What next? This is a recurring question in everyone’s mind now that they are no longer housebound, and offices have opened doors again. People are wondering what they must do to go back to their normal routines before Mid-March and execute the plans in place then.
Most brands and other teams that drive business are wondering how to adjust and respond during these unusual times. The uncertainty of the situation COVID19 has created makes it difficult to move and know how to best keep a balance between the most crucial, and often quickly changing brand needs, with short term and long-term business scenarios post lockdown.
However, every organisation must stay responsive, relevant to the times, and willing to adapt to changing business realities every day. Not just now, but all the time. While there is not a single common approach every business can follow to stay ahead, there are some promising practices that can guide marketers through these uncertain times.
Here are top ways to stay agile with compassion and genuine commitment,
Do not play the wait and see game: It may not be the best approach
Right now, hitting the brakes on your marketing campaigns may feel like a good thing to do. But it is vital that you consider the future impact of such a decision. Your business may not feel the effects at once, but you do know that any marketing you do today will help you reap the benefits in the future. Withdrawing your campaigns in such times can cause actual harm to your brand, particularly if key rivals continue to market their wares in meaningful and right ways.
Studying the ambiguity and seriousness of the situation, merely resuming, or believing you can pick up where you left off does not seem like a workable strategy. Not being in the market when your consumers need it the most will affect your profits, brand belief, and market share severely. Focus your marketing efforts on discovering proper ways to be in the market and responsive to consumer needs.
Do stay linked through established marketing channels
The consumers and clients you have worked so hard to cultivate want to hear from you and know more about the relevant value offer your business has. You now have the chance of aligning your corporate conduct to your evolving brand values. Discover ways to emphasize that you are with your consumers and target audience, and that will continue to walk together with them with empathy.
You can tell stories on the ways you are looking after your employees, families, inspiring them to practice physical and social distancing, and supporting a work from home culture. Such messages are ingenious ways to let your consumers know you are accessible to them.
Leverage the channels and methods that are working and be open to others.
Individuals are turning to social media and other channels more than they did before for info, recreation, and staying in touch with others. An A.C. Nielsen research shows an upsurge in television audiences as a large chunk of the populace began working from home or else decided to stay homebound. Televisionpost.com says, the time spent on several TV streaming channels and apps went up by a massive 80% but a lot of the ad stock remained unsold. India became the fastest-growing market among the top 12 countries in terms of time the consumers spent online. Users also say they are spending more time on social media channels and looking for more info on their computers and mobile devices because of coronavirus.
Look for ways to break down the hurdles that stopped you from being relevant and agile before coronavirus situation, ensure you are present on these channels, and have significant things to say. It could also be the best time to try a few crazy ideas that have been on your wish list for some time.
Keep your data secure and use it
Data security is a major issue today when so many are working from homes and at times, on their devices. Latest research shows, a jump in cybercrimes since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and shows that working from home using public Wi-Fi and personal computers makes data susceptible to security infringements. Though Zoom has made working remotely a breeze during the crisis, it has also had several security scares.
Those businesses that have included modern technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence know the power they hold in their hands and the accountability it involves. These tools gather and give businesses vast amounts of consumer data. It is now the time to use that data, make certain that it is secure and accessible to a few key members. Do not forget, use data insights to know and connect with your audiences better. Ensure, building trust is an essential element of your marketing plans.
Offer real value, and do not try to capitalize on adverse situations
Marketing is all about value exchange. Today, that is even more relevant when customers want service. They are looking for simple and useful ways to make this inconvenient situation work for them. E.g. a few restaurants moved to offer ready-meal kits, free home delivery or pickup options, and fitness brands offered fitness classes at home through streaming apps.
Search for unusual ways to help your consumers through your marketing and media that connect with your unique value proposition. A few brands paved the way for unusual marketing plans like Audible offering free children’s books till schools reopen. Big Basket the grocery app offering extended membership benefits and Swiggy delivering groceries to you.
Avoid being deliberately opportunistic.
If consumers feel you are taking advantage of the coronavirus situation you are in for some bad publicity for sure. Be genuine, helpful, and try to do what is best for everyone involved including the stakeholders. This means a marketing plan that is adapted to the situation you are facing today due to the pandemic. If selling is the only “benefit” your marketing is doing today, think of changing that and as alternative offer support and service to your consumers. These are just some ways you can use; however, no one knows how people will respond to the changes in behaviour due to social distancing and working from home. But you know that they are devouring more media. You can expect that they are open to advertising messages, using this time to investigate and make more educated purchase decisions.