Want to spend far less money on your marketing? She’s got you.
A recent report from the American Association of Advertising Agencies found that 56% of consumers said they like learning how global brands are helping their communities during the coronavirus pandemic and 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from these companies.
So how are you communicating your brand in this new world of ours? Is your voice being heard? What priorities have shifted? And how are you shifting your marketing and business opportunities?
Our Whole New World.
Amid COVID-19, businesses have been forced to leverage and utilize digital technology they have never used before to keep their employees, vendors, and contractors engaged and set-up for success in their virtual offices.
Whether this entails a virtual doctor’s appointment, virtual happy hours with family and friends, or holding weekly staff meetings on platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, COVID-19 has ultimately changed the way that people in various communities and industries live, work, and communicate for the unforeseeable future.
Although it might seem as though the world has been shut down, now is the time for businesses to restructure their marketing to reach our customers, as we all begin to navigate “the new normal” and slowly start to see the doors opening throughout our communities. It is important to recognize that consumer’s priorities and needs have changed and to approach your business’ marketing in a way that strategically addresses these priorities.
Some of these priorities that have shifted are:
- Grocery and Medication Delivery
- Finances and Mortgage
- Childcare and Home-schooling
- Self-care and Medical Appointments/Surgeries
- Legal/Court Appearances
- Unemployment and Furlough
- Sports and Outdoor Activities
- Home Gyms
- Religious Events
The report also found that consumer behavior has obviously been changing due to the pandemic. Almost half of the people surveyed (49%) said they are not eating out, 27% are ordering food delivery and/or takeout. 44% said they are not comfortable going outside for non-essential items and another 37% said they are buying items online not in stores.
Big Box Versus Small
Walmart sales have surged as coronavirus continues to drive Americans to stockpile! Their quarterly comparable sales climbed 10% in U.S., including a 74% jump in e-commerce.
On April 30th, Amazon announced its financial results for its first quarter that ended on March 31st. From its financial results, Amazon’s net sales increased by 26% to $75.5 billion in the first quarter compared to 2019’s first quarter of $59.7 billion.
Target’s digital sales grew by more than 100% in March and are up 275% in April as consumers ordered more essentials and groceries online for delivery and pickup amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Consumer behaviors continue to change dramatically, particularly as public health officials have told Americans to minimize their time in stores,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a call with reporters to discuss the retailer’s COVID-19 response.
Can the Small Business Stay Afloat?
Small business used to define America’s economy. The pandemic could change that forever. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed forever as the nation’s pandemic toll escalates.
It is important to keep in mind that the world will not be the same as we knew it pre-COVID-19 while we begin the reopening phases. So how are small businesses to compete during this uncertain time as it seems so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel?
Millions of small businesses will be at great risk of closing permanently if the crisis continues for several months. Of the nation’s approximately 30 million small businesses, nearly 7.5 million small businesses may be at risk of closing permanently over the coming months.
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on small businesses’ revenue. Approximately 35.7 million Americans employed by small businesses are at risk of unemployment or are already unemployed as result of the COVID-19 crisis.
But there is hope for the small business! What used to work before, may no longer be effective. So, we evolve as a culture and economy to keep up with the demands of our customers. One thing that has been so important to stay focused on as a small business is to find opportunities—not be opportunistic.
As we are all looking for ways to cut expenses and not close the doors of our hard-earned businesses, we must work together to get as creative with these opportunities as possible.
Crank Up Your Marketing.
In fact, long-term studies show that the right approach during economic uncertainty is to increase — not decrease — your marketing spend. The last thing you want is to be caught flat-footed and find yourself lagging your competitors when the economy revs up again.
Being more agile and coming up with creative and interesting ways of engaging their audience during these difficult times is key!
If you want to stay in business, you cannot stay idle for long. As a business owner myself, I understand why many entrepreneurs would want to cut down completely on marketing activities. Being conservative feels like the safe choice when there is uncertainty about how long the crisis will last. But we must balance financial responsibility with the need to keep consumers informed and engaged when things get tough.
That said, marketing during these times requires sensitivity to what is going on in people’s lives and the flexibility to keep up with swift and swooping changes.
So, what can you do right now to help stay afloat in your marketing world?
- Start with customer empathy
- Tell relevant, authentic stories — and give, give, give
- Be agile for the new normal
Outsourcing a Fractional CMO can provide your brand with a highly skilled professional that is able to focus on your specific needs to create and implement a strategic marketing plan and help guide you through this difficult time for the future. Fractional CMOs also allow businesses to run leaner, and do not require a full-time salary, benefits, or office resources or the hefty cost of agencies.
Find out how Just Lyndsay can help your business and your customers make a splash in our new world. Schedule a free consult with her today!
She’s for rent. She’s got this.
You can reach Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org