Marketing in Isolation

“Did you unplug it and plug it back in?” 

Yes. I did. I always do. Yet it’s still the first thing we are asked when we call support. 

So, trust me, that occurred to me for 2020. Let’s just pull the plug and restart. 

The problem? I can’t find the plug.

Instead we persevere. We try to figure it out as we go. We are pioneers of this unprecedented time and it’s time to develop our playbook.

Since we are a marketing agency, I am going to focus my playbook on marketing in these uncertain times

What we know is this:

People are stuck at home, desperate for entertainment and connection. As a result there is a massive increase in the consumption of content online.  Google reports search queries are up to 6 billion a day, from the previous 3.5 billion daily.

We also know that people are still consuming products and services – albeit in a different format. Video consultations, online orders with contactless delivery and increased phone calls allow consumers to get their hands on most of what they need (except toilet paper!)

How are you going to reach this captive audience, that hungers for information and the products and services they are used to?

Here is a collection of marketing tips to help you reach and engage your audience. 

Understand that it is OK to market now, in fact it’s more than OK. Your customers, staff and the economy count on it. You need to stay top of mind, generate leads and drive sales. 

An important caveat for marketing during tough times: first and foremost, CARE. We are all in this together and now is a time of sharing, giving and taking care of each other. 

People sense authenticity and they reject insincere, fake compassion or kindness. Find what you care about and how you can help right now and offer messages of help and support. Be authentic, be caring and talk honestly. Don’t throw hype and use fear or scarcity right now. Respect your audience and they will respect you. This is a real opportunity to show what you and your brand stand for. It’s a chance to win loyalty and to make a difference. 

Your next step

Analyze your marketing campaigns, determine what is and isn’t working. Look at the big picture, do you need to scale back? Does it make sense to increase in some areas?  In many cases, our instinct is to shut down, to stop campaigns. Maybe that makes sense. More than ever, rely on data to guide you. Fear is a normal reaction, but your job right now is to contain that fear and let data drive your decisions. 

What is working? What isn’t? Alter your action plan daily, if need be, based on data. Don’t forget to use your data to look for new behaviors and patterns in your consumer base. Are there new ways to reach and speak to your audience? Video is surging. Don’t worry about a professional film shoot. Sit down in front of your web cam and have an important and honest conversation with your audience. It’s a great time to share insights into how you can help them. 

You may want to consider bringing in the big guns. If not now, when? If ever there was a time where you needed to tap into a larger brain trust and map out a strategy, it’s now. Consider a consultant or agency as an extension of your internal marketing.

Connect

Communicate. Often. People need to hear from you, they need to know what to expect and what is available to them. Use social media, your site and Blog, email and any other platforms your audience uses. 

There is a marked increase in social engagement. Join the conversion. It’s happening anyway. You have a chance to lead the conversation and build new connections.

Now is the time to connect with your audience and add real value. Curate content and resources for your followers. Produce new content. Answer questions. Determine where you can add value and do it.

Learn

Google Trends is where it’s at. Especially now – identify search trends and gain insight into changing  behavior and thought patterns. Learn more about what your consumers want and need. Learn about their pain points and the solutions they are looking for. Google Trends research is a daily habit for me. Uncovering query insights will inform your content strategy and drive your campaigns.

You now have access to so many resources online – books, videos, courses – many at no cost –  for a limited time. Read. Watch. Participate. Learn. You’ve been given the gift of resources and time to consume them! There is no excuse for not leveling up right now.

Working From Home

Working from home (WFH) may be new to some and it can be tricky to adapt. There is a wealth of information on WFH right now. My advice? Take it all in and then find what works for you. Everyone will develop a WFH routine and style that works for them. 

Arm yourself with the properly technology and tools to enable all your work functions seamlessly. Discounts and freebie offers are all over the place. Use this time to explore new tools and increase efficiency and productivity.

Please people, be aware of what is in the line of sight of your webcam. Work from home Bingo cards are circling online and I don’t want anyone to get any squares related to seeing things they were never meant to see, on a video call!

And most of all, please be very safe. Please be kind. And please reach out if you need help or support. It can be a lonely and sad time. You aren’t alone. If you don’t have resources, contact us – we will help you find the help you need. We are in this together.

Amid the chaos, fear, loss of income, loss of security and uncertainly, you can still create a plan to focus on those and other tasks and you will make your way through this. We all will. Share any tips and advice you have for others, in the comments field. Get to work on your own playbook and then execute – daily. Create momentum.