Why Stopping Marketing Now Will Hurt You Later
When you close down your business during a long-term emergency, should you close it all down? As COVID-19 continues to flare up and a recession looms, this is the question companies need to ask themselves. The more that’s stopped, from payroll to supply chains, the harder everything is to restart, especially with the potential of services you once relied on having moved on. What we’re seeing now is as people are stopping marketing, their customer base has moved on after not hearing anything for months.
Marketing is Communication, Communication is Marketing
During this entire pandemic, the thing we’ve stressed over and over again is the importance of clear and transparent communication with your clients about your status, updates, and engaging with your consumer base. These include things like:
- Using social media to announce changes (closures, restrictions, reopenings) to your business. Customers who come to your doors to find them locked won’t return, and those who don’t know it’s open may not come in the first place.
- Putting a notice on your website and major platforms for your customers. Include information about changes, as well as how you’re adapting to meet changes and how to contact you.
- Engage with your customers online, even if your physical location is closed. Not only does this keep interest alive, but it can be used for valuable data, such as polling customers about reopening ideas, products, and services.
Learn more about all of this in our blog, What to Do and Tell Your Customers During the COVID-19 Crisis.
Marketing to Continue, Start, and Stop During a Crisis
When a situation causes you to close, from the current COVID-19 pandemic to a more local or even personal reason, some changes need to be made to your marketing. Balancing the budgets and staff required to cover these with the loss of customers otherwise is critical.
- Social Media: Social media acts as a lifeline to consumers. Continue posting, even if due to your industry you’ll need to reduce the posting frequency since you can’t promote services. If you don’t use social media (or don’t use it often), now is a great time to start.
- Paid Advertising: Reduce your ad spending in line with what you can still sell. Not only does this free up capital, but it will also allow you to reallocate in future ads when you reopen or pivot your business.
- Events and News: While traditional events are still massively curtailed – especially if your business is closed – think about what you can do online in your industry. From virtual meetups to webinars, keep face-to-face communication open, even if it’s just a video news update.
- Website Work: Now more than ever, your website is going to be vital to your business. Make sure it’s updated and secured, and think about what you can do to use this platform to drive sales and customer interaction.
Adapt Marketing (and Selling) to the Current Reality
Lastly, let’s take a moment to talk about how you can change your business’s marketing and sales to adapt to the current situation. First, you should not attempt to exploit a crisis to benefit your company. At best, you are coming off as oblivious, and at worse your business will be called out for exploitation. Think about what you can take online to your website, such as setting up e-commerce. From online classes to contact-free deliveries, find the changes you can make and market them to customers.
If you’ve gone silent during COVID-19, it’s not too late. Even if you’re not planning on reopening shortly, start your marketing now to gauge interest and start reconnecting to your consumer base. Talk to them about your changes and get them excited. If you need help developing a pivot plan, contact Vision Advertising to get started. We’ve been helping out clients through COVID-19 pandemic even before it hit the US.