Amidst these seismic shifts, marketers must do what they do best: adapt. To both keep up with and stay ahead of changes, follow the COVID-19 ABCDs of marketing:
A: Actively audit
If you assume anything, assume that nothing is certain. The what, why and how your customers buy could be completely different than it was just a few months ago, making it more important than ever to root every decision in data.
Analyze what’s working as well as what’s not, and don’t be afraid to reach out to customers. Surveys are applicable as ever and can be used to evaluate pain points and ask questions such as: what new, unmet needs have emerged?
Finally, search out and identify new moments ZMOTs, or Zero Moments of Truth. There are so many micro-moments involved in the digital path to purchase today that you may be surprised by the ones who have emerged as dominant.
B: Be bold
Now is not the time to pump the brakes–in fact, you must instead put the pedal to the medal. If history provides any indication, acting aggressively and quickly will determine who succeeds and who falls behind.
During the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, winning brands doubled down on marketing investments–revamping their marketing strategies, reallocating their spending to digital channels, and more aggressively targeting members of the up and coming generation, millennials. S&P 500 companies that maintained or increased their marketing spending in 2008 significantly outperformed others, growing sales by roughly 6.5 percentage points more than the peers who reduced their spend.
Remember that during a recession, consumers are looking for four things: reliability, durability, safety and performance. New products that address these concerns should be introduced, and advertising should stress superior price performance.
In the words of Bill Gates, “success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent.”
And when it comes to your already loyal fans, give them relevant information–whether it be practical news (if you believe shipping times will be delayed) or emotionally relevant (how you’re keeping your employees safe). Providing useful information without pushing a sale is something that customers will remember and return for.
Both in business and in your community, look for opportunities to become even more digital. There are certainly trends that you cannot ignore, including using chatbots, personalizing your messaging, creating more video content and increasing your activity on social media platforms.
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Sandra’s passions? People and creativity, making SketchDeck a natural fit. She holds a BS in Advertising, but currently dabbles in marketing, people ops, billing and more–she’s proud to elevate a team whenever and wherever she can. On the rare chance she’s not working, you can find her doing jigsaw puzzles, dreaming of France or exploring the outdoors with her husband and young son.