A Note from our Managing Director
COVID-19 took all of us by complete surprise and has sent a shock through the business community, especially the small business community. From one small business owner to another, I get it. It has been a hard journey so far and some say we are not quite near the end yet.
That’s why I wanted to reach out today. Marketing during a crisis is a very, very delicate topic so I’m offering some ideas on how to stay connected to your audience without seeming insensitive.
When demand for your business’ good or service starts to dwindle faster than you feel you can accommodate, I understand that the thought might be to double-down on your sales and marketing efforts to try to protect/save as much revenue as you can. But here are some things to keep in mind.
When Reaching Out, Start with the Why
Yes, we are in a time of crisis now and yes, people are looking for ways to save money at home and at work. But people are also still spending on goods/services they find valuable and/or helpful.
That said, if your product or service falls into the valuable/helpful during times like this category, by all means, reach out to your customers and even prospective customers. And tell them why you are reaching out and why you think it’s appropriate during this time.
Authenticity is Always a Good Idea
If your good or service does not meet a physical need but you believe it does/can provide an emotional uplift, say that.
Food and toilet paper companies are not the ones that people care about now, no matter how it seems. I have seen the memes, so I see how we all could think that! There are plenty of products and services that don’t meet a basic physical need, but are meaningful and thus valuable to people during times of crisis.
I suggest doing a brainstorm alone or with your team and think of ways your product or service adds value to customers and focus your marketing efforts on that.
Also, if you have client testimonials, they can be very helpful in reminding you why people have historically done business with your brand. And if you do determine that you do have some value to offer now, I would encourage you to use the words of your past customers (with their permission, of course!) in your messaging.
Sometimes, there is a such thing as a free lunch
Does your company have any “freemiums” you can offer now?
A freemium is a premium product or service that someone would happily pay for but you have decided to offer it for free. Hence, the term ‘freemium.”
In times of crisis people still need products and services and if you are able to fulfill a need, do it. Not only do I believe it’s the right thing to do, but your being a resource during hard times will be remembered fondly and ultimately will add to your brand’s equity. Ideas for freemiums could be templates, previously recorded training/tutorial, webinars, live Q&A sessions etc.
No matter the type of product or service you provide, I am confident that with a little creativity, you can find something that you can offer that will help some segment of your customer base now.
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It is apparent to me COVID-19 has pushed us all into a new world order that requires everyone to completely change the way they interact — businesses are no different. Now is a time for businesses to show the human side of its brand and think person before profit.
I personally believe that in times of crisis, we can either get chaotic or we can get creative.
I urge you to choose creativity. Reimagine how you interact with your target audiences with an aim to be as authentic, transparent and helpful as possible. Stretch yourself. You can do it and your customers and prospective customers are worth it.
If you want help thinking through how you can reimagine your marketing communications, reach out to me directly and I will give you a freemium. You will receive one hour of consulting time with me and an expert on the SNR creative team in the exact area you need. Sometimes all you need is to talk it out to get the momentum going!
Shavonnah Roberts Schreiber, Managing Director of SNR Creative