Don’t let Covid19 pause your marketing
This year’s SXSW and Mobile World Congress, two of the largest networking events in the world, have been cancelled due to the spread of coronavirus. Massive brands like Facebook, Adobe and IBM have also announced that their annual conferences will be happening online instead of in-person. This situation is constantly changing.
What’s going to happen in the short or the long-term is very unpredictable at this point. What is likely is that small, medium and large businesses are going to be affected by coronavirus in some way.
We’re not health professionals and can’t tell you it would be best to for you to close your office or cancel events. However, we believe that it’s important in business to be aware and adapt quickly to what’s happening. We firmly believe that good marketing can help businesses handle uncertainty.
Here are a few things that business-owners can do to prepare for what’s ahead and, hopefully, minimise the impact of coronavirus on their business.
Embrace video conferencing and remote working
Your staff may have to self-isolate at some point but you’re going to want to keep things moving, even if you’re not in the office. So if your business hasn’t already embraced video conferencing and remote working, now is the time.
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Some people aren't as comfortable with video calls as others, but video conferencing is better than audio, especially if you’re going to be using it for longer periods. Being able to see one another improves non-verbal communication, is a richer experience in terms of conversation and people are less likely to get distracted by their phones or emails.
Also, if you don’t already have a remote working policy, you may want to create one. It doesn’t need to be exhaustive, but some guidelines explaining what’s expected may help staff keep up their productivity when they’re working from home.
Find and connect with customers online
A lot of our customers rely heavily on face-to-face meetings, events, trade shows and conferences to keep in touch with customers and meet new ones. This will start proving more difficult over the next few months.
It is very important to keep in touch and keep building customer relationships. Thankfully, modern technology has given us plenty of different ways we can use to connect with people.
Cancelling an upcoming event or the organisers cancel an event you planned to attend? why not replace it with a webinar?
LinkedIn is also a key communication channel. As the world’s largest (and best) B2B social network, if you can’t meet prospects physically, you can definitely find them on LinkedIn. If you’re not going to be spending as much time out and about, invest that time in finding, creating and sharing useful content, interacting with others and expanding your network.
"Take this opportunity to test out new approaches and see what works."
This could also be a good time to look into other means of lead generation, like PPC, Adwords or paid social ads. Take this time to test out new approaches and see what works best.
However, your priority should be the customers you have - ensure that you're doing everything that you can to keep a healthy relationship with them - even though you can't meet them. Pick up the phone and check in to see if there's anything else you can do to help.Make sure they feel secure at this time.
You can find lots of helpful advice on Coronavirus in the workplace from our sister company People Puzzle here.
Protect your brand and your people
These are uncertain times and people are going to be looking for reassurance.
You may want to take the time to reassure your employees and your customers that your business will do everything it can to continue providing the same quality of service that it always has. A level-headed, measured and practical response is the way to go.
Do some housekeeping
If things do slow down, you might find yourself with time on your hands. Pick up those tasks that always get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list.
Why not take a look at your website, analyse the performance of your always-on email campaigns or finally put some genuine time into your social media presence?
If you decide you are going to use this time to review and refine parts of your marketing or lead generation, The Marketing Centre may be able to help. We can offer an outsider’s perspective on your marketing’s strengths and weaknesses. We can also assist with services such as remote sales calling that can help you generate leads without leaving your home.
"Good marketing can make business more resilient."
As we mentioned earlier, we believe that good marketing can make business more resilient in a time of uncertainty. By protecting your relationships and continuing to provide value for customers, leaders are able to minimise the effects of external events on their business.
If you’re looking for general coronavirus advice, such as your duties as an employer or how to look after employees, the FSB have plenty of great advice on their website.