Was your 2020 marketing plan put on hold last month? Many firms used savings from event cancellations and stay-at-home orders as part of their necessary expense reductions. That may describe your firm, but you can’t cut your way out of a downturn. You are going to need new clients to stay afloat and come out of this successfully. Here are four places to consider as you restart your marketing machine:
Messaging that matters:
You’re likely hesitant about what to say now. That hesitation is a good thing, but don’t let it paralyze you. Figure out what you have to say that’s of value to your market and say it.As you create marketing messages, follow the same process you might have followed before. Think about your ideal customer or prospect. What do they care about now? Picture one of them in your mind and imagine their reaction to your message. How should you modify it? Their risk tolerance might be a little different now. Perhaps your language would have been bolder three months ago than it should be today. Most importantly, you should show them that you care about what they care about.
Products that are needed now:
Many people think of marketing as simply the promotional element, but the product is a key component as well. Beyond the now famous trifecta of necessities — toilet paper, Zoom and hand sanitizer, it remains to be seen exactly what products and services people will buy today, but we’re betting that from a services standpoint, companies will become more tactical. Some companies will embark on major strategic initiatives during this time, but most will be looking at sharpening their executional focus. Ask your customers what types of tactical support they need now and then gear up to offer those to better align your product to market fit. You may need to rethink new product introductions and accelerate other ideas.
Activating your memberships:
You’re likely in a number of professional, community or civic organizations. Many of these groups are moving swiftly to start virtual events. Reach out to these organizations and offer to provide content (a speaker, content, research, perspective). Show up at these events and participate, even if you aren’t a speaker. Ask questions through the chat feature and make sure you introduce yourself and your company when you do. If you’re a part of a group that hasn’t reactivated events or activities, reach out and offer to help host or work with a committee to create virtual engagement. Being actively engaged in this way will help these organizations and it will give you the chance to reach new people.
Getting a response:
Generating action from marketing is typically thought of in terms of lead generation and closing sales, but today’s business environment makes those activities a little more challenging. Getting to a sale today requires more patience and finesse than it usually would. This is not a time to pull out the ABC – Always Be Closing line from Glengarry Glen Ross (Still, if you haven’t watched this movie, add it to your stay-at-home film festival.) But it is also not a time to simply push out information and wait for things to return to normal. As remote work and adjusted business activities become routine, look for ways to get your prospects to act. Strengthen your call-to-action and encourage prospects to set up a call. Offer complimentary assessments or discussions to remind your customers that you are available. Host group coffee chats and happy hours. Instead of ABC, make it ABE – Always Be Engaging. When you engage them, make sure to actively listen and help them envision the future that works for their vision of success, regardless of whether that immediately includes your services. When they are in a position to buy, you will be in a position to help.
Now is the time to pull out your 2020 marketing plan and re-imagine it using these principles. If you’d like an outside perspective, email me at email@example.com. We will schedule a 30-minute Thinc Session. If you know me, you know I love marketing and I’m always happy to share my perspective, especially now.