For businesses that have been able to survive the pandemic of the last several months, it’s time to rebuild your clientele now that business is picking up. Many businesses, regardless of size, took a hit on their bottom line due to temporary closures, reduced supplies and declining sales as a result of COVID-19. As devastating as this situation has been, it’s also provided some business owners the opportunity to reflect on and enhance their businesses in ways they never thought possible. Your business now might be completely different than it was before, and that could be a good thing. In order to effectively market your newly shaped business, I recommend going back to the basics when it comes to marketing.
I’ve outlined these fundamental principles below, in addition to unique approaches to consider based on the reality caused by COVID-19.
Find out what your customers want/need
Traditionally, businesses that often thrive are ones that offer products and services that people need or want. As we begin to rebuild our businesses, there’s no room for guessing about what people want. Market research will be your best friend as we navigate a post-COVID-19 world. I recommend keeping up with insights relevant to your industry, as well as hiring a third party (unbiased) to conduct your market research specifically with your customers. You can use both qualitative and quantitative methods to do this such as polls, surveys, focus groups, and interviews. There’s nothing more valuable than hearing what your customers need directly from their own mouth. You may also want to have them conduct a competitive analysis to see what your competitors are doing; competitive intel can go a long way.
Create a strategic road map
Once you have a solid understanding of what your customers are actually looking for, you’ll need a professional, strategic marketer to help you create your marketing strategy. This “road map” will outline a cohesive plan for delivering your brand messaging to the appropriate audiences using the most effective tactics and channels to complement your marketing goals, be it increased brand exposure, lead generation or anything else. Most importantly, your strategy should take into consideration the unique impact COVID-19 has had on your industry. Although our economies will eventually fully reopen, the fear of COVID-19 will not disappear overnight. For this reason, safety and flexibility should be incorporated into your plan.
Craft an appropriate and attractive message
Part of any good strategy may include a review of your current brand or the creation of a new one. An appropriate and attractive brand message represents your unique take on your customer’s desired product or service. You’ll again need to work with a brand expert to help you create a brand message that makes you stand out from the crowd. As you work on crafting your brand message, make sure to keep these tips in mind.
Reach a broader audience
Now that the basics have been completed, it’s time to promote it to a wider audience. This will involve creating a marketing mix of tried and true tactics. Although traditional marketing mixes tend to include a variety of print, digital and social media tactics, I encourage you to focus your efforts on digital and social media. Since there is still much unknown about the future of COVID-19, it’s a safe bet to invest in online marketing. Further, I recommend ensuring your business has infrastructure to support online purchases such as an e-commerce site. According to Statistics Canada, online sales surged 99.3% since the start of the pandemic. After you’ve launched your marketing campaigns, be sure to track them and measure their results.
By going back to basics you can ensure you’ve covered the fundamental principles of marketing as described above. CreativeWorks Marketing has been creating marketing strategies for small and mid-sized businesses for over 20 years, and we’re ready to help your business succeed in a post-pandemic world. Contact us today!