Businesses are facing an incredible challenge to survive as they face COVID-19 restrictions, shutdowns and growing customer unease, making it difficult to operate as a business without interacting with customers in-person.
This is a crucial time to implement fast changes to continue to keep people employed and their business open so that once the crisis passes, we’re not left facing more economic challenges.
There are a variety of ways businesses can continue staying connected to customers, including creating new services, shifting how they deliver their products/services, replacing in-person appointments with video conferences and more.
The situation is changing everyday and with so much business uncertainty, we want to provide you with as much support as possible to be able to continue to operate. Here are a few marketing tactics on how you can adapt your business model and strategy to address the concerns and challenges of the COVID-19 to your customers.
This is an extremely difficult time for many people, anxieties are at an all time due to the uncertainty of future plans and the availability of services and products.
If you haven’t done so already, this is an important time to send an email, SMS, put up point of sale materials to offer them reassurance, empathise with their situation and alert them to flexible offerings.
By offering your customers assurance and addressing their concerns, this positions you favourably as a company that cares for their wellbeing, and they’ll remember this next time when they are in need of your services or products.
Adapt your strategy to changing consumer behaviours
Consumer behaviours are rapidly changing. Almost overnight, consumers have changed their buying preferences and decision making processes particularly when it comes to going out and interacting with people and also online purchases.
This is an opportunity for businesses to focus their marketing efforts on online stores, include “no touch” offerings, promote remote work friendly products, at home products and private appointments.
During this time, your customers will look to you to offer guidance amid the changes and government restrictions. As a business it’s very important to pivot your strategy and your key messages to changing market conditions.
Focus on Ecommerce
Businesses with both a physical and online presence should be shifting their focus to online E-commerce platforms.
It’s no surprise the impact of COVID-19 has led to a significant decrease in retail foot traffic. The implications of the lockdown, government restrictions and social distancing means that more consumers are spending more time online.
Ecommerce in Australia is predicted to significantly grow as consumers get into a habit of buying everything online from spending weeks or even months working from home. This will impact both the economic environment as many consumers will not return to shops even after the crisis ends.
Expand your marketing efforts online to provide more content on your website. Consumers will spend more time online researching and reading blogs especially when it comes to more expensive items.
Shift your strategy by looking at productising your services or expanding your product line.
Offer your clients the opportunity to download at home services, e-books and purchase wellness packages.
Those within the service industry could offer unlimited changes to service bookings and offer deliveries on products as we have been seen with a number of restaurants now offering takeaway options.
Shift to connect with customers online
Replace in-person meetings with online conferences and conversations, including Zoom meetings, Skype calls, chats through social media platforms like Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram and even implementing an online chatbox on your website.
Let your customers know that you’re still operating and they can still connect with you if and when they have questions regarding your products and services.
Get ahead of your competitors
This is the best time to spend time on your marketing and also plan for your business to bounce back.
During this time, consumers will set stricter priorities and reduce their spending and this in turn will impact businesses causing them to cut costs and postpone investments in marketing.
Turning off or reducing marketing could actually cost your business more and make it difficult to recover faster. Instead this is an important time to understand which advertising platform is most cost effective.
The time now is important for planning marketing campaigns, product or brand launches, so that when the crisis ends, your business will be ready. Pivot strategies are important during this difficult period because no action means that your competitors will gain the upper hand. By planning your marketing strategy now, you’ll be able to reap the benefits at a later time.
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