Now's not the time to stop marketing your business.
We’re living through a never seen before global crisis that has hit the economy hard. It has already closed businesses and has put so many out of work, at least for the foreseeable future. It is a gloomy, stressful situation for all businesses.
So what do you do to help your business? How do you market your business in this economic downturn so that it is in a good place when this situation has ended? (and yes, it will end).
Don’t stop. To reduce costs, your immediate reaction may be to stop marketing altogether. This is the farthest from what you should be doing. Halting all marketing efforts will have a long-term negative impact on your brand. Utilize marketing to contribute to profitability in the long run.
Stay visible. Stay top of mind so your customers think of you instead of your competition. Be there when they are ready to buy again. Keeping your brand out there will optimize sales during and after the economic slump.
Engage with customers. Don’t assume that all your customers are not buying. Talk to them and find out what’s going on. Ask them how you can help them. Pick up the phone, or use a survey for feedback from a wider group.
Build relationships. Use cost-effective tools like email and social media to foster relationships that will last through the crisis and beyond. Share updates on your business. People want to know what’s going on and they appreciate stories on how people are coping and helping others.
Give something away. Offer a product or service at low or no cost. This could include everything from consulting to a 10-minute live class. Build an audience that is ready to buy or will be at a later date.
Focus on what differentiates you from the rest. Your unique value proposition will help you to communicate more effectively with current customers and with prospects. Fine tune messaging to emphasize value and cost savings.
Set marketing strategies for the short-term and the long-term. Figure out what you can do now to stay in front of your audience. Have a plan for the transition back to full business operation and every possible level of business in between.
Revisit your brand and marketing strategies. Are there new markets that you should consider? Is there a new product you can introduce? Objectively examine where you are currently investing and the return on investment of each strategy. Redirect more investment where there is the highest potential for growth.
Be proactive during uncertain economic conditions. Use this time to revisit your marketing plan. Optimistic marketers and visionary business leaders can prosper through downturns, not only growing their companies, but also seizing new market share.