Tips for Making the Most of the COVID-19 Crisis
“You never know who’s been swimming naked until the tide goes out.” – Warren Buffet
If you’re an entrepreneur like me, business struggles may have had you feeling vulnerable before, but now that we’re in a pandemic, it feels downright embarrassing!
Well, throw on a towel, because although it might feel like today’s economy is like nothing you’ve ever seen, not EVERYTHING has changed.
The rules for good marketing are still the same:
- Know your value
- Just how much is someone willing to pay for your products or services?
- What (exactly) are they buying and how often?
- Know your audience
o Not generally, but intimately. If they can’t come to you right now, you have to find a way to get to them.
- Do you have email addresses for them? Can you deliver something to their home? Can you DM them or message them through social?
- Know your market position
- What is your competition doing?
- What great things are you seeing done in other industries?
- How can you convert their great ideas into something on-brand for you?
The business environment we’re in right now provides a perfect opportunity to …
- understand why customers buy from you (it may be because your products provide convenience, status or even a quiet moment for self-care)
- build deeper relationships with your customers
- serve them even MORE value
To do those things though, you’re going to need customer insight. The better you know your customer the better you can serve them. Gain insight through customer interviews, secret shopping (the secret shopper can even be you!) and analysis of the analytics and reporting available through Google and your social platforms.
When you’ve looked closely at your customer and your competition, make any adjustments in your business that may hinder or discourage a sale. Make it easy for someone to do business with you, whether we’re in another lock-down or doing business as usual. Look closely at how you are communicating and whether the information you’ve gathered is easy to find and accurate.
The Current Business Environment
Has the current business environment drastically changed how you can do business?
Are you dealing with logistics or supply issues or suffering through mandated (or simply smart) closures?
What CAN you do? What aspects of your business could you do? It may not be business as usual, but it could keep you out of bankruptcy court.
What is your work-around? Can you use other suppliers or substitutions? What can you move to an online or contactless system?
How are you communicating? Be sure you're telling your customers, employees and vendors what’s going on.
Consider What’s Next for Your Business
Does your research indicate a need to pivot? Can you leverage what you’re doing to launch in a new direction? Can you move into a new market or offering and still remain true to your brand and culture?
Wait + See
Are you just trying to wait out the storm? If so, don’t go silent! Keep marketing.
Don’t put your head in the sand. Watch what others are doing and learn from their mistakes (or successes). Watch your budgets. Keep advertising, but focus on what you track for effectiveness. Keep investing in what works and cut out the rest.
Capitalize on Success
Are you blessed with unexpected demand?
Keep talking to customers. Let them know how you’re handling the influx. Be transparent. If you’re seeing success it’s OK to say so. We’re hungry for good news! If don’t have time to reach customers directly, use marketing to supplement communications.
Watch the entire webinar for details and examples of how you can use this time to emerge with deeper customer loyalty and a stronger competitive position. And remember, though everything feels different, the rules of marketing are still the same. Know your value, your audience and your market, and you’ll go far.
You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.
Sally Cooper Smith
With 25 years of experience owning a marketing and brand-strategy firm, Sally specializes in coaching entrepreneurs with product-market fit and messaging. She helps identify and personify her client's stories - their value propositions, passions and vision - so they can leverage them into deep and lasting relationships with customers and prospects.