If you like the majority of Australians, COVID-19 has impacted the lives and businesses of you and your clients on an unprecedented scale. The current business climate is causing stress for many, and this often leads to scarcity-mindedness; people are hyper-aware of shortages, meaning they are hoarding everything from toilet paper to their advertising budgets. This anxiety can lead to choices we may regret – one decision you may particularly regret in the future is cutting back too much advertising and marketing budgets.
While it is tempting to reduce your marketing investments, consider the following scenario. If, for one year, Coca-Cola did not pay for any advertising in the market, while Pepsi retained their existing marketing strategy – how do you think Coca-Cola would fare playing catch up when it reimplemented its advertising budget? As much as possible, we must adapt our marketing plan. This may involve some reductions or reallocation of ad spend to focus on marketing strategies with higher ROI. In this article, we have identified some ways to ensure that your marketing strategy remains relevant and that your business stays on track during this turbulent time.
Adopt a Mindset of Growth
One of life’s inevitabilities is change. We can do more than cope with the current circumstances – there is the opportunity to succeed and grow. A growth mindset approaches change as less frightening and more rewarding. Adopting this perspective in uncertain times will keep you focused on your long-term goals and will improve your strategy for marketing now and in the future. Some of the world’s most successful companies were founded in the last recession in 2008 including WhatsApp, Groupon, Uber and Slack. Using innovation, and some of the strategies outlined in this blog post, your business can also survive and grow in the current climate.
Re-Examine Your Customer Profile
It is important to consider how your customer’s lives may have changed as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Now is the perfect time to reconsider your Customer Avatar Worksheet. This exercise requires you to consider your customer profile, including their goals, challenges, and pain points. These factors may have changed dramatically in just a few weeks and will continue to evolve as the situation develops. Your strategy for marketing depends on an accurate customer profile, so now is the time to reassess your customer’s needs.
Create a Marketing Plan for Getting Through the COVID-19 Period
It is understandable that you will want to make every dollar count in the current economic environment. However, it is important that you do not let fear drive you to cut back on all marketing. This difficult period will pass, so it is crucial to maintain – if not increase – awareness of your brand.
Coming back to our previous example of Pepsi versus Coca-Cola, it is important to consider your competitors at this time. Will they be continuing their advertising? If so, it is important that you do as well so you can maintain your market share. If other brands are not continuing their advertising – even better! You can raise your brand awareness in their absence and see stronger growth in the future.
Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
Marketing strategies for Australian businesses have been severely impacted by the economic contraction and social distancing measures. Specific promotions and activities such as face to face networking will no longer be permitted due to health concerns. It is crucial that we be prepared to pivot quickly to react to further changes and – more importantly – to have a marketing strategy prepared for when restrictions are lifted. What was effective last month may not work next month, so be ready to regularly reassess and update your marketing plan.
Focus on what you can still do for your customers, not what is restricted. Using the example of a café, if your usual customers may not be able to dine in, is there a possibility of expanding your takeaway menu and online presence to attract new clientele? Can you implement a delivery service for local areas? Developments in your business will not only allow you to continue trading now but could become a crucial element of your business in the long-term.
Invest in Skill Development
Just because you may not be in the office or as busy as you would typically be, does not mean you have to take your foot off the pedal. One of the silver linings of this situation for your business may be that you have more time to invest in professional development. Focus on Growth offers digital marketing courses – if you commit the time to learn new digital marketing skills, this will benefit your company not just during the current situation, but in years to come.
Focus on Growth has implemented a new online training platform, Focused Insider, to facilitate skill development. On our platform, you can learn the digital marketing skills required for your business to survive and thrive in the current environment. Learn new strategies in marketing that allow you to pivot and continually offer the best possible service to your customers during these difficult times. Contact us for further information on how the new platform can benefit you and your business.