For the past few months, the marketing landscape has been overrun by the Coronavirus pandemic. Businesses have spent countless hours making changes to their marketing strategy and formulating the correct messaging for their audience, to sound sincere but not trite. Just when we think we have settled into the new normal, we face a new obstacle: recession. The coronavirus has dissolved the longest economic expansion in U.S. history (CNBC) and companies are once again faced with how to survive. While this is the first recession to ever begin in the service sector (NY Times), with over 33 million jobs lost (Forbes) it is sure to affect us all.
The Coronavirus crisis is far from being over, and it may be time to adjust our marketing strategies (again). Previous research assured us that consumers liked hearing from their favorite brands during the pandemic, but recent research suggests that may no longer be the case. 41% of those surveyed say that they are ready to hear about other topics (Mitto). We need to shift our focus away from the pandemic and start thinking about what our marketing efforts should look like going forward.
Here’s how that might look:
Assess How Customer Values Have Changed
While our messaging no longer needs to specifically address the coronavirus, it is still important. In Crisp’s 2019 Crisis Impact Report, 90% of consumers surveyed said they feel more inclined to do business with a company that responds effectively during a crisis. Given this information, we should still be sensitive to the current situation with the messages we send, who we are sending them to and the frequency with which we send them.
Use This Time to Improve Your Content
In the Avionos 2020 B2B Buyer Report, buyers were asked what would help them during a recession. About 33% said they would need more quality and accurate information, while 23% said they would need to have greater confidence in their purchases. While sales cycles are slow, now would be a great time to run a Content Inventory and create new content with your value propositions top of mind. It is also important to note that content produces three times as many leads as outbound marketing and is 62% less expensive (Impact).
Embrace the Digital Movement
The cancellation of tradeshows and other events has put a major dent in most companies’ lead gen efforts. However, consumers are spending more time on the internet, especially social media. Consider shifting your strategy and dollars to focus on social and email campaigns and paid media. Whatever you do, don’t ramp down your marketing efforts. Companies that are constant with output are 3.5 times more likely to have improved brand visibility (Impact).
Adjust Your Expectations
Companies are dealing with a great deal of uncertainty, not only when looking at budget but their priorities, too. With a rapidly changing environment and teams being spread out due to remote working, the purchasing process can be lengthened beyond what we are used to (B2C). We need to be careful with our approach and understand when a project needs to be put on hold. Also, be sure to continue to put your best content forward because while other businesses may not be buying, they are still researching.
This recession is undoubtedly different than previous recessions, but the same rules still apply; companies need to zero in on strategy and market their way through. The messaging and method may look different, but it is with the same goal in mind. If we use a targeted approach and add value to our content, we can overcome this obstacle and be better positioned in the future.