Crisis has a way of focusing us on what is most important. It can do the same for your marketing strategy. There’s no doubt that the effects of the unprecedented crisis that is COVID-19 will be long-lasting. If your business is one of the ones striving to adapt and chart a course forward, what does that mean for your strategy as you navigate a forever-changed marketplace? It’s time to get focused on fundamentals and think them through from a post-COVID perspective.
Take a minute to stop thinking about your business in terms of products or services and think in terms of value. What is the true value that you provide to your customers? To effectively connect, it’s crucial to get to the real heart of the matter. What is the problem you can solve, the experience you can create, the expertise you can provide, the support you can offer? These are the keys to how your offerings intersect with your customers’ lives and that’s what you’re really about.
Know Your Customers
Say it once, say it again. Effective marketing is about people and building connections. Knowing your target customers is a marketing fundamental and that means knowing where and how they are in the post-COVID world. You’ve already defined exactly what value it is you have to offer. Now frame it in terms of your customers as they are today. Are they caretakers sandwiched between young children and aging parents? Are they young professionals thinking about what the future holds? Are they part of an industry managing unprecedented demands like healthcare or technology? Do they need support as they strive? Convenience as they juggle? Confidence as they plan? Escape from the every day for a moment? An authentic match between their needs and the value you provide is what you are looking for.
Meet Your Audience Where They Are
Even the best messages fall flat if they don’t reach the right eyes and ears. You have to meet your customers where they are. Today more than ever, that means at home and online. That may mean adjusting your products or services or how you deliver them. Restaurants that can’t serve dine-in customers have pivoted to curbside pick-up, to-go and delivery. What’s the equivalent for your products or services? How can you effectively get them to your customers?
And then, of course, how can you make sure that they know about it? Here’s where digital marketing rules the day. Make sure your website is up to speed. Leverage your social media properties. Actively manage your search marketing campaigns to the new normal for search trends and geo-targeting. Target your messaging and advertising to the right people in the right places. Adapt and test your ad creative. Delivering an intuitive and appealing digital brand experience is even more critical than ever before.
Navigating a new world in which COVID-19 is a household term means finding new ways to engage, connect and provide service and value. What has been done may not be the thing to do. New challenges need new solutions, so you’ll need to think outside the box when it comes to serving your customers. Creativity also counts when it comes to standing out from the crowd in an already packed digital landscape. Keep it authentic and fresh and tailored to the audience you are trying to reach.
While charting a course through the uncertainties of COVID-19 may seem daunting, you can always begin with the fundamentals. Rethink the basics from a new perspective and start planning to survive and thrive.