Like many startups you may have taken the decision at the start of the pandemic to furlough your marketing team. At the time when preserving cash was key, furloughing staff and putting your marketing activity on hold was the right thing to do. However, with the world gradually ramping up activity, it may be time to consider how, who and what to reactivate for your marketing to get back up and running. Here are 5 suggestions about what to consider now.
1. Look at what marketing your competition and other companies in your space have been doing
It may be that they decided to continue marketing during the pandemic. Many companies reacted by pulling all marketing spend which had a big impact on media companies. They dropped prices which made media buy cheaper, making channels such as TV advertising more affordable than in the past. Certainly, the cost of social media advertising has dropped. Some of your competitors may have decided to capitalise on this and therefore have been marketing to your customer base during the pandemic. Playing catch up could be hard but not impossible which leads on to point 2...
2. Focus, focus, focus
Unquestionably customer behaviour has changed. Take this time to look at your personas and customer journey. Is it time to narrow your focus to a more specific persona? Are they still looking for your product or service in the same way and on the same channels? Are there any trends that you can spot in your customer data during the pandemic? Do you need to be where your competitors are or is this a good time to focus elsewhere? Your marketing budget is likely to be (significantly) reduced so you need to focus your spend more carefully than you have in the past. What worked then may not be right for now.
3. Revisit your marketing plan and your budget
During this time you may have reviewed and adapted your whole business strategy, product lines and services. What has changed and where will you be focusing? Align your marketing strategy and budget to support this change. In some ways recutting your marketing budget can be a good thing as it means that you think more carefully about where and how you spend your money. For example for many companies in- person events were a key part of their marketing strategy. How have your key events changed? How can you use the marketing spend allocated to those events differently?
4. Refocus your marketing staff
In line with the changes in your business it may be that you need your marketing staff to adapt too. Look at the skills of your team for example can your event manager manage virtual events? Can any of your team write marketing copy saving you the cost of an agency or an external writer? Talk to them about your plans and their willingness and ability to work differently.
5. Have your brand messaging thought through and ready to go
When you’ve thought about all of this, you may decide to restart your marketing with a big campaign or you may decide to be more low key. Either way the tone of marketing communications has really changed, particularly around using empathy to relate to customers. Companies that adapted their messaging to reference the pandemic and what they were doing to help have come out of this far better than those that made no reference to it at all in their communications. Think about the marketing communications that you received during this period, what stands out, and did it enhance or reduce the value of that brand in your mind? Make sure you have your story straight and reference it in any of your post COVID communications so that customers understand where you’ve been.
If you’d like more in-depth advice and guidance on marketing, then simply get in touch and we can have a chat, share what we cover and how it can help you to run your business more successfully.