Modify your marketing plan, to reach your target market during the pandemic.
10 Ways to Modify Your Marketing & Digital Marketing Plan During and after the Pandemic
- By: Peter Spoleti, Jul 24, 2020
Modifying your marketing plan will increase your chance to reach your target market during the pandemic. By Implement these strategies they can help you achieve success during and after this pandemic.
The needs of your target market are always changing, so it’s important to stay on top of the trends and adjust your business plans appropriately. With the current environment far from “business as usual” some good ways to stay in touch with your customers is by modifying your marketing plan to address their needs. The following are 10 best ways to adjust your marketing & digital marketing strategy during and after the pandemic.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is the complete strategy on how you communicate with your target market, build your brand, educate, and motivate them to purchase your services or products. Your plan can be fundamental or extensive. It should be a road map for developing your brand and introducing and delivering your products and services to your target market. An effective marketing plan helps your company understand its target market, its competition, the impact of its marketing decisions, and offers insight for future initiatives. It’s important to follow your marketing plan during its implementation to present a consistent brand identity. Nevertheless, your company’s marketing plan is a living document which is subject to, and should be, modified to meet your customer’s needs. The current pandemic is a perfect example. The Corona virus’ economic set back and the civil unrest currently taking place have caused dramatic changes to consumer behavior, and your company needs to alter it’s marketing strategy to concur with your target markets needs and demands. Your marketplace and the economic conditions are uncertain and constantly changing, forcing your customers to adjust their purchasing habits, and how they find & communicate with your company. Have you adjusted your marketing plan to address those changes and meet your customer’s needs? Not listening to your customers’ needs during these times maybe perceived as insensitive or over-correcting. There are many great marketing strategies you can employ to address these changes.
The following are 10 ways to modify your marketing and reach your target market during and after the pandemic.
Highlight the true importance of your product or service.
As your target markets needs change the importance of your products and services may change to them. It is crucial to stress how your brand is still essential to them and why your products and services can still be beneficial to them. You may need to alter your product or services or highlight a new solution your current offerings can provide them. Take this opportunity to connect with your nervous customers and focus on how your products and or services can provide a solution to their current needs.
Address current customers’ needs.
Concentrate on identifying and meeting your customers’ needs and helping them deal with the current realities of the pandemic rather than shamelessly hawking your products or services. Offering helpful tools and considerate promotions can help build your brand awareness and loyalty with your customers. Implement ways to make it easier for your customers to consume your product, promote your online services by offering curbside pickup & delivery options, provide live chat, and stepped up customer support.
Increase your digital marketing efforts.
Your customers are online even more so during this pandemic, to meet their needs its essential you are where your customers are. COVID has moved more and more of the sales cycle online focus on your digital infrastructure and digital marketing to make sure you’re online to meet and help them. Increase your digital marketing efforts such as search engine optimization (SEO) and email & content marketing. Review and update your website to ensure you are providing a good user experience, evaluate your websites security make your customers feel secure and comfortable with making purchases while on your website, consider starting or increasing your paid advertising. Aim to establish yourself as a thought leader through blogs, videos, social media and other digital content. If you have the resources, consider hiring a marketing firm or social media influencers to increase your online presence.
Change your email marketing strategy.
Businesses should rethink their email marketing strategy addressing the changing environment their customers are facing. Don’t send the same content and offerings you’ve used in the past, change your tone, your content and posting schedule to address your customers new needs and expectations. Keep your brand relevant but be mindful your audience’s new situations by providing thoughtful value-added content and offerings. Offer them some helpful tips; Many of your customers have been confronted with new challenges and including working from home, provide some helpful tips on how to manage their new challenges.
Step up your social media marketing.
In all likely hood many if not most of your target market is on social media, providing you a perfect opportunity to expand your conversation with them on the platforms your target markets are engaging on, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also consider expanding beyond the most well-known platforms, do some research of some lessor know niche platforms where your target market is spending their time. Post relevant educational or entertainment content providing value added to your market, don’t always be selling.
Become a valued resource to your audience.
Everyone who runs a business knows about local and federal regulations and guidelines which they must adhered too. Try to enlist content contributors who can provide relevant beneficial content you can post to your social media and website, to help address those regulations. Each industry has their own unique set of regulations, keep your customers informed and how they can be impacted. Even if your business has been forced to shut down during this pandemic don’t stop the conversation with your customers or potential customers. They need to know you are still around, when you will be reopening, and (in the case of small businesses) they want to know how you are doing. Keep the conversation alive it create a stronger relationship between your business and it’s customers. And always remember, if you’re not talking to your customers someone else will be!
Make it a two-way conversation.
Don’t make it a one-way conversation with you doing all the talking. Bring your customers and target market into the conversation. Provide a comment section on your blog, send surveys to your customers find out whats on their mind, (any email platform should be able to perform that function). Invite your customers and target market to help guide the direction of your company. Not all your customers are going to speak to you when their unhappy with you, your product, or service, they may just talk with their feet by going elsewhere, provide them an outlet to vent. Let them know you value their insight and opinions on how to create a better customer experience, product, or service for them. The last words you want to hear from a customer is, “sorry I’m using someone else now.” Turn your customers in to fans. By proving to your customers, you’re listening to them and their being heard, it builds trust, strengthens customer loyalty, and turns them from customers to fans.
Show them you care.
During these turbulent times let your customers know you care, show compassion and empathy. There is a good chance you are experiencing similar issues as your customers, financial, emotional, and stressful issues. Offer empathetic content that shows you’re will get through this together and you really care.
Give back to the community.
Whether you donate, volunteer, or join forces with other business help your community in any way you can. If you are able, pivot your business strategy to better serve your community during these tough times, it will be remembered. Giving back will not only help your community but increase your goodwill, community support and brand awareness. By encouraging and making it easier for your employees to take part of giving back you make them part of the conversation and facilitate corporate social responsibility all your employees believe in and can get behind, building a positive corporate culture. While helping your community during these tough times.
Review your sales funnel.
Marketing strategies which were working pre COVID may not work now or post COVID. As the market changes and more of the sales cycle is taking place online it is important to systematically review your sales funnel and scrutinize the data. Most consumers have access to a tremendous amount of information on any product or service they are interested in purchasing, with an exceptionally large number of them doing research, extensively online, before contacting a salesperson. Make sure your website has updated information on your products and services, create whitepapers, post product information on social media. Make sure it’s as easy as possible for your potential customers to find the information they are seeking. This pandemic had a dramatic impact on the way the world shops, make sure your sales process is setup to meet those changes and fulfill their needs. Making that extra effort to re-evaluate your funnels and reacting to the data collected may mean the difference between gaining market share or losing market share. Editor’s note: Looking for the right email marketing service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
What not to do in your marketing plan.
We’ve laid out some strategies to help you modify your marketing plan during and post pandemic. Now let’s talk about things to avoid during your marketing modification. You don’t want to continue sending out the same old marketing campaigns as though it was business as usual, but you also don’t want to overwhelm your audience with exhausting marketing and political material. Consumers are worn out and can see through PR stunts and bandwagon email campaigns. It’s important to acknowledge the current pandemic, but don’t talk about these issues any more than you need to. Instead of inundating your audience with generic information, provide them with an educational or entertaining marketing message that adds value and enhances your customers experience. Try to add some entertainment into your content, give your audience a chance to smile or forget about everything going on even if it’s just for a moment. Avoid being too pushy for the sale or over promoting your products or services. Your communications with your customers should have a purpose and value, whether it’s on your website, social media, or in your email campaign. The pandemic as cause a rapidly changing environment take notice of when the social and economic situation changes and continue to make adjustments to your marketing strategy accordingly.