COVID-19 has rapidly impacted global markets, and CMO’s the world over are scrambling to adjust their marketing strategies to meet the evolving needs of their customers. In what is undoubtedly a crisis situation, organisations have to be sure that the way in which they market themselves today accurately reflects their ethos, integrity and willingness to help their customers during this challenging period.
So what should marketers do to ensure that customers remain aligned with their brand despite the volatility of consumer sentiment? Here are 5 tips.
Listen to what your customers have to say and how they behave
Monitor what customers are saying, what they’re feeling and what they’re doing and then adapt your marketing campaigns accordingly. Whether this is on social media, through your customer care call center or vial emails to your business – listen to what people are saying and then respond in a way that shows you are paying attention and that you care about the relationship between them and your brand. Become customer-centric as this is what your clients will remember.
Produce engaging content
The Covid-19 crisis has elevated feelings of anxiety, worry and depression among people worldwide. Why not be the brand that everyone can turn to for upliftment and support? Deliver content that is compelling, that offers value to your customers, or that’s simply a source of escapism from what is undeniably a particularly stressful time for many. This is not a period for aggressive selling, it’s an opportunity for your business to help people get through a tough situation.
Adapt your service or product offering
Now is not the time for rigidity when consumers aren’t able (or even unwilling) to buy what you usually sell. You need to adapt to the current circumstances. For a real-estate agency, this could mean producing informative content that future potential buyers may find useful, for example interior design and/or home improvement tips, landscaping ideas, budget tips, real estate market news, a Q&A series – and any other information that provides real value.
For a bricks and mortar store, this may mean seeking an e-commerce solution to continue selling your products. For a restaurant or supermarket, you many need to turn to offering food delivery/takeaways. For a gym or personal trainer, this could see you producing workout videos so that your clients can keep up their fitness regimes from home. For a school or other educational institute, using a video conferencing platform to keep up your lessons remotely is a great alternative. Being flexible is key if you seek business continuity during this pandemic.
Ramp up your social media presence
With so many people on lockdown at home, social media has become one of the most popular modes of communication. So this is where you need to be at. Make sure you’re publishing engaging and informative content on all relevant channels, based on customer segmentation best practices. Implement social listening so that you know what customers are saying and doing online, and post in real time, so that what you’re sharing retains authenticity and addresses current needs.
Optimise your website
This requires a range of different actions, from enhancing SEO so that you rank better in SERPs; publishing informative material (blogs, videos, e-books, guides); improving site speed so that pages load faster; reorganising your products or services on your site so that those that better serve current consumer demand are emphasised; onsite pop-up messages to inform customers of any changes in operations; etc. By making these small but critical changes, you increase the likelihood of someone actually finding your website and staying on it long enough to consume your content.