These are chaotic times that no one could have predicted.
Some brands had to make swift decisions and completely alter their business models, while others had to refocus their brand messaging entirely, and many companies have had to do both.
As a full-service marketing agency, we have had to adapt quickly and formulate new strategies for ourselves and our clients. We’re working to formulate these new strategies, build new marketing structures and agendas, and assist with the timely delivery of these plans and messages. Unfortunately, that’s not enough under these circumstances.
Even in these unprecedented times, businesses must think ahead and ensure their strategy doesn’t just help them today, but also in the future, especially with these rapidly changing times.
To get started with a plan for the future, you have to ask yourself some simple but powerful questions.
What are your current goals?
For many companies, getting through the next quarter, the next month, or even the next day is a struggle that takes priority. Because of this, it can be hard to think ahead and prepare for the future. But for many others, the crazy roller coaster that we’re all experiencing is providing unexpected opportunities.
While overwhelming and, at times, frustrating, these opportunities can force businesses to make crucial decisions they typically would have put off. This new normal will change the way business is conducted in many industries and formerly sluggish strategies will now be pushed to the forefront.
What do you want to communicate to your audience?
Ask yourself if the communication you’re considering is genuinely required. Sometimes it is better to simply be quiet than to say something, just to say something.
Emphasis should be placed on the tone and the necessity of all communications. Is your company just adding more noise to an already loud situation, or are you providing real value for your followers? Marketing initiatives that were in place before may now feel too aggressive and will come off as insensitive. Continuing to use these may backfire, so be sure to reevaluate previous strategies and put new plans in place.
Companies and their brands also need to show empathy and offer solutions while still being available for assistance. This probably won’t help your bottom line, but it will ultimately maintain and restore relationships. Once our world returns to “normal,” people will remember those who supported the community and worked to build deeper connections.
Does your messaging add value?
Valuable information is only relevant if the message is delivered at the right time. If you have something beneficial to say or offer, now is the time. But be sure to do it in a way that is on brand and considerate of the current climate and your target audience.
We are all facing various and unexpected obstacles right now. Still, the organizations that can remove these roadblocks and get their strategic message out quickly and efficiently will have a considerable advantage over those that move too slowly.
Can your message help your audience?
For many organizations that aren’t considered essential, the next few months may be a struggle. If your company provides something that can be of service right now, you should rush to build messaging that clearly explains its need and value. This also goes for products or services that, with some nimble strategy, can deliver a needed value to its customers.
For example, many businesses know how imperative e-commerce capabilities are, and they are capitalizing as many people are shopping from home. Many companies are putting into place new delivery and curbside pick-up initiatives. These creative and smart strategies are imperative right now so get creative and ensure your message matches your objectives.
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Is your business adaptable?
Not every business has the ability to adapt quickly, so focus on the adjustments you can make when you can make them. Some ideas to make your business adaptable include:
- Offer free delivery if in-store sales are a challenge.
- Create a curbside pick-up program.
- Create online workouts if your business is a gym.
- Offer a carryout menu if you are a restaurant.
- If you are a dinner restaurant, expand into breakfast or dinner.
Even a minor change can make a major difference, so don’t be afraid to be innovative. Acclimate your services to the needs of your customer base. This is not the time to make the highest sales, but to find simple ways to keep your business alive.
Are you prepared for the future?
There are some businesses and brands that will handle this situation and handle it well, so be that business! Be the business that people remembered during a difficult time. People will recognize how you handled your marketing, so instead of pushing an agenda, focus on the future.
Have a good strategy in place for when things begin to normalize. Whether this means a new website, a revised social media campaign, a fresh logo, or promotional mailings, work on a plan for the future that will benefit your business and make it stand apart. If you prepare for it now, your transition will be much smoother!