Pivot Your Marketing instead.

Did your marketing campaign work in 2019? Yes? Pitch it.

Did your marketing campaign work in February? Yes? Pitch that too.

We all know that life as we know it changed dramatically in March. Our team calls it B.C. – Before Coronavirus. I like to call it Before Coronacoaster. Many businesses took a huge hit, and if they didn’t (yay!), everything you used to know about employee & customer safety, processes, and delivering your product likely changed.

It’s no surprise that your customers feel the exact same way about their lives. In a May 20, 2020 NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist Poll of over 1,000 Americans, 65% of adults thought their life would return to normal in more than 6 months. 40% think it will take a year or more before we get back to “normal”. Only a mere 1% of respondents said they felt like life hadn’t changed a whole lot. If your marketing plan hasn’t changed a whole lot either, you’re only speaking to 1% of your potential customers.

I know our business can’t wait a year for our customers to come back. Yours can’t either.

Your marketing plan is going to have to pivot quickly to keep your existing customers, and in thrive mode, gain new clients. Here’s 3 easy things you can do today to get customers back in the door by keeping your marketing plan in line with what is happening now:

Change Your Message

Your public-facing message needs to be one of empathy and hope. Remember a couple of months ago that you could put out a social media post or commercial that simply told your customers about what you do well? That content needs to be tailored to the new normal. On Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we went within a couple of weeks from Esteem and Self-Actualization back down to the bottom of the pyramid at Physiological and Safety. We panicked because there was a potential that we might not meet  basic Physiological needs such as food, so we went and bought all the canned beans and toilet paper. Gone (temporarily) are the days when being part of the wealthy, influencer, and “have” crowd are what consumers are thinking about.

What does this mean to your business? ActionCOACH’s founder, Brad Sugars, said “find a way to sell toilet paper”. Of course we don’t all sell toilet paper, but we can sell something essential. Understand your customers’ struggles and find a way to ease that dissatisfaction.

Are you a high-end home remodeler? Acknowledge that your potential customers are spending more time at a home that could use some improvement. Are you a Veterinarian? Make sure your customers know that their pets are one way to calm their fears and we need to keep them around a little longer. Do you own a Cleaning Company? Your customers likely know that they need you, but they need an insight into your processes.

Let Your Customers Know You’re Still Out There

It might sound simple, but increasing your social media traffic is one of the best, and most cost effective, ways to keep your business in the forefront of your customers’ minds. Let your customers know that you’re thinking about them and their health and safety. Businesses, and often small businesses, are closing and reopening on different schedules, and you need to let your customers know. Did you change your hours? Are you still closed but planning to reopen soon? Tell someone. Tell a lot of people. Often.

Express Gratitude

Content including gratitude not only makes you feel good, it makes your customers and potential customers feel good too. Take a moment to thank those that are working for you, customers that have stood by you, and other businesses in your world that have helped you. Take the time to thank a local restaurant for a great meal you had (don’t forget to tag them), highlight an employee that is going above and beyond, or just say a few words about your customers sticking with you through tough times.

Bonus: Living a life filled with gratitude can help your physical and mental health! We talk here about ways to maintain a positive attitude in crisis.

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Your business can not only survive in this scary time, but it can thrive. We’re here to help.

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Want to know more about how you can step up and pivot your marketing efforts? Join us for an hour-long interactive webinar on June 9 presented by our ActionCOACH Columbus team. Use code “ACTIONBLOG” to receive admission to the webinar for $20. REGISTER HERE

Julie, Pete, Peg & Michelle

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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