The recent pandemic is perhaps the most painful slap in the face the global society has ever received. When the first lockdowns were implemented, everyone knew that nothing would ever be the same once they return to normal. This realization can’t be any more true among businesses.
In a survey of nearly 6,000 small businesses in the U.S., economists from Harvard, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois found that:
- 43% of small businesses were forced to cease operations temporarily
- 39% of small businesses had to reduce the number of their employees
- A company with a monthly expenditure of more than USD$10,000 only had enough cash to stay afloat for two weeks.
Revenue is a big problem for most businesses as people can no longer go shopping as freely as they did pre-pandemic. Those who managed to weather the storm, if not thrive, did so by changing their manner of doing business, starting with their marketing campaigns.
Take note of the following things these businesses got right about their campaigns and why yours should consider adopting them.
Hire a Professional Service
Businesses are often split between getting a fully-fledged marketing agency and doing campaigns in-house. However, experts say neither option have a considerable advantage over the other.
For instance, an agency like Caffeine London already has the necessary tools and expertise ready. If there’s one thing marketers have learned about London, it’s that localization plays a significant role. Hiring one that’s been working in this nuance of the U.K. for years knows all too well what’ll stick and what’ll flop big time.
On the other hand, an in-house marketing team understands a business’s goals much better. After all, it only has to further one brand’s image, unlike an agency that has to manage multiple brands. However, the company itself will have to shoulder the cost of equipment and training, among other essentials. Unless you get a big-time investor to invest, the in-house option can be too costly.
The right choice depends on the situation. Sometimes, having both in a limited capacity is a better setup than preferring either.
Harness Online More Than Ever
Even as shops and stores slowly reopen, a sizable chunk of business activity has shifted online. In a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), e-commerce saw a spike around the second quarter of 2020. In the U.K., total e-commerce sales went up by over 30% from over 20% in the previous quarter. In the U.S., it increased to a little over 15% from 10%.
Accordingly, the report also showed that searches for the term ‘delivery’ increased around March 2020, when most of the world went into lockdown. Even as the countries started easing restrictions later in the year, interest in delivery services remained high. There’s no reason that this trend will subside anytime soon, given that COVID variants are still on the loose.
With the safety of physically buying goods still in question, businesses should focus all marketing efforts on their online stores and social media accounts. Below are several starter tips:
- Post updates of new products and promos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- Make sure that your website is usable and viewable on mobile as on desktop.
- Create valuable content to post on both your website and social media pages.
- Take steps to protect your customers’ data better, especially credit card info.
Put Customers First
For the record, prioritizing customers has always been an immutable tenet of doing business before COVID. The only difference today is that a marketing campaign must now consider the significant changes in their lives due to the pandemic. For example, they’re spending more time cooped up at home; think how your business can help.
Teleparty, which is formerly known as Netflix Party, is one example. This is a Chrome extension that allows up to 50 people to binge-watch the same show without physically being in one’s house. Even better is that the app supports multiple streaming services (hence the name change). Its creators have the right idea of keeping friends and relatives together in these trying times.
Of course, your business doesn’t have to develop an entirely new product or service. You can simply listen to customer feedback and then improve your existing goods upon it. Doing so will give the impression to customers that you’re taking their word seriously.
The pandemic is undeniably a hard time for everyone, customers and business owners alike. If you want your business to thrive, let alone stay alive, you must change your mindset and try something new. Nobody said it’d be easy, but it’d be worth it in the long run.