How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategies During COVID-19
Posted On 28/06/2020
Many bigger brands are stopped or delayed all their marketing campaigns in light of the COVID Spread. So all others are confused about their Marketing Strategies During COVID-19 situation. Everyone is asking “should I continue running marketing campaigns?”
My answer is a big Yes.
At the same time, it should be in a different way and with new approaches. Your marketing strategy needs to be completely redefined for the COVID situation. Here am suggesting 15 tips, which I recommend every organization should follow in this COVID 19 situation.
1. Redefine your marketing objectives
Going back to the earlier days is not so easy for any business firm. It is time to reanalyse your sales target and organizational goals for the next 3 years. Across the world, economic conditions are changing will have a direct impact on consumer behaviour. They will drastically cut down their spend in non-essentioal goods like tech apparel, beauty and travel. The World is not going to be the same as before and it’s good to refine your objectives for the new normal.
2. Don’t Stop marketing activities
Customers might not be going to spend as before and your revenue will be affected heavily. There is no point in keeping your old marketing plan at least for the next two years. But at the same time, if you stop all your marketing activities, it will be more difficult for recovery. Because there is a high probability for your existing customers and brand followers will shift to your competitor brands. You have to identify the new balanced targets and marketing budget.
3. Make a separate branding budget.
Earlier you might be putting all your advertising budget in a single bucket. But this year you have to segregate your branding and sales promotional budget. Branding budget should be something you can freely spend even if your sales are down by 50%. Sales promotional budget you can directly link with your sales achievements and it can go up or down depending on the market conditions.
4. Plan 100% spend on your branding budget
Keeping a sperate branding budget will allow you to spend this budget with peace of mind. The COVID has given a unique opportunity of reduced advertisement costs. Advertisement costs across Digital, print and television come down the first time in history. You can have fair bargaining with your agency for better rates. With increased media consumption and reduced advertisement cost, you can get better reach out of every penny you spend on advertisement. Moreover, most of your competitors are stopped advertisement and you can get a better share of voice.
5. Change your communication with COVID-19 in Mind
Your old way of marketing messages and communications are not going to attract customers any more. To get the best out of your marketing spends, you need to craft messages that are relevant to current situations. You need to be concerned about the current market conditions, honest, transparent and more supportive to overcome the situations. The entire tone of your messaging should spread hope and positive thoughts.
6. Understand consumer behaviour and its impact.
Lower-income and uncertainty about the future will make the consumers more cautious in their spend. Earlier your focus might be following consumers in their upward journey. But in the current situation, you can focus on affordable products with downgraded versions rather than upgraded products at increased price points. You can launch an upgraded version and withdraw lower products after the situations came to normal.
7. Understand and act to your industry pain points.
COVID has affected all industries in one way or the other. Every industry has to reinvent themselves relevant to occupy for this situation. Those who reinvent and turn the crisis into an opportunity will get a first over advantage in the situation. Irrespective of the area they operating, every brand is trying to launch Masks and sanitisers is the clear example of reinventing.
8. Setup an E-commerce store
If you don’t have an eCommerce store, this is the right time to build one. More people are spending time in their houses and also in the digital space. Consumers are spending time on educating themselves and for many for shopping also. This is not the time to continue with the traditional mindsets and older business models. Spend time to focus on the development process and build a good eCommerce platform understanding this is going to be the major revenue source in the near future. During the development process itself, you ensure that your website is optimised for SEO and all relevant keywords are included in the content plan. Your product pages are designed to provide a better experience for your customers
9. Provide special offers and discounts.
In this uncertain period, you can shoe support to customers by offering special discounts and offers. But you should have a very clear idea about all supply-side and demand-side struggles in the near future. The financials of discounts need to be worked out with considering the facts of your inventory holding cost, additional interest payments due to revenue loss and lesser advertisement and marketing spend. A proper discount plan will engage your customers and keep a steady stream of revenue. You can try new pricing strategies
Choose bundled pricing with your best-selling product with the new product range giving customers an opportunity to try new products.
Give volume discounts since customers will be going to reduce their purchase frequency.
Try cross-selling opportunities to clear the slow-moving stock.
Increase the order value and clear deadstock with buy one get one offer.
10. Jump in front of your competition
The current marketing conditions are completely new and unexpected for you and well as your competitor. So, if you can think and act ahead of your competitor, it will give a competitive edge in the current market conditions. Your competitors may be stopping their advertisement campaigns because of their fear of the current situations and difficulty in responding to the situations. If you can bring solutions to the market challenges along with e good marketing campaign, 2020 will be the pivot point for your business.
11. Update your brand assets
Most of the companies will never revamp brand assets because of their busy schedule or limited resources. If you have a lot of ideas in the pipeline, and never make anything into a prototype, this is the best time to start converting the ideas. You can revamp all your brand assets like logos, brand designs, ebooks, white papers, website, webinars, explanation videos, other video assets etc. you can take this pandemic as an opportunity to revamp existing brand assets and bring a fresh look for your brand.
12. Communicate with existing customers and clients.
This is the best chance to refresh your relationships with your most valuable customers and clients. It can be your dealers, agents, other channel partners, suppliers etc, get some time to talk with them. Being transparent about your situations and discussing future plans will help to gain trust and make them stay with you in your tough times.
13. Increase your social media engagement
This is the best time to run your social media campaigns at its full strength. Because of the social changes, people and spending more time online and social media platforms. You can share all relevant information through social media. It can be details about your product, its features, awareness videos and try to educate your prospects.
14. Recreate your trade channels.
You have to be very keen to observe the change in various trade channels involved in your business. The growing modern trade and shopping malls are less relevant in business economics at least for the next two years. You have to focus on the channels which are performing well in the market conditions. If you are into retail sales, educate and empower them to be ready to present in digital space and make the connecting point in last-mile delivery.
15. Don’t be a seller at this time.
Your entire advertisement plan should be on spreading hope, educating consumers, empowering channel partners and brand building. Being a seller or using a push strategy will ruin your brand image. Using humour also not advisable in the current situation. Every organization should project them as a responsible brand and gain consumer trust. If so customer will remember and return to you after their tough times.
The above points suggested in a general marketing perspective. But the conditions are different for each industry. You should modify these Marketing Strategies During COVID-19 according to your industry and market conditions.