What happens when something beyond your company’s control happens that affects the way you sell your product(s), acquire new customers, or communicate with existing customers?
When the economic crisis is just around the corner, as it was in 2008, or recently when the real threat of a pandemic due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 virus) appeared, every management board and business owner is wondering how to survive.
What to do to minimize losses and stay on the market? How to proceed when the vision of the company’s collapse makes you sleepless?
Peter Drucker once wrote:
“The purpose of business is to generate customers, and only two things provide this function: marketing and innovation. Other business functions are expenses”
What should you do then?
👉 Primo, stay calm❗️
👉 Secundo, don’t give up your marketing activities❗️
By limiting the possibility of acquiring new customers, you limit your chances of getting money.
Many companies made the basic mistake of surviving and waiting for the A/M events to end. Successful companies have used several common tactics to accelerate growth:
➡️ Invested heavily in research and development.
➡️ Sales teams have been focused on the highest priorities among customers and potential customers.
➡️ Maintained marketing activities while competition restricted it.
➡️ Focused on improving the quality of customer service by making it simpler and personalized by investing in digital opportunities.
➡️ Moved their marketing and sales efforts to the online world.
Effective advertising is one of those things that can save you. Therefore, don’t give up your marketing activities!
Increase the resonance and credibility of your brand
When increasing your resonance and credibility, don’t just look at the number of your followers on social media (this is an aspect that shouldn’t be trifled though), but also your credibility in the digital space.
Focus now on preparing case studies and testimonials from customers to post on your website and on social media. It’s an easy way to achieve „social proof” that brings value and credibility to your company.
Take action before the next crisis hits you.
Build a community around your business
Regardless of whether your business is in the B2B or B2C sector, ambassadors and the community built around your brand are key elements of your success in times of crisis.
In a world where almost everything is digital, online promotion is personalized in every way, nothing beats a friend or trusted friend’s recommendation when it comes to bringing a case to sell your products or services.
In an economic context where consumers are careful with their spending, brands that survive will be the ones that have not given up in this difficult time, maintaining a close relationship with their audience.
Social media marketing is the best solution to increase your brand community on a budget as you can share your messages and interact with your target people on a larger scale using Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – depending on the characteristics of your target audience.
Build a marketing system aimed at generating new customers
Increasing the database of potential clients should be one of the top priorities of any business. Of course, the crisis complicates the situation – if there is less money in the market for transactions, it will be more difficult to convince new prospects that you are their best option available.
In B2B marketing, the Thought Leadership Content* strategy is an excellent solution as it brings value to your ideal consumers in return for their contact details.
*What is the Thought Leadership Content?
Simply put, it’s thoughtful content that portrays your brand as the main authority in the industry. The goal of this strategy is to inform, educate, provide information and help expand your organic reach.
Therefore, the content you will publish should not be:
➡️ marketing articles about a service or product offer
➡️ content created mainly for SEO purposes
Well thought-out content should be available in a variety of formats, including:
➡️ blog posts
➡️ content uploaded to other publications
➡️ original research work
➡️ virtual events such as webinars
Social Media Campaigns
Using advanced targeting tools on social media campaigns can help you when promoting your product or service to an audience that has already interacted with your brand.
PPC / Google Marketing will help you position your brand in the best Google search results for relevant keywords and phrases, so when potential customers are ready to buy your products / service, they will find you there (not your competitors).
In another scenario, after capturing your inbound marketing data, your sales team may initiate conversations to determine where your business can add value to potential customers.
Awareness and engagement campaigns can also be integrated with an optimized inbound marketing system so that your online promotional budget will provide new business opportunities and increase brand recognition in your niche.
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Use cold campaigns to reach your Ideal Client directly
While content-based marketing strategies require our commitment and patience, cold e-mail or LinkedIn campaigns allow us to reach decision-makers quickly and directly with a message. Cold actions can also support the previously described marketing strategies.
Thanks to them, we can direct our recipients to a blog or a webinar. Statistics from our campaigns show that over 40% of people who read our e-mail enter the website.
Integrate marketing automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning with your sales and marketing systems
AI and Machine Learning should be your best friends for accelerating your marketing and sales efforts, but also for automation and optimization, as well as for increasing the efficiency of internal processes.
Even though it sounds complicated, there are many Software-as-a-Service solutions that use cloud data and algorithms to analyze a company’s internal data to suggest effective actions or workflows to lead potential customers to the purchasing phase.
When applying this technology to internal processes, it is important to have a well-developed Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System that contains the correct data on the basis of which these automations can be programmed.
These are opportunities that can lead to building an intelligent marketing system, but also to increasing customer loyalty. Of course, they can always be explored more deeply and ensure a stronger brand position in a difficult economic situation. Why should they be your starting point?
The key to your business thriving in a tough economy is to keep a good flow of new incoming customers while spending your budgets more efficiently – all while maintaining your leadership position.
Conduct your marketing campaigns wisely
Bombing your customers with more ads, webinars and e-mails is unlikely to move your potential customers. On the contrary, they will start to ignore you, or worse, they will start to get annoyed with so much advertising and emails.
You need to add creativity and innovation to your activities. Go back to your business and marketing goals, look at the blank page and start brainstorming. It’s time to innovate. Innovation is tough, really tough. There is nothing worse than staring at a blank blackboard. A few tips:
✅ Gather a diverse group of employees. You need to choose the right group for the size of your organization.
✅ Write down any interesting comments you have heard from customers, new marketing trends or competitive activity. Just write it down, don’t argue until it’s all on the board. If you need more knowledge, please ask the following questions:
➡ What do our clients like?
➡ What are our customers complaining about?
➡ What do our customers expect?
➡ What is our competition not doing (marketing, not product features)?
➡ If we eliminate the marketing channel X, what other ways could we achieve the same?
➡ Are there any new technologies or channels that may be of use to us?
Now look for sparks that can fire new ideas.
Create a list of opportunities.
Take inspiration from a lot of data and comments. Of course, you should be doing all of this all the time, not only during the crisis. Yet most of us move so fast that we forget to devote our time to strategic things.
Focus on inbound marketing
Inbound Marketing is an ideal solution in times of crisis. Thanks to our discipline, we can achieve high ROI from our activities. For example, the cost of acquiring a lead for a company that uses it is 60% lower than traditional marketing techniques.
By offering useful and engaging content, Inbound Marketing is the right strategy in times of crisis. When you post such content, consumers and potential customers can start thinking about buying. High-value content for the consumer that does not require significant investments and costs for us.
How should advertising and marketing processes be managed during the crisis?
As we have already mentioned, one of the biggest mistakes companies make in times of crisis is to stop advertising and marketing. It is believed that you can save money by reducing your advertising and marketing expenses. However, maintaining the ad and operating in accordance with the new strategy can be an advantage especially when most companies show similar reflexes (by cutting all expences).
What do we recommend?
Of course, there are criteria that companies should follow when managing their advertising and marketing processes. Here is the list:
➡ Even if your competition stops, you keep going.
➡ Overcome anxiety and stress. Turn this situation into an opportunity without stopping your advertising and marketing efforts.
➡Define your marketing strategy and drag the market.
➡Be more visible thanks to advertising, use the possibilities. The budget you use for advertising and marketing is not a waste. When you avoid ads, this means you lose more sales and bigger turnover than you save.
➡ Convince your audience that you are the right brand. In times of crisis, anxiety and stress build up. The consumer is looking for additional reasons to trust you before buying. Highlight the experiences of other customers.
➡ Select the appropriate audience. Prepare the right audience segments instead of generalizing your communication during a crisis.
➡ Set up correct communication. During these periods, the marketing messages used on a daily basis do not have a strong impact. Advertising processes must be managed with a specific message that creates a strong link between price opportunity and benefit.
➡ Select the appropriate media. It is necessary to quickly reach the target audience on crisis days with an appropriate message. Obviously, digital is the most effective channel in such processes.
➡ Use social media effectively.
➡ Set an appropriate budget. When continuing with your advertising activities, decreasing your budget too much, limits access to your target audience. On the other hand, increasing your digital marketing budget raises your availability. It strengthens your brand awareness.
➡ Cooperate with the appropriate agency. Partners also facilitate the creation of effective solutions in times of crisis.
Let’s summarize the topic of the Economic Crisis.
Nowadays, companies are particularly interested in refocusing on their core businesses, taking advantage of their strengths, competitive advantage and differences from their competitors.
This doubles the challenge of the crisis: cutting your budget to a reasonable extent between promoting your products and positioning yourself as experts with clients.
Content marketing is the right strategy for a company in this respect. You can contact your customers and your contact base by focusing on the strengths of your offer and your business specialization. Creating content such as articles, videos, lead magnets, combined with discipline and regularity, will relieve the budget.
Thus, there are marketing strategies in times of crisis that are also proving effective and justified in terms of investments. In this context, inbound marketing, content marketing and publishing our content on social media seem most appropriate.
Thanks to the previous tip in our posts, you can quickly get ahead of the competition, which will stop marketing activities during this time. Thanks to this you have a chance to attract new business partners. Less competition in the market also means lower cost of marketing activities, as fewer companies are fighting for the customer.
We hope you found our tips useful.
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