These are weird times. #TeamTriad is currently working from home and doing everything we can to contribute to a swift recovery for our community and the world in general. We know that some businesses are being hit harder than others – restaurants, travel agencies, service industries like your favorite hair salon – just to name a few.
No matter your industry, it would be easy to say that now is not the best time to be marketing yourself or your business. It’s natural to go into “hunker down” mode and do nothing but what is essential to keeping your company afloat. While keeping costs and expenses down is a good start, we want to push forward the notion that marketing is not something you should cut during this time. We know you may think marketing is a luxury that isn’t necessarily essential to keeping your business going – but hear us out.
Here’s why we think you should resume (and maybe even light a fire under) your marketing efforts during this global pandemic.
People are on social media more than ever.
A recent study showed that despite its popularity before, people are using social media more than ever before. This makes sense, because people are being urged to isolate themselves, regardless of whether they are sick to try and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. People are working from home, following news outlets, and trying to find brief respites from the heaviness of said news outlets. They’re doing all of these things in correspondence with social media.
If your business is already running campaigns on social media (particularly Facebook and Instagram) it may be a great time to double down. Attention is in high supply and there’s a good chance that your competition may be pressing pause on their efforts. We wouldn’t blame you for making the most of a poor situation and taking advantage of this unique opportunity to garner new attention.
Facebook and Instagram are likely to be especially high value as people follow breaking stories and argue about politics on Facebook, while sharing inspiration and life stories on Instagram.
Establishing an audience will be pretty easy.
People everywhere are looking for hope and inspiration. None of us can wait until we can get out there and socialize again – anyone else miss networking more than ever right now?! Now is the time to create content that will get them inspired and hopeful for the days that everything will go back to normal.
The main purpose of your content should be to add value to your consumer and their daily lives. Now may be the time to launch an amazing offer, course, podcast, download, video series, webinar, or pillar page that helps your audience navigate their challenges. Build your email list, your social media custom audiences, your podcast subscribers, your video followers, and any channel that you are building a community around.
If we can’t control the circumstances we’re going through right now, it’s important that we do what we can. Let’s be a part of the solution and provide hope and guidance to our audience. Once everyone is ready to go back out in the world, they’ll remember you as being there throughout the storm and still there when the sun comes up.
Marketing is not a switch; it's an engine.
In times of turbulence, it's tempting to think of marketing as a switch that can be turned on and off. But that's not how it works.
Marketing is an engine that starts slowly and then builds momentum as you spin it up. The more you add fuel and the more momentum you gain, the faster and more effective it is.
If you suddenly grind it to a halt, you have to start over by building momentum again. You may have to re-earn loyalty from your audience if they haven't heard from you in a while. You may have to re-gain SEO rankings because the competition kept going.
Rather than completely stopping your efforts, you’re much better off maintaining or even increasing your presence so you’ll be sailing smoothly once the storm passes. And it will.
Now’s the time to pivot.
While there are businesses who are truly struggling to find their footing, many are realizing their need to reinvent themselves in a time of crisis. From restaurants to breweries to retail, many B2C (Business to Consumer) companies are pivoting in response to the pandemic in creative ways. B2B (Business to Business) companies are less affected for the most part – and some are even thriving (who hasn’t been on a Zoom call this past week?!). Many industries such as Zoom are experiencing unprecedented demand right now.
How can your business serve the community in the current environment? What can you do to pivot and adapt your message? Yes, there is negative news out there – but we encourage you to turn those negatives into positives, any way you can.
A recession is the best time to increase market share.
Recession is a scary word. No one wants to say it in fear the verbal use itself will put it into place. But the inevitability is, we will probably see one once this is all over.
When this occurs, your competition is likely to cut back. So, this is the perfect time for you to regain your ground. It's been well-documented that increased spending in marketing and advertising during a recession can pay off. An article from Forbes said:
"...there have been a number of studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterwards."
The article continues:
There are several reasons to advertise during a slowdown.
- The “noise level” in a brand’s product category can drop when competitors cut back on their ad spend. It also allows for advertisers to re-position a brand or introduce a new product.
- Brands can project to consumers the image of corporate stability during challenging times.
- The cost of advertising drops during recessions. The lower rates create a “buyer’s market” for brands. Studies have shown that direct mail advertising, which can provide greater short-term sales growth, increases during a recession.
- When marketers cut back on their ad spending, the brand loses its “share of mind” with consumers, with the potential of losing current – and possibly future – sales. An increase in “share of voice” typically leads to in an increase in “share of market.” An increase in market share results, with an increase in profits.
Many well-known companies like Kellogg’s and Amazon became the uncontested leaders in their space by increasing marketing during recessions. And they're basically unstoppable today.
So, what’s it going to be? Are you in or out?
What does all this mean for you and your business? Ultimately, that’s up to you. There are several real considerations to work through – including your cash flow and present-day financial situation. But if it’s realistic and feasible to rev up your marketing game right now, we say go for it. It could pay off exponentially in the months, and even years, to come.
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