Strategic Marketing in Lockdown 2.0
We are living in unprecedented times. It’s now more important than ever for people to adapt and to overcome the challenges they are facing, and this almost certainly applies to the world of business. I’m here to help you do just that, by showcasing the best way for you to market your business in Lockdown 2.0.
Now, you may be wondering, how do I possibly know how to navigate these uncertain times, when the world has never seen anything like this before? The answer is simple. I’ve faced my own challenges as a business owner, and I have effectively overcome them by simply adopting a foolproof strategy that is dependent on a solid foundation of knowledge and experience.
Would you rather watch or listen to this? If so here is the video!
A Snapshot of My Story
Here’s a snapshot of my story. Whilst managing a chain of optician stores for a number of years, I decided to make a change myself. I knew my future held bigger and better opportunities, and that’s why I decided to start my own business. I started a website selling sunglasses, and for the first 6 years we had the highest turnover for any sunglasses e-tailor in the United Kingdom. We knew this from our buying power, buying more than Shade Station and Debenhams. In 2004, our site was issued with a penalty from Google. We were effectively dropped for every single brand, or sunglasses keyword you could think of and plunged to the depths of page 7 and 8. Sales stopped, inventory stalled, and we lost a small fortune. A lot of businesses are finding themselves in this exact situation, right now, albeit through very different circumstances.
The point is, I’ve been there. I understand the hardship that every business owner is facing right now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it may even be possible for you to use Lockdown 2.0 to your advantage by simply adopting a strategic marketing campaign that plays to your strengths. Here are a few examples of companies that have done that so far, by harnessing data collected from Lockdown 1.0.
Which Companies Adapted and Profited the Most From Lockdown 1.0?
There are many companies that have not just adapted, but also profited from Lockdown 1.0. Some of which can be found below.
It’s no surprise that Amazon are at the top of this list. Amazon anticipated that if they invested $4 billion in their process, they could keep themselves afloat during the crisis. World leaders started to order their people indoors, and this opened up a window of opportunity for the company. They soon found themselves as being an emergency port of call to those who were struggling to get access to household goods. They reached a record-breaking income of revenue, but Jeff Bezos found himself having to invest over $4 billion in testing labs, thermal cameras and virus mitigation. This put the company on the brink of their very first quarterly loss since the year 2015.
A big risk, but one that paid off astronomically for them. The accelerated shift that came from the weeks to come pushed Amazon’s stocks to an all-time high. They stand to benefit even more from Lockdown 2.0, due to the risks they took during the first lockdown.
Moral of the story? Risks do pay off, especially during unprecedented times.
Over 75 million people used Microsoft’s Team communication app in April alone. This is up 20 million when compared to the year before. Microsoft shifted to the cloud and this left the company in a good position, given the fact that most people required a remote-working environment. The Team’s app proved to be a valuable investment and they have become a digital backbone for a lot of other companies. As if that wasn’t enough, 90 million players began using Xbox Live in April, another record for the company.
Moral of the story? Technology adaptation is crucial in this thriving digital age.
Apple managed to bring in well over $58.3 billion in March, even though they lost every retail store to Lockdown 1.0. A total of 500 stores were forced to close, but online sales helped them to sustain a resilient first quarter. They released a new MacBook Air, iMac and iPhone due to their expanding ecosystem of services and wearables. Millions of customers who had to work from home, upgraded their tech and investors rushed to crown Apple as being the very first $1.5 trillion-dollar company.
Moral of the story? Uncertain times can open up new opportunities, you just need to look for them.
Zoom reached 300 million active participants in April. The conferencing company have capitalised on the work-from-home boom. Their fake digitalised backdrops have become a cultural cornerstone for businesses during the pandemic. They opened their app to non-paying customers and even schools as well. Zoom became a household name, and now they have over three times as many paying customers as they did before. Revenue is up by 355%.
Moral of the story? Sometimes giving something for free is the best way to make money.
Fantastic Examples of Marketing during the Crisis
So now you know about the companies who have profited and adapted the most during the pandemic, it’s time to look at the companies who have radically transformed their marketing process. By understanding both sides of the coin, you can then begin to understand the changes you need to make, in terms of your business and your campaign.
Time Out to Time In
Time Out magazine is ultimately a guide to the best drinks, food and cultural events. They have changed their name to Time In, showing you the best apps you can play with your friends, the schedules of supermarkets and even some movie recommendations too. This is a prime example of how even those who are most affected by the pandemic, can temporarily pivot to still provide value and meaningful content to their audience.
Inditex, Zara’s parent company have dedicated their efforts to creating masks as well as hospital gowns for the front line. They halted the production of their other clothing to try and help those who need it the most.
Kellogg’s have benefitted from food stockpiling during the pandemic but they have also actively donated over $500,000 to various charities. One of them is the FoodBanking Network. They focus on feeding those who consistently rely on free school meals.
Netflix & YouTube
Netflix and YouTube have had to reduce the bandwidth content was using, by slightly decreasing the quality of the video and audio. They did this for around 30 days so that they could ensure that every user was able to enjoy screen time and distract themselves. They knew that the number of people who would be needing the service would increase, and this is why they have put a lot of effort in to make sure that they could continue providing a quality service during the quarantine period.
Quick & Dirty Marketing Techniques to Help your Company through the Crisis
If you want something that will turn things around for your company pretty quick, then here are some quick and dirty techniques that will help you to do just that. By incorporating these into your full strategical campaign, you can get both short and long-term results which will have a huge impact on your bottom line, your company profit.
You’ve probably seen clickbait headlines all over your newsfeed. A clickbait title makes an urgent and big promise. This could include:
“You’ll Never Believe how You Could Make Millions by Using This Simple Marketing Technique”.
Why it Works
There is no doubt at all in anyone’s mind that clickbait works well, but it is a dirty trick. These kinds of titles are made to make you feel as though there is a sense of urgency or discovery. They may also make you feel like you are missing out on something if you do not click the headline, right now. These headlines make a huge promise. So what’s the issue? The promise often goes unfulfilled.
The result is that you end up quickly clicking off the page, as you are upset that you have wasted those seconds of your life. Clickbait will get you more clicks, but it will lose you customer trust.
How to Do it Right
So is there a way to make clickbait less dirty without compromising efficiency? Sure. You just need to deliver what you promise. If you have an urgent headline, make the content sound urgent.
False scarcity is a dirty little trick that salespeople quite often use. They make their customers feel as though they only have a few minutes or days to buy a certain product at a specific price. Salespeople will often say that they only have so many units available.
Why it Works
It’s true that giving your customer too much time to think is a bad idea. Customers can easily talk themselves out of something, but if you make the effort to create a situation where they have limited time, it forces them to make an impulsive decision. The problem is that most people won’t believe you when you say you only have X items left, or Y amount of hours to order. Mainly because most companies put on another sale right after, meaning the value of the sale is lost.
How to do It Right
If you want to do this right, don’t do it often and make it authentic. Perhaps you are looking to work with 10 companies next year, well the truth is you only have space for 10 more companies. Maybe you are putting on an event and you would like 12 people to attend online, well you only have room for 12 more….as I said make it authentic, if not you will lose customer trust and value.
How to Craft the Best Marketing Strategy in a Covid-19 World
If you want to make sure that your marketing strategy is the best that it can be then you need to combine short-term and dirty marketing strategies with ones that promote long-term growth. I’ve broken this down into stages, to help you to craft your strategy bit by bit.
Stage One- Focusing on your Company Core and your Objectives
Stage one will consist of you planning out the ideals of your company. What do you stand for and why?
Set a Clear Vision, Value and Mission
The first thing that you need to do is set a clear vision, value and mission. If you need some help with that then start with your why.
Set Smart Objectives & Goals
Setting business objectives is your next step. You need to make sure that they are SMART. SMART stands for goals which are:
Some examples of this would include:
- I want to make 20 sales in 1 month, with an average order of £500
- I want to get 10 new clients in 12 months, spending £1000 per month with me
- I want to surpass my competition on Google in 6 months with a budget of £1500 per month
- I want to expand into a new territory in 18 months generating sales of £75k per year, with a budget of £25,000
Setting Secondary Goals
So by this point, you have set a clear vision, value and mission. You’ll also have some SMART objectives and goals that detail what you want to achieve and when. It’s very important that you have some secondary goals running alongside these goals, so you can flesh out your ultimate Covid-19 marketing strategy.
Secondary goals could include what you’re going to do if your customers are not ready to buy yet, or furthering your brand alongside your SMART goals. Take a look below to find some examples.
- I want to build a lead magnet and get 10 leads in 1 month
- I want to post 5 new videos to social media in the next 3 months
- I want to gain 500 more followers on LinkedIn and Facebook in 6 months
- I want to become an influencer and gain 100 views on my podcast
Little goals like this can run parallel to your SMART goals, and they can really help you to solidify your brand without having to worry about compromising the time you have to focus on your primary objectives.
Stage 2- Personas and your Target Audience
Now you know what goals you want your business to achieve, when you want to achieve them by and the budget you have. It’s now time for you to look at your personas and the audience you plan to target. It’s vital that you go as targeted as possible here. At the end of the day, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers if you aren’t careful.
You need to plan out who you are going to sell to and you also need to describe your audience.
- Company Name
- The Size of the Company
- Job Title
Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Target Audience
If you want to really pinpoint the customers that you want to sell to, then simply take a look below.
- How is their job measured?
- What are their goals?
- What challenges do they face?
- What tools do they need to do their job?
- How do they learn?
- Do they have kids?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are their pain points?
Creating your Client/Customer Persona
When you have the answers to all of the questions above, you then need to create some personas. Create as many personas as you need. You might have as little as 3, or you may have as many as 10-15. You’ll most likely need to focus on 3-4 at a time.
When you record a video, write an email or even send out a tweet on Twitter, you have to make sure that you only choose one persona. The questions above should be more than enough to create a couple of different personas from your audience. You can then give each persona a name, to make marketing easier. This could be:
- Small Business Steve
- Corporate Chris
- HR Harry
Stage 3- Building Trust and Consistency
Think about it, are you B2B or B2C? Chances are, you’re P2P. People buy from people. At the end of the day, if you want to capitalise on this particular marketing style then you need to make sure that you understand the concept of P2P.
People buy from people they like, and people they trust. For this reason, you need to build trust and likeability. How do you get people to like you?
Well here are some ideas, you can do this through:
- Being an influencer
- Telling Stories
- Showcasing Case studies
- Writing Personal thought pieces
- Creating Associations
- Sharing Reviews
- Working in Collaborations
- Showing Personality
The channels that you can use for this include:
- Social Media Marketing (check out my LinkedIn Marketing series and the apps the kids are using (Tik Tok / SnapChat)
- Personality Marketing
- Sales and Promotion
- Influencing Marketing
- Growth Hacking
- Cause Marketing and Charity Marketing
- Direct Mail
- Seasonal Marketing
As if that wasn’t enough, you also have:
- Direct Mail
- Inbound Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Events (Check out my digital transformation in the Events Industry)
- Personal Selling
How I Turned Things Around for my Own Business
So you can see, using the template I have just talked about, you need to flesh out your marketing strategy. You can see the companies that have pulled it off already during Lockdown 1.0 and you can also see the companies that pivoted their campaign to make themselves more competitive. You can also see the importance of having a buyer persona, and what you need to do in order to transform your business into a money-making machine, even during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
One question is yet to be answered though- how did I turn things around for my business?
The truth is that it took me around 2 years and three different SEO companies to restore the rankings my site once had. I lost well over 40% of my turnover during this time, so I know the struggle. I met someone in New York who was earning over $250 an hour. In just under 2 weeks, he solved the issue. During this time, I learned the process of SEO, the ins and outs of penalty unwinding and the core foundation that makes SEO everything we know it to be. You could say I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.
That’s why I speak with confidence when I say that it’s possible for you to push through this pandemic and come out the other side more profitable and more able to adapt in the future. It’s possible, you just need to have a good understanding of how your business operates at its core, and the type of people you are trying to market to.
Be positive, be agile, be creative, reach out and look for opportunities.
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How we can help?
- We have teamed up with other businesses during this crisis to offer non billable expert advice, join The Yorkshire Business Club on Facebook.
- Want to network with other Yorkshire businesses? Join our “elevenses” every Friday at 11am-12pm – let us know if you want an invite.
- We offer 1-1 training & consultancy https://fleek.marketing/workshops-training prices start at £175+vat per 2 hours. Minimum of 6 sessions.
- We offer SEO audits from £497+vat these are FULL of value and help you put a plan together.
- We build websites, they typically start from £6k, but can easily go up to £40k depending on requirements.
- We run social media, content, blog campaigns, average spend is £1500+vat per month
- We run social advertising and google advertising campaigns, average management fees are £450+vat per month, plus media spend.
- Hire me 4 half days a month as a marketing consultant to work on marketing strategy for your business
- Hire me as a speaker for your event, a compare for your online event or to run training webinars.