During the many conversations I’ve been having with people in business over the last month or so, a common theme – or tension – has emerged around marketing.
In efforts to survive this financial crisis Coronavirus time, it’s understandable and good practice that people want to cut expenses. On the other hand, it doesn’t make sense to cut anything that’s actually helping to grow your business. Cut out marketing expenses that aren’t producing a return on investment for sure, though you needed to do that before Coronavirus in any case.
But don’t stop your marketing altogether. It’s the one thing we need to keep doing though, like everything right now, it has to pivot. We need to be changing our message to suit the times. We may need to change our target market too and focus on those businesses that can afford what we sell.
It’s your duty to let your target market know you exist
Some people have said they don’t feel comfortable marketing their business right now because of what people might think. Well, I say that if you know that other people or businesses need your product or service right now, as a coach I’d be challenging that thinking. Because if you do believe you can help others, it’s your duty to make sure your target market know you exist. You’re doing them a disservice by not promoting your business. (And what other people think is their business.) So long as your marketing message is right, I say carry on!
Some of what you offer may not be relevant right now – because your target market can’t use it perhaps – but there will be other things you offer that they might want. At the very least, ensure that people know about you so that when they do need you, they know you still exist for them.
I’ve seen some great marketing from businesses that can’t actually function in their traditional format right now. Some hotels and restaurants for example are promoting fabulous looking recipes or showing what they’re doing in the hotel to make it ready for us when they can reopen. I appreciate this marketing, not just as a coach observing, but also especially as a consumer.
This is forcing us to do what we should have been doing all along
What this Coronavirus time of financial crisis is forcing us to do is what we should always have been doing: marketing in a helpful way sensitive to our target market’s needs and testing and measuring to make sure we’re investing in stuff that actually works and not wasting money on stuff that doesn’t.
What it’s also forcing us to do is to change the way we market: previously we may just have relied on that good old “word of mouth”. Now it’s very likely we have to haul ourselves up-to-date: get online, sell from our websites, make better strategic use of social media, get behind a camera to make videos, write some content, take part in online networking.
Test and Measure your marketing – always
When choosing your marketing activities, you might need to get external help – do the Google workshops, outsource to a specialist – but the two things you must do to ensure your marketing is an investment (in time as well as money) and not an expense is TEST and MEASURE. Because marketing is maths!
To help you with this, feel free to download our Test & Measure Sheet
Or, as always, please just get in touch.