Turbulence can’t be defined any better than what we experienced over the past many months. Corona times and the upheaval in the entire business and social scenario helped us reinvent several things and stretch our limits of creativity, kindness, and resilience.
Ensuring business continuity in a crisis demands an entirely different route to everything including the fountainhead function – marketing.
While several medium to small businesses, especially, in growing economies such as India or Indonesia were quick to cut down their expenditure on Sales and Marketing as an instant response to fears, those who rather decided to shift strategies turned out wiser.
For the latter, however, the marketing teams had a lot to think, experiment, risk, implement and prove success.
Some of the most important things where the successful brands focused their marketing on, and proved shining were:
Since a crisis affects several stakeholders at the same time, acting on basis of compassion – where you try to recognize the emotions that evoke actions and behaviors — can make a huge difference in restoring motivation.
During Covid, the workers and customers experienced the same kind of financial and health stressors. Hence, those who performed their duties with a pure intent of helping others returned to track faster.
Marketing works its best in terms of creating and retaining brand perceptions in the minds of customers. This is purely about generating and fulfilling the customer trust.
The end to end contactless deliveries were embraced by many businesses slowly, but there were very few who showed up on different channels – videos, ads, direct interactions etc to prove their precautions and compliances.
In a turbulence, the entire marketing should focus on maintaining the loyalty and trust through strategies that make sense in the given situation. Since contactless delivery made maximum sense, emphasizing on that was a remarkable move.
This starts with literally going back to the drawing board and repositioning the brand. The most important lesson learned on this during the Covid times was – identify how essential is your product or service in the current situation. Does it fall under essentials?
If no, then looking for alternative product or indirect ways of bringing your offerings to the level of “essentials” in the given situation should be the prime strategy. Marketing can do wonders in terms of bringing this idea to life.
Then, you need to start riding on the customer trust again where you make the essentials looks accessible, safe and trust worthy etc.
Keep Users Engaged Even If They Aren’t Buying
Generating user-oriented content and seeing it consumed even when a crisis hits and buying stops, can be a key contribution from marketing. Slowly as the situation improves, that continued engagement can potentially drive conversions.
Losing sight of what customers want to see, hear or consume through your brand is equally critical as selling.
Ensuring Service Excellence
This is an area where compassion works at its best. When fears and uncertainty rule everyone’s mind – all people in the team, keeping up the focus becomes hard.
However, a wave of compassion flowing from the top to bottom or bottom to top can help generate the motivation and necessary focus despite all fear-laden distractions or under-performance.
Track Everything and Invest More on What is Working
It is important to measure the effectiveness of the innovation and repositioning you do in response to a crisis. Not everything brings about expected results. Hence, channelizing your investments on what is working better is important for revenue and continuity.
Turbulence hits us every now and then in vivid forms and scales. We need to be armed well to leverage our cannons all the time. Marketing has continued to be the prime cannon in that respect!