These are uncertain times and what may have been status quo a few months ago is far from our new reality – for businesses as well as customers. Now is the time to assess and changes your marketing strategy.
Your business is not normal right now. However, businesses need to maintain relationships with their customers. In a brick and mortar environment, the face-to-face interaction is now painfully absent and your customers are concerned about you. They want to know you are doing well and surviving. Your marketing needs to change and, believe or not, your customers are expecting it to change.
Quick tips on how to market during a pandemic.
Marketing strategy needs to be fluid and if we have learned anything during this pandemic, we have learned to accept change.
Communication. Your customers want to hear from you. They want to know what you are doing and they want to help. Local shops, restaurants, and bars have communicated options and offerings to their customers. For example, never before could they deliver alcohol with a pizza or tacos. Keep the communication lines open and encourage your customers to share their experiences.
Connection. We are social people in need of interaction. In the absence of face-to-face interaction, connect with your customers via alternative methods such as video meetings or online parties. Neighborhoods hold driveway get-togethers and virtual Bingo. Try it with your business. Connect on whatever level you can and engage your customers for suggestions.
Empathy. Your customers long for empathy, not sympathy. Put your arms around your customers and your employees. Connect with them with compassion and understanding. Sympathy in these times may not build and strengthen your relationships, but empathy will.
Authenticity. Be real and genuine. You do not have to sacrifice the sale and customers do not expect you to. Just remember that it is the relationship that matters most. While budgeting and finances are a source of concern, don’t be tone-deaf to your customers’ plight. These times are the building blocks of long-term connections.
Your strategic marketing plan may need a review. Take the time to understand your customers. Understand how they have previously interacted with you and engage with them on a new level. Ask them what they need and make the effort to deliver whenever and wherever possible. Customer experience is more important now than ever before.
At Cox Marketing Solutions, we too have fine-tuned our customer engagement. We are working with our clients to help them change their marketing and keep their businesses going during this pandemic. While every situation is different, every business needs to make adjustments or risk long-term damage to their customer relationships.
We wish you the best during these times and recognize the decisions you make to be present for your customers will deliver in spades long into the future.