During a crisis, like the one we are experiencing, caused by the coronavirus, doubts about the market and the economy raise several concerns for companies. One of these concerns is the communication of brands with their customers. If you are an entrepreneur or are responsible for marketing a company, you may be asking: how to adapt ads for products or services? Can I still invest in advertising, as consumers have other afflictions, such as: not being contaminated by COVID-19?
According to the survey conducted by the Global Web Index, which heard consumers in 13 countries, including Brazil, USA, China, and France, asked respondents whether brands should continue to advertise regularly. Almost 4 out of 10 people (37%) said they did not see any problems being impacted by ads, 36% said they were neutral in this regard, and 27% disagreed with this practice.
Another report, developed by Kantar, which talked to consumers in 30 countries, found that only 8% of respondents believe that stopping advertising should be a priority for brands, but 75% of those people expect these same brands to spread the word. What they are doing to face the crisis and 77% would like companies to show their usefulness in everyday life. Given these data, it is necessary to understand that, even at home, people continue to consume, but the way they do this and the way they prefer to be impacted have changed. Therefore, companies need to rethink their marketing strategies during a crisis like this.
Ask your clients how they are and what new problems they are facing
All small, medium, and large enterprises were focused on selling. But the isolation by the Covid-19 has changed everyone’s buying and consuming habits, and surely your target audience is no exception. The marketing plan you worked on at the end of the last year no longer works, mainly because clients are asking for other things. So the first thing you have to do is communicate with them and ask them how they are, what personal and work situation they are going through, what they need from you, how you could improve your offer and of course, if they are going to continue buying from you. Depending on the size of your clientele and the line of business, you can do it through phone calls, virtual conferences, email surveys or social networks, or social listening platforms.
Adjust and strengthen your value proposition
In a scenario of uncertainty, brands have to become allies of their consumers. And that is only possible if they offer concrete solutions to the new difficulties their clients are facing. So review your value proposition and define what you need to change based on this new scenario. Are your consumers now asking you to make payments through an application? Do you want to receive products at home but do not want to pay for shipping? Do you need any additional services? Act fast (always with an eye on the numbers) and take advantage of this crisis to build those differentials that will help you to grow the company in the long term.
Choose the right channels for customer communication
The right place and time are just as important as the content of your customer communication during the crisis. You have already learned that it is advisable to inform customers and partners immediately of changes in your business processes. In addition, you should make this information easily accessible and therefore use all channels available to you – especially your own.
- Proactively send personalized mailings with your email marketing software to inform your customers and business partners as quickly as possible and to keep them up to date. This will put you directly in the inbox of those you want to contact. And, include the most important information in your newsletter.
- Your website is ideal for pointing out the current situation on the start or contact page and placing relevant information so that your customers cannot miss it.
- You can go into more detail on your blog and use the channel to provide immediate support, such as tips and recommendations.
- Your opening times and accessibility must correspond to the current situation on all channels: on your website or blog, on your social media, on Google My Business, in online business directories, etc. But also remember to update this data quickly if you resume normal operations at the end of the crisis.
- Use social networks such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram to spread your blog, or website content to communicate with your customers with a helpful, informative post every day. Involve your employees and ask them to share content.
Like all crises, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And, this too shall pass!
A final tip here is to take a long term vision. During the crisis, develop a recovery strategy and incorporate it into your communication plan. Just remember a phrase here from Franklin D Roosevelt, former US president, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts today.”