The year 2020 has been a difficult year for many businesses, and while some are coming out the other side now, others haven't survived. It has been a tough time for everyone, and in many cases, it has changed the way that people do business — now and in the future.
It isn't clear if life will ever go back to the way it was before, but one thing is for sure: there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the Coronavirus pandemic, and there are things we can do differently should something similar happen again.
When it comes to your business, it's important to keep going in any way you can. Even in challenging times, if you're unable to open your doors, marketing is still critical.
However, it's important to be sensitive and to make sure you get the messaging right. So, how should you market your business during challenging times?
Remember it's about the customers.
During difficult times, remember that your customers need you, not the other way around. If you want them to be there for you when things get back to normal, then you need to be there for them.
During the coronavirus pandemic, people's lives changed massively, and even the smallest thing can make a difference and help them through it. Let your customers know you're there for them.
For example, the restaurants who adapted by delivering food, and the people who took it upon themselves to shop for neighbours all made a huge difference and helped people to get through the pandemic.
As a business, even if there's nothing physical you can do to help, make sure that you have an online presence and you stay in touch with your customers.
You could send out little client gifts or note cards telling your customers that you miss them or are there for them as this will really mean a lot. Go browsing for customised USB drives which you can fill with useful information or fun things to do to cheer your customers up.
It's these little touches that make all the difference, and it will be these things that keep customers coming back when things go back to normal.
Keep people informed.
As well as reaching out to your customers to let them know you're there for them, you should also let your customers and clients know what you're doing during the challenging times and what proactive measures you are taking.
It's important to be honest, and upfront with people, even if you're not sure yet. Just let them know. This kind of information adds value to customer relationships because it shows that you're honest and that you appreciate your customers.
It's easy enough to keep people updated on social media about what you're doing, and it doesn't always have to be so serious either.
For example, during the pandemic, when people were working from home, this could have been used as an opportunity for some personality content on social media to show how your staff were doing this. People love to see behind the scenes of a business, so you can keep people informed in a fun way with videos and photos and show the fun side of the business whilst still keeping people informed.
Show the value of your company.
Now for the useful stuff to use your company to help through the challenging times. Your company exists in the first place to provide value, and if your products and services can help during a tough time, then you need to let people know so that they can benefit from them.
It might be that you can't help directly, but what you do supports or enhances people's lives. For example, if there were an earthquake, but your company couldn't help directly with building things back up after the earthquake, it might be able to help in other ways such as providing shelter, food, clothes or money.
Whatever it may be, your company can still provide value to people. Think about how you can educate, entertain, or inspire people who need help.
There are many ways you can continue to show your customers that you are there and that you care. During tough times is when marketing is so important, and as long as you keep the focus on helping people, your marketing can continue, it might just have to change a little.