Marketing at the time of crisis

At the moment of writing there is a global virus crisis unravelling.

Whatever your beliefs around the way to deal with it may be, it does have the potential to disrupt quite a lot of marketing budgets and marketing activity overall.

The repercussions are going to be wide and all-catching, as the situation is testing the mere fabric of society.

With finances tight, consumers isolated and scared some businesses are not sure if its even worth being operational any more.

One of the key factors, is of course, vertical. For certain verticals, the next few months are going to be critical. Its not just going to be a sales problem but more importantly a messaging one.

If you find yourself in Retail or Travel you will have to refocus your narrative to the consumers. Instead of trying to drive people towards your stores or persuade them to buy trips and excursions, which they’re not going to do on at the moment, the best thing would be to turn your content into a bit more of an educational twist.

Lets take the example of a restaurant.

If you are a restaurant and you have a really good chef usually working in your premises, you could have them create a video of them cooking at home. You could also have some recipes coming out off the back of that as written content. Obviously, make sure that you’re not featuring a lot of pasta-heavy recipes due to the negative connotations around stockpiling.

In doing so, you’re still maintaining that one-to-one relationship with your consumers.

The other thing you can do is issue vouchers. The vouchers have the huge benefit that they can be bought now but redeemed later. Not only is that a positive effect on your cash-flow, it form a bond with the consumer. A future promise that things will be better soon and you will be able to look after them. It’s also a great way of engaging with the consumer right now and making them a promise that you’re going to be around for the next months to come.

If you attach a discount to that voucher you are at the same time rewarding them for their loyalty during difficult times, this can go a long way.

At the same time, there’s a positive change in attitudes and behaviours around things like remote working.

So if you are in the software business you might find yourselves at the opposite side of the spectrum.

You might be a SaaS company that is seeing quite the uplift, this is the time to be kind and generous.

Go out in the market and give people your software potentially for free or give a substantial discount. Overall, you need to be careful about general sales communication and how you approach prospects this during this time. The last thing you want to do is appear like you’re profiteering from a bad situation.

Be relevant and be kind, now is not the time to say how bad your competitor’s product is.

The other thing to consider is cashflow.

If you are cashflow positive you need to be thinking about experimenting with new growth channels.

Your competitors are going to be pulling out of activity. Most likely they’re going to be decreasing budgets. So in terms of the biddable channels, this is a great opportunity to go in and and grab a bit more of a market share.

If, on the other hand, you’re a bit tight on cash, you should double down or your core channels.

At this stage the point is not to do too much experimentation but to focus on what you know works, has worked in the past and is likely to work in the future. Make sure that what works, works.

Finally, if you are into account-based marketing, if you are part of a sales team, be a little bit careful around outreach during these times.

I have seen personally countless messages on LinkedIn complaining about too many salespeople trying to sort of sell stuff during this time. And you have to think about people’s mindsets.

Right now, a lot of people are stressed.

A lot of people have been made redundant.

A number of people have kids at home at the moment or elderly relatives and they’re not, aware of the current situation in the market.

So they’re not in that mindset of “let’s go and buy some software”.

The key here is to be relevant is to be considered. And overall, don’t overdo it. You have to make sure that their relationships you’re forming during these times are quite meaningful.

So this is it from us. Obviously, if you have any more ideas, feel free to email us, comment and sort of share them with us. Thank you very much. Thank you for listening. And we’d be right back.


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