People’s lives and routines have been greatly impacted – it is no longer “business as usual.” Whether you are a small start-up or a big business, there have been changes that have affected your business. Economic uncertainties caused by this COVID-19 pandemic should give you enough motivation to take a second look at gathering a strategy to maintain or even grow your business.
Is it even possible to still GROW your business during a pandemic?
The answer is a definitive maybe! A volatile economy can create just as many opportunities as it destroys. However, depending on the industry you are in, some losses are unavoidable. It is about minimizing your losses and finding ways to capitalize on opportunities. Of course, this doesn’t mean to take advantage of the vulnerable and sell basic necessities at marked up prices, but it does mean making strategic decisions that will leave your business stronger at the end of this challenge. It is important to make data-driven decisions and anticipate the outcomes of your decisions based on insight and analytics. For example, if your competitors are waiting out the storm while there is a continual demand for your services or products, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to get ahead.
What is the best marketing strategy to grow your business after this pandemic?
If your sales were mainly from trade shows, face to face meetings, bricks and mortar stores, or events, it is time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy. As some places are enduring quarantine and social distancing, this is your chance to move on your digital communications. People will be seeking updates, answers, and ways to improve their personal and professional life.
Some important questions to ask when it comes to reaching your buyers online:
· Do you already have an online presence? If so, does it have an easy to use online interface?
· Is your website and content optimized for search engines when potential clients are browsing and researching online?
· Is your website delivering an exceptional user experience (easy to navigate, explaining your unique value proposition, how to buy your products or services)?
· Have you implemented a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) online advertising campaign to pull in the potential customers searching for your products or services? (Some examples are Google Ads and Facebook Ads)
· Do you have a social media campaign that engages with your potential customers?
If you have not invested in a digital marketing strategy, now would be a good time to start. If you have already invested in one, consider devoting more resources to this critically important area.
How do I identify and optimize new sales channels?
With people being asked to social distance as a preventative measure, investing or reallocating resources to different online sales channels may be the opportunity you have overlooked. Here are some ideas to help you sell more effectively in the digital world:
· Ensure that your e-commerce website has the capability for customers to order your services and products directly
· Offering quick and inexpensive delivery for online shoppers
· Make it easy for your users by adding a function that allows customers to book virtual appointments
· Offer webinars instead of face-to-face presentations
· Implement an online chat tool so potential customers are able to shop and get their questions and concerns answered
· Post a comprehensive online FAQ on your website
· If you’re selling expertise and knowledge, build compelling online content that provides potential clients with valuable information
This is your chance to build your brand, create trust, strength your customer relationships, and overall, grow demand for your services.
It’s about people - Customer Relationships
You may already feel that your business is doing everything it can to acquire new customers, but what have you implemented for existing customers? How are you interacting or staying in touch with your current customers? It is far easier and less costly to keep an existing customer than try to get new ones.
When your customers feel that you value them and their business, loyalty and brand preference tend to grow. When they benefit from your valuable advice, focused support, and uninterrupted service, they could talk about their customer experience with their family and friends. This could mean more referral business for you. Your existing customers are the very best kind of brand ambassadors and that doesn’t cost you any money!
Here are some ways you can maintain and improve your customer relationships:
· Have relevant and timely content that solves customers’ challenges (immediate and long term)
· Make it easy for customers to connect with you – whether it be online, by phone, email, chat box, etc.
· Make online chatting with customers a priority
· Set up virtual meetings with an online scheduling app
· Make a FAQ for customers that is easy to navigate
· Engage on your customer’s channel of preference
· Deepen the relationship by offering more products and services
· Be responsive to all customers
Three Ways to Lower Your Marketing Costs
1. Use marketing technology or automation platforms
2. Consider choosing an agency or consultant that has the expertise, requires no training, and can easily step into the role – so you don’t have to.
3. Outsource your digital marketing performance management. Choose a partner to take on this role which can be cost-effective and provide flexibility you need to grow.
During a crisis, there are always things beyond your control – however there will always be opportunities to try a more effective and efficient approach. Regardless of whether you are currently implementing these strategies or will want to, for your business to thrive you must remain laser-focused on seeking ways to continue to build your business and keep your customer happy.
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