[CV-19 Conversations] Spreading some good (marketing) sense
Lockdown is still going strong in some countries but in others, little liberties are being enjoyed left, right and centre. It's a world unfurling. Are you ready?
Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to crisis marketing can be tricky. Sometimes, you need someone to spread sense in an otherwise nonsensical business landscape. In fact, returning to our senses is exactly what we should do. In this time of introspection you'd do well to work with what you have.
See - Look around you. All over, you will find examples of marketers getting it right and those who are failing to hit the mark with their audiences. Remember your brand message and the customer you created it for; stay true to it. Develop strategies to remind yourself and them what it is, in authentic ways. This is about the long game.
Hear - Listen to your audience. Through all the noise, they are still there and during this testing time, the way they need to hear from you may be different. Adapt if necessary so that you can start meaningful conversations, asking for their inputs and feedback. This is a great way to feel out which segments of your audience are engaging with you. Nurture these exchanges which can form the basis for your sales and marketing strategies. Meaningful conversations start with asking questions.
Feel - Not the physical kind. Rather, explore ways of communicating with your audience that demonstrate your brand’s human quality. Remind them of the reasons they feel good about supporting you above any other brand. Maya Angelou put it so well, ’People will forget what you said and what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel.’ Right now, its all about the kind of value that your brand brings to your customer. And here's a hint, it should be so much more than being priced right.
Smell - When in doubt, follow your nose. It may seem obvious but in times of crisis, we can all be knocked senseless for a while. Once you've found your feet again, you should know that there are opportunities to be had even in a market downturn. Get innovating and work on new initiatives that will keep your customers engaged and looking forward to hearing from you. Use your extra time to sniff out new strategies that refine your brand message, take advantage of the plethora of free course material out there or iterate clunky processes that no longer serve you.
Taste - Develop your palate over this time. Feast or famine, there is always a way to market in a tasteful way. Be sensitive to ethics and observe the challenges your market is facing. Discern between hard and soft selling techniques and understand that a great measure of your success will be attributed to timing. Know when its okay to be salty or sweet. And remember, everyone's taste is different so don't be offended if you don't appeal to everyone. Nurture those you do hit the mark with.
If you are a marketer of a business currently in the vice-like grip of stringent lockdown regulations then take heart. This too shall pass and when it does, you will be ready.
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