We are beginning to emerge from what has been a tough, challenging and unique couple of months. One thing we know for certain: the future of marketing will look different.
Never have we seen consumers’ beliefs and attitudes change more rapidly than they have this year. It won’t be as simple as looking at the marketing calendar for the rest of 2020 and just rolling it out as is. Customers have been lost and won’t come back. Even if your target market hasn’t changed, consumer attitudes and beliefs have.
Bottomline: Even if your target market or buyer persona hasn’t changed, consumers attitudes, beliefs or buying triggers have.
The way you speak to your target audiences will need to change and the messages will need to be different. For example, AirBnB will not just be able to “reboot” their marketing plan to customers with the same messaging. They will need to consider that the future of travel has changed and attitudes towards it. People may have to and even want to stay closer to home, they will want more safety measures in place and perhaps even more affordable options.
You should take a fresh look at marketing and approach it through a “puzzle solving lense” in order to reboot your business. Businesses that look at the problems from a marketing perspective, always start with understanding what the potential customers’ needs, issues, challenges, hopes and desires are, then look at creating and delivering communication offerings that satisfy and even solve those.
Where this may be different from pre COVID19, is that businesses may have approached those problems purely through a sales lense where they would start with existing products or services and then retrofit how to satisfy the most appropriate customers for those offerings.
Bottomline: Start with Marketing then onto Sales.
DIG, DISSECT AND DISCOVER
Like any basic marketing strategy, once you understand your customers, you need to re-look at the situation around you, internal and external. Insert SWOT. This will allow you to re-look at what you are good at and not so good at. A key part here is assessing new opportunities in the world. This exercise will allow you to dig, dissect and discover to really understand changes in your customers’ needs, hopes and desires. Maybe this is where you reposition your current offerings. Once you understand these changes, you can then work out how you can then best adapt to them.
With your clear offering in mind, you need to ensure you can deliver it! Within a blink of an eye, businesses globally had their stock and supply chain massively interrupted. Businesses were without their product and therefore couldn’t deliver to customers. Before you relaunch, ask yourself:
- Do we need to reassess where we get our supply from?
- Can we put in contingencies?
- Do we have exceptional customer service for follow up once the offering is delivered?
PUSH THE RESET BUTTON ON MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Once the product offering is clear and budget reset, your focus should be on resetting the specific campaigns that were running; do they speak to your customers’ changed beliefs and attitudes? Do they speak to your new/evolved offering? Are they relevant anymore? What is the new messaging?
We need to reset expectations on performance and what success looks like in this changed environment. Just because a certain campaign in the past delivered you XX results, don’t rely on your historical campaign metrics as a benchmark for your future.
Remember, this is not a sprint but a marathon. Starting with re-assessing and re-evaluating your marketing strategies will ensure you start this evolved journey off strongly.