Being flexible and able to adapt to new situations is one of the most important features a marketer can have. While in real life many still follow same old strategies and use the same practices they have been using for months.
It’s not quite hard to adapt to shifting trends. But how do you deal with the catastrophic decline in sales? What to do about the major controversy surrounding your brand that has become known to everyone in a matter of days? Or what if you are a restaurant chain that has experienced the devastating effect of the coronavirus lockdowns? That can possibly be some questions that even some of the greatest complete digital marketing guides or courses ignore. Changes like this call for drastic actions and require a lot of effort to be dealt with. They need great corrections of the plan. It’s not that comfortable to talk about just being ‘flexible’ anymore. What do you do, and how do you start?
Despite the fact that some businesses may thrive during the lockdowns such as companies working with eCommerce and eCommerce digital marketing services. Many companies are struggling to the point where it’s not clear whether they are going to stay alive during the crisis. How can you use marketing to cope with challenges and obstacles caused by a crisi?
For problems that are affecting only your company, that are specific for you, the main two things you would want to focus on are communication and controlling your budget.
The communication we are talking about is not just about how you interact with your audience, it’s also about how you interact within your team.
During the changes and transitions, it’s better when the entire staff is aware of them and well-prepared. It’s crucial that the work of your team is well-coordinated and that they are working collectively on the same goals.
Big challenges require a lot of communication within the team. Make sure that there is clear and frequent communication between the members of your team. Everyone should be informed about the slightest shifts of plans and situation.
Honesty and transparency are one of the most valuable things in times of hardships. The same goes for a business. If something is not working out, let your people know that. If you are not sure what’s coming for your company, don’t be afraid to say it out loud. If something totally unexpected happens, it tends to freak people out. Although there might be some things that are better left unsaid. Just try to find the right balance that best suits you and your team.
Support and mental health of your staff should also be one of your top priorities. Just remember the example of Facebook. Even if you are not able to give out thousands of dollars to your employees, there are still ways you can provide assistance during times of uncertainty. If you have to say goodbye to some of the members of your team, make sure that you do it respectfully and while doing what’s in within the realms of possibility, the same goes for supporting them after the separation.
Of course, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of the right approach to the interaction with your customers. Here you should also focus on honesty, transparency, and making sure that your communication with your audience is frequent.
It can be very beneficial to capture every stage of overcoming the new obstacles caused by the crisis. That way you are building your customer’s trust.
If the situation does not affect your audience directly, then it would be much easier for you to navigate the obstacles.
If it’s the public crisis you are facing then it’s necessary to work out a PR strategy and make sure that your entire team is aware of it and follows it. You might want to consider choosing the spokesperson that has the right experience and is able to act authentically. The news veis spreading extremely fast during the digital era, so for you not to lose your audience’s trust, it can be very effective to be the first one to comment on the speculations and controversies around your brand and address them properly. That’s where online marketing solutions by the agencies or teams you trust come into play, as using their services you can save a lot of trouble.
During the crisis, some changes in strategy or budget planning are inevitable. But the best approach would be to prepare for a crisis when there is none.
It’s important to check that your employees, suppliers, and technologies are reliable regularly. When a crisis strikes, it can be too late. And you may avoid a lot of unnecessary spending.
When the storm’s outside
It is very possible that a crisis brings something that your organization cannot control. That’s the case with the COVID-19 outbreak and massive lockdowns. Restaurant chains and physical retail has been significantly affected by the crisis. Deliveries can save the situation at least to a certain degree, but the total losses can be astronomical.
It’s good to be flexible during times like this. But is it enough?
Maybe it’s time for you to really unleash your creativity and bring something totally unexpected. Review your general sales and marketing goals, and try to think outside the box. How can you make achieving them possible without previously available resources or channels? How successfully can you make it?
A crisis is probably the best time for innovation. It’s not the most pleasurable environment to invent something new, but sometimes there is just nothing else you can do because the old ways are not working anymore.
Dividing your company into groups and creating a space for brainstorming can be a great idea. Each person can share their ideas, new trends they know about, etc. Write down everything and build on from that. One idea will spark another, and you might end up having an amazing innovation ready to be implemented. Think about how you can motivate your employees to think creatively, how can it benefit them directly?
There is probably no better crisis prevention measure than preparing for it. That’s why it’s crucial to have a special plan that would help to navigate through a crisis. The plan or strategy should cover PR, technology, and human resources practices.
Preparing a space for innovations can be another great idea. The open creative dialogue can help to solve many problems along the way.