In the age of COVID-19 (the coronavirus), you have two choices: You can hit the “PAUSE” button on your business, cutting back on your sales and marketing efforts because of the uncertainty all around you. Or you can move confidently to strengthen your branding, messaging and sales outreach strategies – so when the market comes back in a few months, you can FAST FORWARD past your competitors.
But the nuances of HOW you communicate with your audiences must change. People are worried. Instead of trying to hard-sell them, it’s time to humanize your communications with them. Here’s how.
At Heritage and our marketing division, Cultivate Communications, we’re big believers in customer-focused marketing. That means zeroing in on your customers’ deepest needs, challenges and aspirations in your messages and offers. That principle still applies today. What’s changed are the problems and challenges they’re now facing.
Think strategically about how the pandemic is affecting your customers. What’s worrying them? What challenges are they facing? For example, are they worried about:
- Supply chain disruptions?How to manage their suddenly work-from-home workforce?
- Travel restrictions?
- Market uncertainty and slowing demand for their products or services?
- Managing their cash flow as business slows down?
- Where they should shift their focus to maintain business continuity?
Once you have a clear picture of their current challenges, adjust your marketing and design your messages and offers around how to address them.
If possible, be generous. Is there a product or service you can give to your customers for free or at a reduced price? Can you re-align any of your production or capabilities to help first responders, medical professionals or others in need? How can you demonstrate that your company and its employees are focused on the greater good?
What hopeful stories can you share with your audience? This is a great time to tell stories about your brand, your employees, your community causes and your vision. How are you bringing your organization’s values to life during this challenging time?
Finally, we know it’s hard to sell in times of great uncertainty. It’s challenging for your customers and prospects to make decisions and investments at a time like this. But it’s an excellent time to strengthen your relationships with them. Put more energy into lead management and nurturing longer-term opportunities. Check in more often with your prospects. Let them know that you’re ready to help.
Be of service. Be helpful. Be human.
The Heritage team wishes you and your loved ones health and safety.