In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, many companies were already preparing for the recovery. But what actually can you do and prepare now already.
Keep in touch with your customers
Even if your business was at a standstill, it is essential to continue to communicate with your customers for several reasons:
- To reassure them that your company is ready for future projects.
- Listening to your customers’ needs to better meet their expectations.
- Restoring consumer confidence, highlighting the company’s values.
These three ways, if properly exploited, will be a springboard for a quicker and stronger recovery.
First of all, communication on the solidity of your company is important, because unfortunately many companies will be in difficulty. The crisis is also economic, so you have to adapt to get through it and work on both internal and external communication. Externally, communication with your customers will be essential to reassure them about the continuity of activities. By showing that you are the right partner and that they can entrust you with projects, you will be able to ensure them. Don’t forget your suppliers, who will also be reassured to know that you will be able to pay their invoices.
On the second point, as José Fernandez CMO from d’Ieteren Auto mentioned, “In a crisis, the first recommendation is not to communicate, but to listen”.
Set up a customer survey. What are their expectations, are they happy with your products/services, how do they see the recovery of activities… ? All these questions will be very useful to adapt to the reality that your customers are living. It is useless to communicate on subjects that are not “audible” worse, unsuitable for the moment.
Position yourself as a partner and find solutions to meet the needs of your customers. They will have changed after this crisis. Therefore, it’s not useless to review your personas in order to adapt your communication and campaigns.
For the third point, which is more specifically aimed at the BtoC sector (retail, banking, leisure…), it is important to keep in touch with your consumers to relaunch your activity and sales as quickly as possible. A brand can quickly be “forgotten” if it does not maintain a relationship with its customers, its community. To do this, in times of crisis, you can highlight your values with actions related to it. Words are not enough, action is essential.
Some ideas of marketing actions to boost your sales
We all hope to “recover” from the lockdown as soon as possible. Although it will be gradual, it is now time to start preparing for it. Here are some marketing ideas to help you get your business back on track and generate post-crisis sales:
- Be active on social networks. Belgians are spending 30% more time since the beginning of the crisis on Facebook, Instagram… If a sales pitch is not in place, staying visible is very important or else you will have to redouble your efforts to regain the pre-crisis level of brand awareness. To do so, present a new value proposition that is addressed to all stakeholders in society.
- Prepare an editorial calendar for the next 12 months. Indeed, content marketing will be one of the keys to boost your sales by generating leads and traffic on your site. Remember that 62% of brands do not deliver the right content. You can make the difference compared to your competitors. In this perspective, read also our latest blog Why the lockdown is the right time to get your content marketing on point.
- Improving the customer experience will be even more important after this crisis, for two reasons.
- With this Covid19 crisis, customers, whether they are individuals or professionals, will have discovered a part of the power of digital platforms and other e-commerce sites. Most of these platforms have relied on the customer experience, which is therefore becoming a standard of service. It’s hard for a consumer to go back after having discovered it.
- After several weeks of confinement, people are going to want to rediscover the freedom and pleasures of life and brands that will manage to provide a nice human contact and a great experience. A brand that can manage to surprise its customers will be a winner, because it will respond to the need for recognition that every human being seeks to have (cfr. Maslow’s pyramid).
- Prepare a “comeback” offer to encourage your customers to go back to shopping.
- Adapt your SEA campaigns according to the volumes and requests of Internet users/Mobinauts. Indeed, with containment, behaviors have changed and adapted to the situation. Some business sectors such as e-lifestyle and non-food e-commerce are booming. There is therefore an opportunity to attract this audience to your site by increasing the daily budget. On the other hand, other sectors are almost or completely at a standstill, such as tourism operators. In this case, it is advisable to pause generic search campaigns and keep only the branding to continue communicating to your audience.
- Adapt your product if it can meet new needs. This is particularly relevant for large companies, but could be useful to others too.
- Create a free trial period for your product or service, because in this period of accelerated and forced digitalisation, companies with digital offerings can and will have boosted the usage of their tools. For example, Microsoft Teams has more than doubled its number of users in just 3 months.
- Launch a public awareness campaign to remind the public that you are still out there and to communicate your recovery.
- Optimize your local SEO, the next months of deconfinement will be gradual and borders will most likely remain closed, so local business will be boosted. Therefore, it’s important to optimize your presence on search engines locally (Google Maps, Google My Business, Store Locator…).
The crisis of Covid19 will have accelerated the digital transformation and therefore create a change in purchasing behaviour.
In Belgium, before the coronavirus crisis, 17% of employees occasionally used teleworking. Today we have exceeded 90% of home working (source: l’Echo).
Obviously all this has an impact on the management and functioning of a company. For years now, we have been hearing about digital transformation with a greater or lesser adaptation depending on the sector of activity, the size of the company and above all the strategic choices made by management. It is clear that even the most reluctant are forced to massively adapt the digital tools to continue the activity to some extent. On this subject, I invite you to read Thierry Geerts’ book “Digitalis. How to reinvent the world”.
The behavior of your employees has changed. With teleworking and the use of different digital tools many companies have had to adapt or will have to adapt quickly if they want to survive.
More than ever, human, digital and local will be important in the coming months and years!