Businesses are screeching to a halt and the economy is slowing to a crawl. The economic paradigm that you operated within no longer exists and may not for some time. If you want your business to endure, you must buck up and pivot. This article will walk through 6 big steps:
Consider how your business and brand can lift the community through empathy and encouragement at this time. Plan to participate in the economy. Both are equally important as we can’t just drop everything and return to an ancestral communal society. We can be sensitive to the situation AND find out what the new market can bear so that we aid the market’s return, not further damage it. Having a mindset of empathy, encouragement, and participation is essential to move forward.
Firstly, grieve over the marketing plan you poured your heart and soul into that you must now table. If you didn’t have a marketing plan, then you have one less loss today. Next, assess the landscape – all of it. The customer, their new needs, your product or service, and pivot your business and marketing to address the new reality. It’s time to pivot if you want to insulate, overcome, and thrive.
The streets are empty and your business was either closed by government mandate, the sheer lack of foot traffic, or to observe the recommended social distancing. Your customers still exist; they are just huddled at home and ONLINE.
Pro tip: Meet your customers where THEY ARE. The community and your customers need you to show up now more than ever. Let’s dig in more on this to see where your customers are, so you can show up where you need to be.
For the most part, your customers are at home unless their work is considered an ‘essential service’ (i.e., medical, transportation, grocers). Take note of that; it changes the way you market and where you market. Direct mailers and marketing on social platforms will get you more eyeballs than outdoor signage.
Just as you have been glued to your personal devices, so have your customers.
Next step, acknowledge your customers’ new needs. Go back to your buyer personas and buyer journeys (if you have them) and update them. If you don’t have them just make a list of your buyer’s needs and how purchasing looks in this new reality. Get those sticky notes and markers out and start mapping.
Determine if your products, services, and offerings make sense in this new landscape. If you own a restaurant, you can move to carry-out but adjust your menu items and pricing based on the customer’s needs and pain points. If you manage a retail store, consider adjusting your offerings to include online personal styling sessions. If you provide workshops for coaching, adjust your classes to include specific topics to get your customers through this time. Really put your thinking cap on and reimagine your offerings so they align with your customers’ new needs. You must pivot your offerings and channels to digital to connect with your customers.
Lastly, update your marketing to fold in adjusted offerings and the new messaging. Select channels that make sense for today and go live.
Communicate.👏 communicate. 👏communicate. 👏 with your audiences.
Get that new marketing out there and ensure it is from your brand’s personality and voice. Acting quickly is key. This is a time for agile marketing and business model changes that will work for today.
Now, more than ever, businesses must leverage their online presence and the proper channels to communicate. Doing this well will mean your business survives and plays a key part in solving this tremendous upheaval. Your customers need you to show up. Show up and then some.
It’s time to step up your game. You’ve got this.