Business owners and marketers will be tested during the coronavirus crisis, but we need to think long term, keep building our brands, protect our staff, and honor our values. The wheels of the industry need to keep turning so the workers are paid and their families are fed. These wheels are driven by effective marketing.
Marketing budgets are the easiest target for businesses looking to reduce expenses. Decreasing your marketing activity is only a short term solution with a high likelihood of long term consequences. The smartest thing to do is to focus more of your budget on the long-term brand-building mission. In the current market environment, effective marketing cannot be achieved. It is essential that you maintain visibility in your market for continued investment and long term profitability.
Even though your customers are saving now more than ever to prepare for the dark days ahead, they are still spending money. They want to make every dollar count and deal with the companies they trust. At some point, consumers will return to the streets, the cafes and various other activities. Keeping your brand’s light burning is more cost-effective than snuﬃng it out for the rest of 2020 and then trying to re-ignite it next year.
Great brands are established in such an era because, in the face of the crisis around them, they are showing their brand value. They take care of their own and eschew short term profits in favor of ensuring that their people are getting looked after. Invest in brand-building media because, with many of your competitors losing their minds, there is a rare opportunity to come out of the crisis not only alive but ahead.
Take care of yourself, take care of your brand, and we will overcome this crisis together. Because this epidemic has a serious impact on all of us, businesses are responding to challenging times. It is time to prepare your business for the long haul! When preparing for a marketing campaign during an economic downturn, consider the following:
- Focus on retention
- Aim at your target market
- Drive conversions
- Measure extensively
- Test, optimize, test again
- Focus on retention: Acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing customers. You risk losing your customers if you don’t consistently communicate with them. Out of sight means out of mind.
Marketing automation will free up your more expensive talent for creative activities and increase your return on investment. Some customers want to hear your news, so send out personalized, contextualized and targeted messages. This type of communication is more effective than spam emails or cold calls. Automation is the most effective system to keep in touch with your customers.
Content is king! Because many cities are isolated, content production is critical to maintaining your existing customer base. There are innovations that differentiate you from competitors and now is a great time to share them.
Engage in conversations with your existing customers by getting more social. Social platforms are where your customers share their views about your company, consider your products/services, and discuss their decision to buy from you. A low-cost plan will help you be more knowledgeable about your customers and enable you to attract customers at every point of their buyer’s journey. Receive input about your business and get educated about your market. You also need to make a valuable and appropriate contribution to the conversation because it isn’t about advertising.
- Aim at your target market: Building brand awareness and gaining awareness among people who may already be interested in your business will attract new visitors to your website and drive more sales.
Get in front of the potential clients that are searching for what you’re selling. This practice is one of the best ways for people to learn about your business. Whether a potential customer is looking for a new supplier or evaluating a particular product, they should find you at every stage of the buying life cycle. By maintaining your advertising budget to maintain brand awareness, you will earn long-term benefits.
There is a “marketing phenomenon by which consumers develop a preference for your products or services merely because they are familiar with them”, known as “The Mere Exposure Effect”. Maintain visibility in front of prospective clients by exploring low-cost techniques. Creating high-quality content to be shared can reduce the cost of generating low-value, low-impact content.
Your business has interesting content that isn’t dated and still provides value to your customers. Update the content in the archives to improve your ranking in search engines..
Leverage the audience of other respected experts in your industry to gain more awareness with potential clients. The opinions of others about you are more important than what you say about yourself.
- Drive conversion: CRO or conversion rate optimization is a low cost, high impact digital marketing system. Increase the likelihood of new website visitors becoming customers by making small changes to the buyers’ journey in increments.
Share positive stories and testimonials about your business for social proof. Find new ways to use reviews, case studies, and suggestions at every touch point in your marketing funnel. This content should be incorporated in your website and distributed consistently across your social media channels. Your buyer’s journey is essential to your success so ensure that you’re providing a fast and personal experience.
Now is the time to leverage artificial intelligence and get up to date with the latest developments in AI. Taking advantage of current developments in machine learning will provide you with a competitive advantage. You will have the opportunity to reach the right potential customers and reduce the cost per acquisition of new clients. Think about the best times to provide your target audience with specified messages to help you reduce waste.
- Measure extensively: In order to manage campaigns effectively, you must measure your results, otherwise, you will be pouring money down the drain.
Define your key performance indicators. Measuring results provide accountability for your marketing spend. What is the criteria for success? You may want to consider metrics such as the numbers of leads generated, sales, upsells, referrals, etc..
Installing Google Analytics correctly ensures that you make data-driven decisions. Are your goals properly set up? Have your metrics been defined? Is your Search Console connected? Google Analytics provides free data you can use when developing your strategy?
You will have to make tough decisions such as how to allocate your resources when the budget gets tight. One option is to suspend social media activities because its time-consuming and may not be a required activity at the moment. But before you make that decision, measure the ROI of your social media in terms of engagement, visibility, and profits and how this practice affects your bottom line. Knowing what is effective and what isn’t, makes it easier to decide where to invest your cash.
- Test, optimize, test again– There isn’t a cookie cutter method to effective digital marketing so its good to look at campaigns like experiments. The purpose of an experiment is to test and learn the best possible solutions.
Experiments should be quick, cheap, and easy to deliver. If the practice is working, then you should continue to do more of the same. If this practice doesn’t work well, then kill the experiment and move on to the next. Test something, learn from the results, and then test something new.
Before terminating campaigns, be sure to analyze the underlying data to determine the factors that are effecting your failure. Doing this will provide you with insights for whether you should adjust and re-launch your campaign rather than ending it.
Please call us at (210) 200-8924 or schedule a meeting online to discuss what options are available to increase your business’s chance for success. We will provide you with a complimentary detailed assessment to determine what your current position is in the digital landscape.