By Kartik Anand
2020 was a year that many business owners and entrepreneurs would like to forget, both in terms of how it impacted their professional and personal lives. Many businesses were forced to close their doors and others tried to hold on as long as possible until they couldn’t continue.
Covid-19 also encouraged businesses to shift to a completely digital landscape. Retail stores were forced to sell online-only, and restaurants had to pivot to online ordering and delivery models to survive.
While we are now technically in a post-pandemic environment, stronger variants are now showing signs of a possible similar situation. Whether we experience another shutdown across the world is uncertain, but one thing is very clear: Marketing has changed forever.
If you want to survive in the future, your business needs to adapt. There is no time to wait, delay or see how it plays out. The time to evaluate your marketing strategy and make necessary changes is now. Here are some important tips to consider.
Identify new ways to communicate
For businesses that previously relied on in-person interaction, events, and shopping experiences, now is the time to come up with new and innovative ways to accomplish this. There is a digital equivalent to almost everything these days, and consumers are taking note.
Consumers love the convenience and having control. Take movies, for instance. Rather than having to go to a theater at a designated time and pay a premium price for tickets and concessions, consumers love the convenience of Netflix. The cost is more attractive and the convenience factor makes it a win.
Social media is a great communication tool, as are vlogs on YouTube and podcasts. Live streaming is also a way to make a message more personal without having to be in the same room as someone else.
Market using relatable messages
When everyone was forced to stay inside and work from home, savvy brands began to shift their marketing message to relate to everyone. Things like “we are all in this together” were commonly added to marketing messages to be relatable.
If your product or service can be explained in a way that helps the consumer relate to it more, it’s a much easier way to develop a connection. Also, don’t be afraid to mix in a little humor. During times of uncertainty and stress, humor is a great icebreaker.
You can also combine a discount or special offer with a relatable message. Something such as, “We know times are difficult now, so here is a 20% off code for your next order” will receive a much better response than a discount offer without the added message.
Focus on relationship building
Relationships are everything in business, and Covid-19 emphasized strong relationships because everyone was forced to move to a virtual and digital environment.
Businesses that had a strong relationship with customers before the pandemic fared better during the shift because that relationship was already strong, translating to continued business throughout the ups and downs that followed.
Imagine not being able to meet potential B2B customers face to face in the future. How would deals get done? What merit would businesses use to determine their deals? It all circles back to trust. Focus on building strong relationships through transparency, strong communication and simply showing you care.
Pivot your marketing to mobile
Everyone, from consumers looking for entertainment to business executives handling their email and work, migrated to mobile during lockdowns. Mobile use was already dominant, but the convenience factor was realized by almost everyone who was stuck inside and forced to work from home.
Your marketing ads need to be tailored to mobile devices, as well as your offers and landing pages. Assume that everyone is going to be on a smaller screen. Make the patch to your conversion goals simple, with as few steps as possible.
Mobile website optimization plays a key role, and a pleasant user experience goes a long way these days. Consumers demand it — it’s no longer an option.
Enhance your customer support
When the B2B industry shifted to online-only it resulted in more customer service inquiries. Things were changing, from the way orders were placed to how deliveries were being handled. Customer service became more important than ever.
While customer support will make or break your business, as this was always the case, these days you have to take more into account. With companies migrating to remote teams, you may need to adjust your customer service hours to accommodate.
While phone support and email support may have sufficed previously, now you need to consider SMS support and live chat. Eliminating wait times by hiring more virtual support agents is also something more brands are doing to deliver a better service.