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Communicating through Covid

 

Lockdown 2.0. Welcome back to hastily set up offices in spare rooms, Zoom calls, 1 pm updates and people talking about uncertainty. 

Here are our best marketing tips for communicating with your customers through the lockdown, whatever level we are at.

 

Be Agile

We’ve been here before. Whether you’ve set up a new business since last time, or are in the same one as before, what can you do to adapt to the circumstances? Don’t hunker down, keep moving forwards. Think outside the box.

 

Have Empathy

Everyone has been affected, in some way, shape or form. It’s tough. Empathy can take many forms, whether it’s humour or kindness. Don’t let yourself become completely lost in this, as we said above, keep making those business decisions to keep moving forwards.

 

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Don’t switch off just because we are in lockdown. Yes, digital messaging is much more saturated than ever. But make sure that your customers, existing and potential, know what each level means for your business and can clearly understand this. You can communicate this through emails, text, social channels and on your website – know your touchpoints and where your customers are. Consider adding in a website pop up, or banner pop up that communicates exactly what the level we are in means for potential customers.

 

Be Customer-Centric

Listen to your customers, understand their needs, and even better, understand their wants. Put your customer first, and we don’t just mean in your marketing. Ingrain it throughout your whole operations. Know what their preferred communication channels are so you can stay in touch. For many, demand has dropped, but you still need to stay top of mind. With so much choice, it’s easier than ever for customers to leave. Don’t give them a reason to.

 

Technology Is Your Friend

Whether it’s a webinar, a virtual experience with your company (when the levels allow), or interacting with people digitally. One benefit of lockdown is that you can unlock a wider geographic audience, and reach people in areas that you may not have reached in person.

 

Think about how you benefit your customer?

Everyone’s affected by this, how can you work with your customers to benefit them? Look at examples such as Starbucks teaming up with the Mindfulness app, knowing that lockdown was taking an emotional toll on many. In the heart of the global pandemic, Google took people on virtual tours of museums. 

 

Create a Great Digital Experience

Are you renowned for offering a world-class in-store experience or in-person service? Make sure that your digital presence reflects this, whether it is your website, social media channels or any other touchpoints where you’re interacting with the customer. Think about creating an omnichannel experience. You can learn more about Omni-channel – here.

 

Make the Most of Data

Data is an excellent tool. Whether you are engaging with customers for qualitative or quantitative feedback about their experience, analysing your analytics or mining your CRM for data. Take note of trends, what people are buying or viewing, where you are losing customers, and ​​use this data to drive your decision making. If you don’t have this set up, there’s no better time than now to do this.

Want a great example of a company that engages with customers to drive customer-centric decisions? Take a look at the Lego Ideas Platform, where customers (of any age) can submit their ideas for lego models. This resulted in engaged customers, increased sales, and a wealth of data for them to use for their future innovation.

 

Keep Up the Advertising

I know, a marketing agency telling you to keep up ad spend, how novel of us. Typically seen as a luxury in times like these, ad spend is easy to cut. But past research does prove that cutting ad spend long term can result in a substantial decline in sales (check out Marketing Science’s Article for more information here.)

These are the key reasons why you shouldn’t cut ad spend:

In the Short Term – Your sales will decline. Rework and rethink these to divert them to alternative channels – turn in-store promotions into digital promotions.

The Long Term – Advertising reinforces your brand, it can generate awareness and strengthen the perception of your company. If you’re in it for the long haul, this is crucial so you stay top of mind.

If you Stop – The door is now open for your competitors that have their foot on the gas to take your market share and tap into your customers.

 

Create Content

This sounds like a marketing buzzword, and it somewhat is, mostly because it works. If you’re creating content, the key thing is creating value for your customers. Know where you sit in the market against your competitors, and create content that strengthens your market position, and customer relationships.

 

Create Buyer’s Guides

Some people may have more downtime than before. Whether it’s because their daily commute is a 2 minute walk to another room, or because level 4 means they can’t work. Create guides for your customers, use them to educate them about what you can do. This allows you to engage with interested parties, and through education, get your company on the tip of their tongue.

 

Keep The Conversation Going

Let your clients know what’s happening in your industry. Have there been recent innovations that will change the way you do things? Industry advances that will make a change, for the better. Keep your clients, existing and potential, in the loop. And they’ll feel assured that they are in good hands, with a company that is on top of things.

 

Here are some quick Communication Ideas

On your Website – Add a pop-up, or a pop-up banner, that informs your customers what this level means for you and how it may affect their orders or your service.

On Social Media – Do your customers usually engage with you on social channels (think Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin) – keep them up to date with a quick post. Lockdown does not mean radio silence.

By Email – We know, you’ve been bombarded with them since lockdown was announced. But the great thing is, you know what’s happening with all these different businesses now. Let your customers know what’s happening, where their order is and when things will change.