doing to help, and what happens when everything reopens. Your marketing efforts must remind people that you’re here for when the crisis is over.
Here are some ways you being a small business owner, can follow to modify marketing plans.
1. Periodical Review of the Marketing Plans
One way to adjust the marketing plan is to review what’s in the pipeline, from campaigns to email marketing, social media, paid search, content, and more. Once you know what you have in the plan, you may have to push “pause” and wait for the right time to resume whatever you have planned.
Another thing a small business owner or executive has to be aware of is – budget. Many businesses have reduced their spending on paid ads and are rerunning ads slowly. When it comes to advertising, you want to make sure you’re getting qualified leads that convert, thus, make sure your messaging is consistent across all platforms, from display to website, email, and social media.
Regardless of COVID-19, you should review your marketing plan periodically to make sure it still makes sense.
2. Do Some Business/Market Analyses
To modify your marketing plan during COVID-19, you have to analyze a whole lot of data. You first need to find where the problem is in order to fix your non-productive marketing efforts. For this, you may utilize analytical tools and discover those aspects of the strategy that aren’t performing.
Next – you should focus on customers bringing in most of the business. There’s this 80/20 rule wherein 80% of your customers bring in 20% of your sales, and 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your sales. In this time of crisis, focus on those who bring you higher sales to keep your company alive.
Be open to new possibilities. Accept the changes in the market and let them come as a challenge. You might not know this, but all these changes can help you grow your company if you become able to find opportunities out of difficulties.
3. The three-step Strategy for more Sales
You should not miss this opportunity of taking your business online, especially during this time when almost everyone is active on all social media platforms. With the stay at home orders, people resort to online activities to keep them busy. Thus, ensure you update all your business profiles on social media and be visible to reach out to your customers and vice versa. Focusing on digital campaigns is cost-efficient and helps increase brand awareness.
You can also quickly grab customers’ attention by offering more freebies and discounts as the public is greatly affected by the virus. People would be more interested in buying your products at discounted costs.
Besides, by supporting other online businesses, you can assure that they will help you back by promoting your page to their customers. Having the help of a group or community will be an excellent advantage for your website traffic and gradually increase sales as well.
4. Understand Your Customers’ Situation & Act Accordingly
As a business owner, you might want to be able to cope with the changes COVID-19 brought to your business and consumers. Since all (companies and customers) are affected, we all need to adjust to the current situation. As a business owner, you need to plan and rethink everything you have been doing.
Try to find out what your customers are dealing with. Know what they are capable of and study how you can make it easier for them to reach you. During these times, accessibility is competition.
You need to encourage business transparency; if your company changes some policies, ensure that your customers are aware of the changes so that they can respond accordingly. You need to explain how you have been planning to serve them with better and what solutions you have brought so far.
5. Gain Customers’ Trust
There’s nothing that hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. For instance, even the content marketing landscape has been affected severely. Content producers are working double-time to generate content with higher quality and greater quantity, keeping in mind that the content marketing market is expected to grow by $269.24 billion between 2020 and 2024, at 13% CAGR during the mentioned period.
Besides promoting valuable content through the internet, you can promote and sell your products/services online. This way, you can experience increased sales while trying to contain the spread of the virus by going cashless. Not only this, but you also need to become more sensitive and listen to your customers’ demands. You have to adjust your marketing approach to be more sympathetic and compassionate. Engage with customers by answering their queries/comments and letting them know that you are there to help. Earn their trust and boost customer loyalty so that they won’t turn to your competitors.
6. Improve Business-Customer Relationships
As purchasing habits have drastically changed in this pandemic, conventional marketing strategies are not working. Small businesses must concentrate on modifying marketing strategies to get business in the long run. One thing you can focus on is building stronger relationships with customers.
Every email/message is now thoroughly read by the recipients because people have countless times. Send personally addressed emails to your customers to remind them to follow guidelines to remain safe. Ask them about their present requirements, along with your promotional messages. Offer special discounts to help your customers and let them know your concern about their well being. These email messages can build stronger customer relationships, which will pay you during and beyond the corona virus crisis.
All have been affected by the corona virus pandemic, even big companies have experienced the impact, and especially the small business owners much felt it. Moving forward, companies will need to share updates and changes being made to perform business immediately upon contact with customers safely.
Your marketing and messaging should address the situation and offer support for the greater community and the families behind the company as well. Approaching the current crisis with ‘we are in this together’ fact can build trust and honesty within customers.
You should provide employees with guidelines, protocols, and keep it updated with new regulations. This should also include answers to questions customers might have and what to do in certain events. We cannot predict what will happen next, but we can be prepared for a future full of complexities, sudden market fluctuations, and tackle each challenge through proactive marketing strategies.
Author – Adriene Raynott is a Sr. Business Analyst at Cogneesol, holding 6 Years of experience. She is passionate about writing on finance and CPA accounting concepts, small business growth, entrepreneurship, retail/eCommerce, branding, tax return preparation, etc. She is contributing her skills, knowledge, and experience to assist people pertaining to finance & accounting matters.