This week I overheard a business owner, whose business is closed during the lockdown, state that there’s no point in currently conducting marketing activities. This is a risky strategy.
Marketing is all about keeping your product top of your customer’s mind. If you stop marketing, you may find that you’ve lost your customer to the competition.
Silence is the worst possible approach during this crisis. Your customers need to hear from you. You want to be in a position where you have prepared the ground and are raring to go when the lockdown is lifted.
Here are three Marketing strategies to help you get ahead and stay on top.
It’s important that customers know how your business is operating during the lockdown period. Are you taking orders? If you have staff, are they working from home? It’s also an opportunity to strengthen your customer relationship by demonstrating empathy and assuring them that you and your business are there to support them.
Use e-mail marketing to communicate weekly with your customers. You may want to follow up your first e-mail with a personal call to them to check how they are coping and to find out what their specific challenges and needs are. This then gives you an opportunity to address their needs in your weekly e-mails, making your communication relevant
Don’t overlook the fact that e-mail, linked to e-commerce, offers the facility to take orders and sell your wares during the lockdown. Many clothing stores are closed during this period but are still selling online via e-mails to their customers, with the promise of delivery of goods after the lockdown is lifted.
People are now spending more time online than ever before.
If you have a website, make sure that you have included in your website copy and headings, the keywords and phrases that your consumer uses to search for your type of product. This is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and it ensures that your site appears in the top rankings on a search engine results page and will be found. Use Google Keyword Planner to identify your key phrases.
Update your Google My Business page with the most up to date accurate information.
At this time, people of all ages are glued to social media. Post frequently and post content which is valuable to your customers (especially relevant to those customers who may currently have to do without your service!). As hairdressing salons are currently closed, an astute salon owner may initiate a client Whatspp group and post hair care tips, for example, a step-by-step process for blow drying hair. This will enhance customer loyalty and ensure customers return to the salon once it opens again.
Currently the way we live has changed radically and even once we return to normality, some of those changes may be permanent.
As a business owner, you now have the opportunity to relook your product, pricing, promotions, distribution method and if you’re in a service business, your processes, physical location and staff. Are there any innovations you can introduce to better meet your client’s changed needs?
Many restaurants, as an example, have been forced to close during the lockdown and are now delivering their meals to their customer’s homes. Estate agents, whose prospects can no longer physically be taken through a show house, have embarked on so-called “E-shows” where prospects can view the homes online and simultaneously talk to the agent.
Getting close to your customer during this period and understanding their changed needs will be the key to unlocking any business transformations you should be making.
So many of the business people I interviewed for my book, The New Entrepreneur, commented on the necessity of always maintaining faith and hope, especially when experiencing tough trading conditions.
Yes, we are in uncharted territory but don’t be a victim, lick your wounds and hibernate. Get out there and embrace what’s happening.
Now’s the time to differentiate your business via your “can do” response to this crisis. Keep on marketing to your customers and prospects. Set yourself up for success post Covid-19!