Written By Annika Launay
We will get through this together. Pivot. Plan. Perform.
No matter your industry, with COVID-19 amongst us, the need for your business to have a clear communications plan in place is more essential than ever. From your internal communications to social media to whether you need to raise your voice in the industry, you need to pivot, plan and perform to maintain market position.
More now than ever, the need for guidance on messaging, communications and positioning, is of paramount importance in order to minimise the downturn.
But where to start...
Think about your UVP or Unique Value Proposition – have recent developments altered this? Have you pivoted your core product or service offering in order to maintain market share during this period? If so, communicating this change of direction or strengthening your current position is of paramount importance.
You will also need to consider who your target audience is – has this changed? By answering these important questions, you are then in a position to understand how to best communicate your key messaging.
Whilst we always advocate a multi-faceted approach at PDPR, and one that encompasses a variety of elements within the marketing mix, it must also be understood that not all communications channels are valid or appropriate for every business.
Whilst some of the traditional marketing mix elements (such as events, media famils, product launches and experiential activations) are firmly off the table for the time being, there are still many effective communications methods available.
Now is the time to strengthen existing channels such as:
1. SOCIAL MEDIA
People are spending a lot more time on their personal devices. Now is the time to be actually investing in your social media, growing your voice, your feed and the online community around you.
2. VIDEO CONTENT
Utilise video. While physical interactions may be limited, reach out personally with video to build loyalty, brand and resonance. Video is more engaging that static images and captures the viewer’s attention for longer periods. Video is more memorable and is known for increased views and engagement.
3. PUBLIC RELATIONS
COVID-19 is affecting us all in one-way or another. If you are doing good work in the community, if you have a business story, (good or bad), if you have a product that will support better mental or physical health or can promote an item that will be of benefit in isolation. Now is the time to tell the world about it. There will always be business opportunities to be had; it’s just a matter of pivoting, planning and then performing.
4. DIGITAL INFLUENCERS
Movement towards virtual events and a further push for online sales means that Digital Influencers are still a strong marketing channel in this space. Influencers are great to work with for additional brand exposure, to amplify competitions and giveaways, and to add additional credibility to your key messages.
Whether you utilise e-communications for internal or external marketing, this method can have far reaching impact – especially in a time of mass information requirement. With analytics, including open and click through rates easily tracked, email marketing can show strong results instantaneously. This is a very effective method for both consumer and business-facing communications.
Alongside communicating your key messages, a vital consideration is how your brand is being represented during this time of uncertainty. As we’ve already established, market volatility is causing many businesses to rethink and reshape many of their products and services. In many cases, staffing teams are being redeployed to other divisions, being told to work remotely or in more difficult cases, being laid off due to unprecedented decreases in demand.
During this time, considering how your path forwards will impact your brand and identity into the future is paramount. Being mindful of the tone of voice used in your company communications, keeping up to date with the latest - and most accurate - information and providing relevant service support to customers are all key elements that are important to keep front of mind when strategising your marketing and communications efforts moving forwards.
How exactly can I pivot my business during this uncertainty?
Consider this. A furniture business for example could focus on their Australian- made goods and with the likelihood of imposed isolation, tapping into the desire for a safe haven by promoting the concept of hygge* (this would form the newly formed UVP). With more people at home with their devices, the audience would be based on existing databases as well as new markets activated through sponsored digital interactions. A strong focus on social media and e-communications will help to achieve the delivery of this messaging.
Having staff on hand to answer email/phone enquires in a timely manner and offering free or discounted delivery will support a sales strategy. While this may not directly result in a short-term sales spike, it will help to move the dial once the virus and initial panic passes.
We are all very much in this together. By pivoting your business and communicating those changes to your target audience in a way that is strong, direct and sincere, you can minimise the undoubtedly massive impact this virus (and its economic implications), will have.
*a feeling of coziness and general mood of comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.
ADVISORY8. Is a strategic marketing consultation firm offering complex communications matrix mapping. We work with you to establish your current market position, then provide assessment, advice and recommendations across each marketing facet, (the ADVISORY8.). Our report finding can then be implemented in-house or utilised to direct out-sourced agencies.
As directors of full-service marketing agency PDPR, Briana Cicchelli and Annika Launay have spent over twenty years creating, building and delivering multi-faceted marketing and communications campaigns for companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
It is this hands on experience combined with extensive knowledge that makes them perfectly positioned to consider your entire marketing matrix, from your brand and social media content to your ad spend, to ensure your next move is comprehensively supported by a marketing strategy that is optimised for success.