OK, as a marketer that headline goes against the grain. But the key here is the differentiation between overt advertising and promotion. With the nation in lock-down, working from home (WFH) and rightly worrying about business and personal survival, the last thing people want is to be inundated with adverts to buy, buy, buy. People want help, assistance, tools that will make working and living at home easier and more functional. Advice that can make our confined personal and home business lives easier such as the free Pilates videos being produced by CVD Wellbeing for home exercise. Promoting complimentary solutions rather than selling is the new norm for this period. Giving away resources, sharing advice and supporting the NHS is now a given to help all of us survive.
What marketers must do now, and let’s face it anyone in business is a marketer no matter their job title, is to prepare for the shift from what should be the current information promotion to post Covid virus selling promotion and advertising.
Post Covid commerce will change; online which has been growing exponentially over the past decade will now be the only business normality. Online meetings will continue to be the way we do business, virtual reality exhibitions will replace physical events, everything about business will change and if you’re not ready you’ll be left behind.
Are you asking yourself the right questions?
We’re in a transitional stage where we have the time to prepare for this new commercial environment. You need to use this time to be ready, no one knows how long we’ll be in lock-down, days, weeks, months (please not years!). But when we do come out of it will you be ready? Will your online presence be up to the new business world? Can you take advantage of the new wave ‘surge’ to ensure that you can get your business back on track?
Questions each business owner/manager needs to ask themselves NOW! You can’t wait until the government tells us it’s safe to get moving, you need to be moving now.
- Check your social media presence, are you on the right channels for your target audience?
- What tools are available for your industry to maximise online commerce?
- Has your website got what it takes to deliver?
- Does your website say what you do, what you offer and why your business is different? Does it clearly and succinctly outline your brand values?
- Do you need new content? New functionality?
- Is your site being found on the first page of Google & Bing?
- Do you need to implement an eCommerce selling platform?
These, and so many more questions and actions need to be answered and implemented during this WFH period. Use this time to give your customers and prospects help with free advice and solutions or seriously reduced cost services. Your approach now ensures your audience continues to be aware of your company and your ethos. Act now and you’ll have your business on the right footing ready to get going when your customers and prospects are ready to, and can start doing business again.
Now is not the time to advertise but it is definitely the time to market yourself and prepare.
A final note
Marketers will tell you, quite rightly, that during a ‘downturn’ you should advertise, because your spend will go further and you will be one of the few that are ‘out there’. And I would give the same advice. BUT this is no ordinary recession or downturn, the global situation we find ourselves in is akin to a war environment, but this is a war against a hidden and as yet, undefeated foe (i.e. no vaccine available). During the world wars companies didn’t advertise, but they did prepare and they did support the forces. Thinking of the pandemic as a war puts us on the right mental marketing footing and how we should act in business both ethically and morally.
Remember how you act during this crisis will be how you are remembered by your audience when it’s over.
Are we (am I) listening to this advice?
And yes at our agency we’re following this advice by offering for free our normally chargeable website test and analysis reporting tool to everyone to check out their websites, read about what it does and how you can test your website for free in our article: Your website needs to perform better during lockdown to be found.
And finally, remember the NHS.
If in your business you can do anything to support the NHS just do it. Look at Help in Hearing for inspiration. Clinics founded by an ex-NHS nurse, that are now helping the NHS and NHS patients who need hearing support. Any help, no matter how small, alleviates some pressure on the NHS and helps those isolated at home.
Preparing for post-Covid-19
Find out how your website is performing right now, and if it’s well placed for potential customers to find: Free website check
If you think you need help to improve your online presence so you can prepare for post-covid-19, please get in touch or read more about the services we can help you with.