It’s a bit surreal at the moment isn’t it. Both for personal and business. Anyone else freak out when you see someone sneeze? Gone are the days when you say a polite ‘Bless You’. Now you run away as quick as you can!!! And don’t get me started on food shopping. It’s like an episode of Supermarket Sweep…
As business owners we need to stop, count to 10, breathe, and start thinking rationally. Yes, it’s all a bit crap out there. Yes, the world’s economy has tanked. But this is happening to everyone, not just you which is the thing that is giving me comfort. We are not alone. This enforced down-time means that now is the time to take stock and plan, plan and plan for the future because it WILL be OK.
Susan Hallam has written a fantastic article for The Drum called Preparing your marketing plans for the coronavirus downturn. If you do anything today, grab a coffee and read it. I love her analogy of
“…prepare your business for the long haul. Get your metaphorical mattresses ready for your company soldiers to sleep on while they wait for the battle.”
Because there will be a battle, and YOUR company has to win.
She goes on to say that:-
“Businesses are looking more carefully at budgets, making sure we can squeeze every penny of profit out of our investments, and looking for the most cost-effective way to deliver products and services.
Marketing budgets may appear to be a soft target for businesses looking to make budget cuts. But a cut in marketing activity is a short term fix that is sure to have long term consequences. Maintaining visibility in your market is essential for long term profitability and continued investment.”
Social media is the way to go for most businesses so make sure your marketing plan is current, and revisit it constantly so you are up to date with what is going on. Now is probably the time to ditch the scheduled posts – you have no idea how many posts and emails I have seen still advertising cruises for May, restaurants advertising their Easter menu or holiday clubs for the kids.
At the heart of every social media campaign, press release or magazine article are good images, sorry, EXCEPTIONAL images. When life gets back to normal, it’s going to be a battlefield out there, with everyone vying for your customer’s attention, and ultimately their limited-supply of cash. Make sure your business stands out. You require unique, interesting and visually appealing content.
I’m pretty sure most people won’t have a budget for high end photography so let me train your staff to take and edit amazing photos themselves on their phones, thus freeing up some of your (non-existent) marketing budget. Turn your marketing into showcasing the ‘human’ element of your business and take your customers behind the scenes. Let them see the local fruit and veg seller who delivers to your restaurant from his allotment, the cleaner who keeps your offices spotless, or the local brewery who operate out of their garden shed. This is what is going to pull at your customers conscious. This is what is going to get people coming back.
Hang in their folks. We are all in for a rough ride, but we WILL GET THROUGH IT. As Susan says, “…there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the digital marketing puzzle. You will need to be nimble and creative.”
Susan’s article can be found here.