The current UK coronavirus situation has created a period of uncertainty for us all. Unfortunately small businesses are being hit the hardest. Adaptability, clarity and strong communication is key for any marketing strategy to stand up in these uncertain times.
Though small businesses may face testing times ahead, many industries are seeing fruitful new opportunities arise as markets change. Re-evaluating your marketing strategy now will enable your business to find and capitalise on market changes in the coming months.
To help re-assess your marketing plan for the future, your business should explore the following questions, developed by digital marketing consultant, Thomas Hinz.
Have your business objectives shifted?
Coronavirus has likely led to a shift in focus within your business. This might be minimising spend, or a temporary adaptation of your core product offering. If your business objectives have changed, now is exactly the right time to be clear about your new focus for the next few months. Building a new strategy that addresses these changes is a good place to start.
When considering a change in strategy, focus on identifying simple short-term marketing goals that support your overall business objectives.
Has your audience changed?
People have been forced to live their lives differently due to coronavirus. As a result of this, you might find a shift in behaviour by your target audience and it’s important to be aware of them and their incentives.
It’s no surprise that during lockdown consumers are heading to e-commerce to shop, however their motives are forever changing in-line with the crisis situation. Home office supplies saw an increase in online sales by 90% as employees opt to work from home. However, in contrast, online luxury goods sales are expected to fall by 35% as households look to focus spend on necessities.
There are likely to be many winners and losers online but trying to understand your target audience’s incentives will help guide your marketing strategy. Conducting surveys, competitor analysis, and looking at market trends are all good ways to gather insights about how people’s needs are changing.
Is your message still relevant?
The coronavirus situation is likely to continue to evolve rapidly in the coming months, so it is important to keep this in mind. Be prepared to review and adjust your messaging on a regular basis so your potential and existing customers are communicated with clearly and correctly.
It is also an incredibly sensitive time for many people and your messaging should reflect this – this is an easy oversight that, if not delicately thought about, could lead to brand damage.
Think back to how your audience has changed and whether your offering is still relevant to them. Test different marketing messages on a small scale first, then scale up once you are confident with your message.
Once you find answers to these three questions you will find yourself with a highly responsive marketing strategy which will help your business respond quickly and appropriately to the current situation.
In addition to this article, Thomas Hinz is also happy to provide zero-cost ad-hoc digital marketing support to businesses in need at this time. To get in contact with Thomas, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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