During times of crisis, such as the ongoing pandemic, both consumers and businesses face difficulty, confusion, and panic.
With limited resources, countries on lockdown, people losing their jobs, and businesses shutting down and suffering losses, there exists economic uncertainty. Companies face the dilemma of being sensitive to people’s situations and keeping their revenue afloat.
Cutting the marketing spend is often the first solution that brands think of to offset the loss in profits. However, this way of thinking is not necessarily unfounded because amidst a crisis, people are less likely to spend their money on non-essential products or services.
The key is to redefine your marketing plan by understanding changes to consumer behaviors and adapting a strategy tailored to the new realities. Here are 5 things you can do with your marketing in times of crisis:
- Increase marketing by solving current problems.
Cutting the advertising budget is a mistake new business owners make. However, well-reputed brands learn that an economic downturn is a time to increase advertising. By doing so, they reap the following rewards: improved market share (when competitors are cutting back), increased return on investment at a lower cost, and established a stronger voice among the crowd.
2. Study consumer’s behaviour
People react to their environment. Now is the time to conduct a deeper analysis about your target audience and existing customers. How do their buying behaviors change? What are their motivations? How do they respond to the ongoing crisis? It’s important to listen to your audience as a crisis is short-term, but behaviors and values acquired throughout the changing environment can be long-term.
3. Communicate with Consumers and Clients
When communicating with your consumers and clients, focus on your key, target audience – whether that be your customers, partners, or suppliers. Prioritize what is important to the customer. Of course, consumers have a lot of varying concerns during a crisis but remember that health and safety are of utmost importance. Focus on messaging that appeals to people’s emotions and be empathetic in your approach. Send help if possible, as companies who provide relief to people in need, create action plans for their employees, and send help to the cause build a good reputation, branding, and high-level of trust among consumers.
4. Adjust product and services portfolio
Assess and rethink your current portfolio of products and services. Which items in your current product range answer immediate needs? What pricing strategy and payment options should you apply to different products and services? What promotions, discounts, and incentives will work to grow your margin? Is it possible to introduce new products?
5. Emphasize Core, Family Values
During difficult times and financial pressures, it’s important to avoid ruining your relationships with people. Try to focus on your company’s core values such as transparency, assurance, and good communication. This will help you persist through the crisis and maintain your relationships with your customers.
Businesses that stay resilient and survive the crisis by focusing on consumer needs and core values are better equipped and securely positioned for the brighter days ahead.