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How to Market Your Business During a Crisis

The emergence of COVID-19 has shaken the entire world to its core. Not only has there been a strong social impact, but an undeniable economic impact. Store fronts are closed, households are unemployed, people are quarantined in their homes and consumer behavior has shifted. How does this impact your business's marketing strategy?

marketing during a crisisHow is your marketing strategy impacted?

Our routine has been turned upside down and it is important for businesses to be able to adapt to these drastic and rapid changes. At Modern Driven Media, we are faced with the similar challenges, as are many of our customers and peers. In times of crisis, many people panic and make irrational decisions, when in reality, it is time to plan carefully, but move swiftly. The future is still uncertain; it is important to navigate this new norm strategically.

Short-term Marketing Pivots

If you’re lucky enough to continue operating your business remotely or while abiding by the CDC's social distancing recommendations, it doesn't mean you are exempt from being impacted by the Coronavirus, Here is what you need to do immediately:

    1. MDM Stay Home - marketing during a crisisCommunicate With Your Customers: Every business has a plan on how to react in a crisis. Inform customers of closures and updated hours, changes in operations, and other important updates to routine business procedures.
        • Update Your Website & Local Listings
        • Share on Social Media
        • Communicate via Email or Text
    2. Prioritize Support: Support your current customers. Be available and active on social media and support requests to ease their troubles, How can you retain current business?
    3. Conserve Unnecessary Spend: Times are tough and many businesses are struggling, Cut costs that are not sustaining or growing your business—not forever, but for the time being. The primary focus of a business should be survival.
    4. Re-evaluate Messaging: Do not be "tone-deaf!" Review all upcoming content to make sure it is tasteful. Things to keep in mind:
        • Pause or pivot inappropriate or irrelevant campaigns
        • Do not be ignorant, but remain empathetic
        • Review imagery and verbiage (i.e. gathering in big crowds, handshakes)
        • Help! Don't sell.

Keep your audience top of mind! New information and updated guidelines will guide your short-term decision making, but be aware of the long term impact around your team, your community and your industry.

Current Trends

While we are still navigating these shaky waters, a few early trends have emerged amid the chaos of COVID-19. According to HubSpot (April 29th, 2020) and their aggregated data from a global customer base of 70,000+ companies, there has been:

    • The number of closed-won deals and new deals created are declining
    • Average monthly website traffic increased by 13%
    • Customer initiated conversations increased steadily in March
    • Marketing outreach, open rates and database growth have increased

What does this mean for your business? While sales may be down, your audience is still active online—more-so than ever. Focus on helping, not selling.

crisis marketing

Long Term Marketing Strategy

The next few months will be haunted by uncertainties in our global community, both socially and economically. We are confident things will be different and therefore have to begin preparing. As you look to the future, determine the long-term impact within your industry and on consumer behavior.

    1. Rise Through Innovation: Industries like hospitality, entertainment and events management will likely see lasting impacts on the foundation of their business. Have your core offerings changed? Anticipate consumer needs and determine new, creative and safe ways to deliver.
    2. Focus on Customer Retention: Many businesses will be struggling to make up for what they lost in the brunt of this pandemic. It is cheaper to retain a current customer, than it is to earn a new customer.
    3. Leverage Technology: We have been forced to rely on technology to engage our teams and maintain our businesses during quarantine, but technology will remain an important factor in daily operations and communication moving forward. 
    4. Prioritize Customer Experience: Relying heavier on technology should not dwindle the experiences customers have with your business, it should ease and elevate instead. Consumer behaviors have changed. How will your business adapt and improve?
    5. Create Video and Online Resources: Buyer journeys will be different. Brands need to invest in educational online content to help ease consumers through the sales cycle and build trust with easy-to-obtain information. Your focus will remain educational, not promotional.
    6. Strengthen Your Social Media Community: Social media engagement is up across the board. Simply put, people are home and are online. We are social distancing in physical proximity, but craving social interactions online.
        • Ad Spend: Many brands have cut or completely pulled their advertising budgets on social media. If there is a chance to support or educate your audience, social media is a cost-effective platform to do so, 
        • Engagement: Build and strengthen relationships with your community. Do not take advantage of this crisis, but engage with your communities in ways that are relevant, timely and helpful. 

There have been many businesses that have soared through this pandemic and have been able to serve their audience in unique ways, while other businesses have shut their doors for the final time. In times of panic, confusion and fear, communication is key. It's important to consider the future, despite how unknown it may be, and move quickly, but remain flexible.

This crisis is a wake up call to our neighbors and our communities. I encourage every brand to also consider creating or implementing a community initiative—to those you serve and the industries you support to the neighborhoods you live in. High tides rise all! In an effort to better serve our community, the team at Modern Driven Media is offering consultations and strategy reviews to any business struggling with their marketing direction. Book time on our calendar with a member of our team or contact us here

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1105 Industrial Blvd., Southampton PA