To fight or flight? Every business is questioning its strategy. Unfortunately,
there aren’t many Harvard case studies that include a pandemic.
These are unprecedented times, but business is by no means closed. Companies
who fight for market share could benefit from low competition and cost-effective ad
Like all of us, buyers have changed. There is a tremendous opportunity for
businesses to capitalize on the moment by adapting their strategies to a different
Pandemic-Forced Marketing Changes Will Become Standard
Forced to depend on online traffic over traditional window shopping and foot
traffic, the new “digital convention center” is now packed to the gills with new
competitors for your customers’ time and attention.
As your marketers, it is our responsibility to ensure your business is seen and
heard in this new marketplace – both during and after Covid-19 is finally beaten
To that point, we expect we can still expect business interactions to stay online
even after social distancing ends.
For example, why should customers return to in-person meetings when virtual get
togethers are cheaper and now standard?
And, now that the pandemic has lasted two years, your customers have also begun
to form digital-first habits. These habits will remain long past when the
hospitalization curve is flattened.
Are You Ready to Fight for Your Customers in a Crowded Digital Marketplace?
As you choose to “fight” in this new digital arena, the first step of your marketing
plan should be to improve your online presence and buyer experience.
However, are you truly ready to take on your competitors online?
Consider these questions first to evaluate your current strengths and possible
- Is your website ready to handle potential customers? That is, can they
find products and services through your website? Can they also contact you
with questions or concerns?
- How easy is it for customers to purchase your products online?
- Have you considered how customers will find you online? Websites
that don’t consider search engine optimization – SEO – will never be seen by
people who might need your product or service.
- Does your business or organization use social media? If so, do your current customers engage with you? Or, is it taking up time that could be better spent in other areas?
- Why should your future and current customers choose your website
and service over someone else’s? Do you have valuable content, insights,
or other reasons to engage as part of a comprehensive inbound marketing
strategy? Or, will you be paying for all your traffic through traditional
- Do you have a list of customer email addresses or phone numbers
that you can regularly send emails or texts to?
If these questions seem overwhelming – or if you’re not sure you can handle it –
then it may be worth the investment to bring in an agency or other marketing
professional who can help you put together a game plan to move forward.
The post-pandemic “new normal” will require businesses to make digital marketing
a bigger part of their advertising and customer generation strategy.To be honest, the best time to start a true digital marketing campaign was in 2010.
The second best time is now!
Leverage Pandemic-Low Ad Rates for Your First Digital Marketing Campaigns
While it may seem like a lot at first glance, launching a renovated digital marketing
strategy can be easier than it first appears.
And, to be clear, we’re not advocating any business to put all their marketing eggs
and dollars into a single basket.
Other, more traditional tactics – such as sponsorships, OTT/OOH (radio, TV,
billboards, etc.), and print media – can also be just as powerful as digital,
depending on the industry and marketing goals.
However, we do recommend businesses use cost-effective, digital marketing tactics
that can help you survive this economic crisis. The fighters who reposition
themselves will be better off than the “flighters” who make cuts and wait it out.
For many businesses, cash-flow issues can limit “risky” new spending for
something like advertising in a downturn. The beautiful thing
with digital marketing is that you don’t need to cut a check for tens of thousands of
dollars just to get started.
Just a few dollars a day could make a huge impact on your customer flow –
especially now, ad rates are declining while online traffic is increasing.
Most online advertising uses a bidding system. As more businesses panic with the
pandemic and “fly” away from marketing costs, there are fewer bidders in the
marketplace. Fewer bidders with the same online inventory available makes overall advertising costs decrease, even while more people are stuck at home… and stuck online.
Pandemic Behaviors Will Stay Post-Covid – Is Your Business Ready to Launch?
Of course, customer behavior will have more profound shifts than “we like
websites” as the pandemic runs its course. The challenge for all marketers will be
to determine how buyers have changed at a more foundational level.
For example, buyer priorities are focused on learning rather than buying, but that
doesn’t mean buying can be halted forever.
By building an audience now through information-based, value-add content
promotion; cost-effective online advertising; and repositioning focused on a new
set of buyer problems, clever companies will put themselves in the perfect position
for a burst of new purchases once these unpredictable times are past.
In the end, the worst thing your business could do, is to do nothing, hoping that
the world will go back to the way it was. Covid-19 has rocked the modern world so
thoroughly, that it will never go back – and your business will die if you fly instead