Now that more economic stability and opening has occurred amid the ongoing health crisis, it’s a good time for entrepreneurs and CMOs to think about what’s changed.
How do you reach your audience with effective marketing and sales strategies in this new and different business climate? From content marketing to building your social media presence, now is the time to take a clear-eyed look at your current program and ask: What tweaks should you make to connect successfully with your prospects and customers?
1. Get to know your customers and prospects all over again (or for the first time)
The experience of the last year-and-a-half has changed us all in both minor and profound ways. Your customers may face shifted fears, evolving priorities and wholly new challenges.
This is why it’s crucial to keep up with your customer profiles and personas. A short emailed customer survey can help you pinpoint where the hearts and minds of your audience members are today. Ask where their priorities lie now, what their fears and pain points are, what factors are impacting their purchasing decisions.
Your sales team is also a great resource here. Make sure your reps know how to elicit feedback from prospects about their goals and questions.
2. Take a fresh look at your products and services
Since your customers’ daily routines and fears have likely evolved, it’s important that your products and services keep up. Some of your previously best-selling offers might no longer be relevant in a world where the crisis is less acute.
Are there macro factors that are going to change the demand for your offers? After all, if your business is a restaurant or bar, you’ll face more demand as restrictions lift. On the other hand, if you offer online workout classes, you might struggle to keep up with numbers of attendees you enjoyed earlier in the crisis.
Things change, as they always do. The question isn’t how to stop that change — it’s inevitable. Instead, stop wasting money on trying to sell your product into a market that no longer exists and focus on creating a workable pivot into new markets.
3. Focus on keeping existing customers
Your existing customers are already primed to trust you. They came to you or stayed with you even in the face of economic upheaval during the health crisis.
Look out for the customers who have demonstrated even a little loyalty to your brand. Think about value-added ways to meet their needs. Proactively issue refunds if you weren’t able to fully deliver because of the health crisis. Offer more extensive services to support your products. You can also consider adding extended hours of operation to help meet your customers’ needs and preferences.
4. Shift (more) to digital marketing
We may not be going out like we used to, but given the reopening of bars, restaurants, theaters and the like, digital channels are more important than ever.
Analyze your online presence and identify the gaps there, then devise a plan to fill those gaps. For example, if you have an email list but aren’t communicating consistently with it, consider investing in a funnel specialist and email marketing copywriter to segment that list and design personalized sequences for each segment.
Or if you’ve been kicking around an idea for a branded app but haven’t taken any steps towards making that happen, now’s a good time to find out if your audience (prospects and existing customers alike) wants an app, and if so, what features they’d like to see added to it.
By the same token, people aren’t going to be home as much as they perhaps were during the height of the work-from-home era. Consequently, personal phone calls might not be as welcome or returned in a timely manner.
5. Overhaul your comms strategy
Make sure the content you’re sharing is both relevant and useful to your post-health-crisis audience. Does it align with your customers? If not, make adjustments so that it does reach your audience where they are now, not where they used to be.
One way to stand out in this new marketplace is to get creative about your messaging. When macro factors change, it’s a great time to change up how you message.
For example, Roomi is an app that helps users find rentals, sublets and roommates in the NYC area. The company launched fun new character-driven display ads in the city subway cars that caught the attention of riders. Planet Fitness is likewise sporting a refined message that reflects our changed reality by stressing the things that matter to fitness fans now, like gym cleanliness.
6. Streamline your efforts
In general, most people are struggling to keep their heads above water these days. That’s true for individuals but it’s also true for businesses. Scattered efforts and a “try everything” approach may well dilute your results. Instead, keep your efforts tightly targeted on the few channels that are most valuable for you right now.
7. Lead with human connection
In all your marketing and comms efforts, start from a place of concern and compassion. Whether you’re reaching out to prospects or existing customers (or members of your marketing and sales teams, who’ve been through difficult times, too), ground your approach in empathy.
This is especially important for sales representatives who are connecting with prospects personally. Even something as simple and straightforward as a sincere “How have you been getting on? What can I do to help?” can go a long way towards generating massive goodwill.
Reconnect with your audience
The secret to effective marketing now is the same as it’s always been: Meet your customers where they are right now and deliver what they want. Use the principles of digital marketing to draw them to you and build on their interest to help them make a purchasing decision in your favor.