The Coronavirus is reshaping industries all across the globe—especially where and how we work. This crisis has made for some unprecedented evolutions in the economy. The companies that make it will adapt to the times and win by investing in viable strategies.
In a time where the ground is shaky at best, you’re looking for some solid footing. That’s why now, more than ever, businesses need to be doubling down on their digital marketing plan.
Short-Term: It’s Time to Adapt
To put it bluntly, this is the time that companies need to assess their strategies and adapt to the new playing field.
Think of your company as a sports team. This is your chance to take possession of the ball. Go forward instead of playing defense. While your competition has benched their star players, the goal is yours for the taking.
What we’re saying is that reeling in and pausing all marketing efforts isn’t in your best interest. A solid digital marketing strategy will help you replace lost business and keep driving your sales team’s pre-existing strategies.
In the short term, it’s time to make some money moves. And the best way to make them is with a digital marketing plan. Here’s exactly how you can do that.
Replace Lost Trade Show Leads
All trade shows may have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean your business needs to lose out on potential leads. Trade shows, conferences and conventions are usually hot sources for warm leads. For the time being, you need to adapt and find new resources.
A digital marketing strategy kickstarts your lead generation to help fill the pipeline with potential customers. Leveraging inbound marketing tactics also ensures the leads that come through the door are just as warm as those trade show leads would have been. The show must go on!
Supplement Your Outbound Strategies
If you’re a B2B company, leads are definitely the beating heart of your business. You might have relied on cold-calling and pure outbound strategies in the past. But with the Coronavirus making it impossible to meet leads in-person, it’s time to invest in digital marketing to empower your outbound strategy.
Inbound marketing strategies work to get your company in front of the right people. With cold-calling, the likelihood of your contact already wanting your product or service is slim to none. With inbound, your sales team is hyper-focused on only the most qualified leads that are more likely to close. In a time where your staff may be reduced, you can focus your precious resources more wisely.
Replace Outdoor Advertising
When everyone is stuck inside, outdoor advertisements (like billboards and benches) aren’t going to be as effective. Unless you're in the healthcare industry, we would recommend pulling your budget away from these out-of-home advertisements. Focus your ad dollars where you're most likely to convert.
Google Search, display and social advertisements will get your business in front of people actually interested in your services. You’re not rolling the dice on passing drivers or foot traffic. The truth is, if you're not digital, you're no longer in the marketplace.
The truth is, if you're not digital, you're no longer in the marketplace.
Long-Term: You Need a Strategy for When the Worst is Over
Think of a Jenga tower. You have a set number of blocks to build your tower. When you take one block out, it doesn’t go back in the box—it goes somewhere on top of the tower. But if you take out the wrong block, it all falls down.
That Jenga tower is your sales and marketing strategy. Our advice? Don't make the mistake of removing blocks that knock your tower over. While that one block may appear to be the easy removal, you could be destroying your stable foundation. Rebuilding from scratch is a lot harder than carefully wiggling out one brick here and there.
CYA Now, Build for the Future
If there were ever a time to use the phrase, "cover your ass," it's now. But we don’t mean, “duck and cover.” Times like these call for you to cover your bases and ensure you're still tending to your existing customers while also thinking ahead for smoother sailing.
Cover your sales team with fresh leads. But instead of relying on purchased lists of cold leads that could have a deal buried in there somewhere, build out a robust marketing infrastructure. Implementing ads and email nurture campaigns help maintain an active relationship with your leads. Instead of constantly calling to follow up, your newly automated processes will keep your company top-of-mind.
The infrastructure you took the time to build will pay you back in the future with more steady, reliable leads. Investing in your digital marketing plan will have a huge return once things get back to normal.
Your Customers Will Remember You Were There for Them
Right now, you want to keep a hold of your customers. That’s completely understandable. The last thing you want to do, in that case, is pull back on marketing and communications. While the Coronavirus has people scared, going dark will cripple your relationship with your customers. If you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind.
Compassionate and empathetic messaging across your social media platforms and your digital presence is your best bet for the future. Everyone is seeing headlines of doom and gloom. Separate yourself from your competitors by offering real help and support to your target audience.
Be there for your customers and they’ll remember it in the future. Downplay the current situation and they’ll remember that too. There are times where it’s best to not comment on current events, but this isn’t one of them. Your customers will want to know you’re there for them.
You’ll Have the Infrastructure For Growth
Like we said earlier, investing now will generate returns in the future to grow your business. Creating the processes and plans for lead generation through digital marketing will help during slow seasons once the worst is over and the pandemic has passed.
You’re probably focused on short-term goals and quick wins to keep revenue up during this turbulent time, but the outbreak will end and things will get back to normal. In the event of a slow month or even a slow quarter, it will be much easier to get back into gear and hit the gas when the time comes.
The Scouts have it right: always be prepared. Being armed with a digital strategy and an adaptive mindset will drive more growth for your business in both the short- and long-term.
The headlines may be grim right now, but being able to quickly pivot and adapt will keep your business afloat. With a digital marketing strategy, you’ll be able to swim forward instead of treading water.
Whether you look at sales strategies as a sports team or Jenga tower, you can’t underestimate the ROI of continuing to invest in marketing. It can end up being what makes your business thrive even in times of crisis or uncertainty.