It is with great pleasure that I welcome back Andrea Mueller (her previous contribution is one of the most popular Lessons on Leadership articles!). Today, Ms. Social Media herself will provide some more tips on how to market your business that are both timely and insightful. Take it away, Andrea!
If there is one thing that I’d like to formally retire from 2020, it’s the phrase “unprecedented times.” Yeah…. I know… we’ve got bigger fish to fry. So, let’s just call it the straw that broke the camel’s back and move on. With the number of times that phrase has been tossed around to describe the current climate, it is beyond exhausted. But, all gripes aside, there is no denying that we are in fact in <cringe> unprecedented times. Denying that or ignoring it is even more ludicrous than my phrase-retirement endeavor.
The thing is, for better or for worse, we have never experienced a pandemic on this scale. Actually, before this we weren’t even aware that this scale existed. These are brand new waters. All we can hope is that our ship doesn’t have a hole in it, our crew has the same drive and determination to keep us moving forward, and that the mark on our crinkled map is actually an X… and not just a coffee stain.
So, here are some tips to assist you as you consider how to shift your marketing strategy:
- Evaluate every tier in your marketing funnel, pre-COVID and post-COVID.
Compare the two by asking these questions:
- How were and are you acquiring new clients?
- What were your biggest strengths/most impactful marketing touchpoints?
- How were you connecting with future customers?
- What was drawing them in?
- Did your sales team set up lunch appointments with potential and current clients?
- Were happy hours involved?
These are all questions you need to be asking as to determine the best way to adjust.
- Whatever you do, go digital as much as you can!
This should be easy, right? If you think about it, we’ve been prepping for an all-digital world for nearly a decade now. Hello, every-app-known-to-man, I’m looking at you! Digital means contactless, which is the ask of many clients. Providing the option of contactless service means providing peace of mind. By utilizing free tools, such as social media, your target audience could be more accessible than it was pre-COVID.
- Contactless does not mean no connection.
If anything, our clients, followers, and fans want more connection. Everyone has spent the majority of the past few months in some form of isolation. Need for human connection is at an all-time high. Clients want to feel like they are not forgotten about, and want to hold on to the human connection as firmly as they can, even if that looks different than before. If your sales team typically would get coffee with clients, why not send your client a $10 gift card to Starbucks and share a cup of coffee with them over Zoom? Again, utilizing free tools like social media can help establish and maintain those relationships, and may even strengthen those relationships, because with social media comes a bit of vulnerability.
- Be honest: share your wins and struggles
This is important. Clients respect and appreciate brands that are opening up about what they are experiencing — both the good and the not so good. Remember, these are “unprecedented times,” and the right and wrong of marketing strategies are a bit hazy… you know, just in case you were forgetting for a second there. Most clients understand these complications and understand that nothing is set in stone. By being transparent up front, clients are given the opportunity to remember that we are all human and empathize with you.
- Above all, health and safety are number one.
This equates to being flexible. If you hope for clients to be empathetic, you must be ready to return the favor, demonstrating that their peace of mind, safety, and health are your utmost priorities. No exceptions. It may be difficult to adjust in the short-term, but you could be retaining a lifelong customer simply by doing the right thing.
That being said, every organization in every industry, no matter how large or small, is facing a new challenge, with the same uncertainty as to what choices are right or wrong. We have to take what we know from the current and ever-changing (aka the next phrase on my veto list) environment and compare that to the goals and missions of our organizations, asking ourselves how this new normal will affect our marketing strategies in both the long and short term. If we keep asking these questions and keep coming back to these problems with fresh eyes, then we do not need to grow stagnant during this time of fluctuation… perhaps we can even experience unprecedented growth.
Jacquelyn Adams is a career development enthusiast and an award-winning CEO. She lives in a world of constant exploration, whether it’s summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, delving into more effective employee training strategies… or discovering how she’d do in a chocolate eating contest (answer: last place). Find more of her Lessons on Leadership articles here or connect with her on LinkedIn here.
Andrea Mueller is the Marketing Manager for Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas & enjoys talking about all things marketing! When not working, she enjoys traveling, hiking, running, and yoga amongst many other things. You can follow her on Instagram at @takeofftoanywhere or on LinkedIn here.