Marketing in the Age of a Crisis
Without question, we’ve all been experiencing some hugely unprecedented circumstances in recent times.
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus has forced us all indoors, and no doubt everyone’s circumstances have shifted – some abruptly, some less so – but shifted nonetheless.
In marketing, like in business, there are critical moments when we need to take a deep breath and figure out how we’re going to respond to changing customer demands, competitive threats and shifting market dynamics.
When something major happens, like the coronavirus pandemic, businesses need to take action.
Two immediate areas of focus are:
· Communications strategy
The first step is to make sure your entire team is fully informed about what changes your company plans to make, and how it plans to go about making changes. Communicate clearly, honestly and regularly, keeping everyone informed of changes as and when they occur. Remain transparent, but don’t communicate uncertainties – only facts.
The next step is to communicate with your customers. The same rules apply here: clear, honest, regular and transparent communication is a must. This will help your company to maintain a positive reputation throughout the crisis.
· Cost management
When considering the business impact of a crisis, managing costs is an important way to manage business sustainability as you work through the issue.
As a marketer, you need to focus on:
· Ensuring your people, technology and programmes are all working well together
· Understanding where you can scale back on people, technology and programmes, and the implications of eliminating any of these.
When a crisis occurs that’s beyond your company’s control and impacts how you sell your products, communicate with your current clients and acquire new ones, you need to be agile and flexible to survive.
You also need to be as creative and innovative as possible to stay afloat during uncertain times. Go back and review your business and marketing objectives, and evaluate how you can achieve those objectives without those elements that you’ve been forced to eliminate.
Next, look for the gaps, and begin a brainstorming session with your team to find ways to fill those gaps. This is where innovation and creativity really come into play.
· Get your most creative team members on board from a range of departments, including marketing, sales, and customer services. Stick to a maximum of 10 group members to avoid confusion and overwhelm.
· Get the group to list the latest marketing trends, competitive activity and customer comments they’ve heard about. Get a list together, then begin brainstorming.
Questions to ask include:
· What do our customers like?
· What do they dislike?
· What do they wish we had more of?
· What do our competitors offer that we don’t?
· How can we remain successful, even after eliminating certain marketing channels?
· Is there any new technology we can make use of?
Doing all of the above isn’t only necessary during a crisis. It’s also a superb idea to carry out these tactics before a crisis hits, so you’re fully prepared when the going gets tough.
Nothing lasts forever, including a crisis. By remaining organised, you can ride out the storm and come out the other side having achieved and exceeded your goals.
EWM. is a leading design and development agency supporting world-leading brands, SMEs and NGOs with their bespoke digital needs. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs.
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