HOW TO BE PROACTIVE AND ADAPT DURING THIS CRISIS
In a crisis situation like this where there is rapid change, marketing teams need a proactive plan to adapt how they speak to consumers, manage brands and lead their teams.
Adjusting your overall message can be difficult, especially when there is no constant. Overall tone can change how consumers perceive your brand and business practices, so it’s important to be empathetic and try to understand all of the different situations your clients may be in. Here are some steps businesses can make to effectively monitor customer's wants and needs.
PAY ATTENTION TO CHANGES IN CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR
Before COVID-19, larger brands were already being questioned on transparency and consumer trust was decreasing. The vast majority of people now resonate more with family, friends and local businesses that they have a connection to. Brands can push through this and become more consumer-centric by taking simple actions. Some include:
1. Listening. Try to understand the root of what customers/consumers want as well as what your team says they can realistically deliver. Use social media to aid in listening to concerns of you market demographic to address them in a clear and helpful way. Monitor customer feedback and reviews to be able to address specific concerns.
2. Be honest in responses. In order to protect consumer relationships, it’s important not to overpromise and under deliver for short term gain. This can tarnish customer trust, hurting the company in the long term.
PREPARE FOR OPERATIONAL CHANGES AND IMPACTS
With the demand of service increasing, it’s important for marketers to tailor their message to reflect the hardships people may be experiencing. Some ways to do this are:
1. Look into digitalization. By promoting online materials and mobile tools, it eases customers in finding information. Find innovative ways to market your product online and think about the demographics you want to reach – what form of social media are they using?
2. Re-evaluate your spending/marketing budget. With the possibility of revenue loss depending on business type, it’s important to look to see if there are any simple cuts your company can make such as technology programs overlapping. By putting programs that aren’t essential on halt, it can help promote efficiency and possibly avoid larger cuts in the future.
3. Promote and prepare for service volumes. Own a small business? Prepare for a potential fluctuation in sales volume due to the amount of people being home and the potential change in household income.
4. Create proactive messages. This helps to answer common questions to help relieve your customer service reps and have social media content. This page can also link to social media pages, drawing more people to look at your overall brand and not just the product.
With distribution being heavily affected during the time of COVID-19, it’s important to anticipate what your company can do to combat these changes in a sustainable way. This pandemic has changed the supply and demand chain, so as more people are stuck at home, they might be buying different items than they would previously.
Make sure your marketing plan is based off of current research and adjust parts that may no longer be effective. If you have to temporarily suspend a product or switch your production, that’s okay! Just pay attention to the new trends so you’re ready in advance for what may happen.
PAY ATTENTION TO TRENDS
Trends have been changing drastically following COVID-19, from fashion to everyday activities when stuck inside. More home and DIY projects are being tried...so how can your business adapt to appeal to this market? What trends correspond with your business and adapt your marketing to follow these trends and get ahead of competitors.
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