Stop losing time and start marketing again!

Is now the right time to ramp-up marketing again? What are the down- / upsides of not doing marketing during the pandemic. A 'New Norm' Marketing Guide.

Over a long period of time my personal opinion of marketing was not the best one! I summarised this discipline always as ‘bullshit bingo‘ – marketeers were offended (my wife is one of them) and colleagues thought I was too pushy… what I wanted to say with this term was, that marketing is just a lot of well chosen words and pretty pictures and that everyone with some street smarts can pull out a good marketing campaign!

I’m now less than 6 months in my new role as a Business Director of a marketing agency, surrounded by dozens of experts (10+ years of experience in their discipline) and I love it! Why? It’s so much more than just words and pictures and if you are doing marketing the right way, it’s a tremendous enabler for every business. There is so much more depth to it than I ever thought.

My new holistic marketing view:

marketing overview

To keep it short – I hereby publicly apologise for being wrong about marketing in the past!

Why it’s time to start marketing again?

WARC reported that the global advertising spend will fall by 8.1% in 2020 and we all know why – COVID’19. We have all read far too much about the pandemic and it’s impact so I’ll come straight to the point:

The new norm won’t disappear very soon. Even IF we find a vaccine – scientists are still saying IF and not WHEN – we still don’t know if the vaccine will resolve all limitations we are experiencing at the moment. The other unknown is when will we hit the right vaccination level for the population to stop the spread – it won’t happen over night, that’s for sure.

As a former risk manager, I tried to get a grip on the situation and asked myself what would be the best, most likely and worst case outcomes. I read lots of different but ones but this, for me, was the best content regarding ‘when will life return to normal?’:

When Will Life Regurn to Normal

Source: Visual Capitalist

My conclusion is

  • Best case – we are back to the old / normal world mid next year / 2nd half of 2021.
  • Worst case – it stays like it is for a very long period of time (several years).
  • Most likely – the world will be different forever – in good ways (e.g better overall hygiene) and bad ways (e.g. someone has a persistent cough next to you and no mask on…how high is your anxious level post COVID?)

As a responsible business leader I’m came to the conclusion that I need to accept the situation and adapt my understanding of the world and how business will be done in the future.

When I look at these scenarios I wonder is NOW the right time to invest in marketing again?

Ask yourself these 2 simple questions:

  1. What is your overall business goal?
  2. Why did you ever invest in marketing in the first place?

I see it very simply – in the end, a business wants to grow or maintain their yearly revenue & profit and marketing is an enabler to reach these business goals!

So why did you reduce your marketing spend so far in 2020?

“We don’t know what will happen, that’s why we cut costs as much as possible to be more resilient for the unknown future.”

Absolutely valid and the right risk averse approach, but how much more clarity do you need to start investing again?
Opportunities are coming with risks and your competitors don’t sleep, so don’t miss the boat!

“Our clients have a tough time ahead and some of them are maybe not resilient enough. Promoting our services doesn’t feel right in the current situation.”

Why is promoting your service or product ethically not correct? Based on the assumption that your offering is really solving a real-world problem for your client and it really creates value for them then maybe your service swings your client from the break to the make point. There are many great examples out there of how businesses are helping their clients in one or another way; just be creative!

BUT do you have the luxury to wait for better times?

Once a wise man (Philip Kotler) said “Fish where the fish are“! But what should you do when the pond has less fish in it? Should you stop fishing or try harder? This brings me to my final question – What is the impact for your business if the marketing activities are significantly reduced?

  1. Your clients can’t find you anymore
  2. Your clients will forget you
  3. Your leads pipeline will dry out
  4. Your nurture tracks will struggle to convert leads
  5. Your revenue and profit will take a hit

I think there are not many companies out there who can afford these consequences – lucky for you if you are one of them!

Quick ‘New Norm’ Marketing Guide

I also need to put my money where my mouth is and give you marketing ideas, which you can execute without professional help (or feel free to ask us!):

     1. Are your audience able to find you?

    • Google your business like a client would do
    • Understand how your competitors are doing compared to yourself
    • Improve your website based on your findings (keywords, content and assure Google can read your page content with the right structure)

    2. Does your audience clearly understand what problem your product / service solves for them?

    • Ask friendly clients, friends, etc. to just read your homepage and then tell you in a few sentences, what your business is solving for them.
      You maybe well be surprised how they understand your website content.
    • Update your homepage based on their feedback to make your positioning and messaging crystal clear.

    3. Where can you find your audience?

    • Try to describe your customer profile as well as possible and understand where you can find them.
    • Which social media platform are they on and when?
    • Which magazines do they read?
    • What events do they attend (online)?
    • Try a small, very targeted campaign and see if this channel works for you.

    4. Have you ever tried video?

    • Everyone is trying to reach their audience online at the moment, so try something different to cut through the noise.
    • Create a Vlog instead a blog
    • Send an email with a video (Don’t attach the video to the email, otherwise your email will most likely not being delivered. There are free video platforms out there, which create an animated gif for the email and drive the user traffic to a dedicated video viewing page.)

    5. Make the NEXT STEP very clear!

    • Always assure you have a crystal clear Call to Action (CTA) link, button, banner, etc. in place
    • A good CTA can be ‘Request a Demo’, ‘Book a Meeting’, ‘Follow Us’, etc.
    • Ensure the CTA has a different colour than the overall page colour so your audience can see it!

Don’t forget marketing is an enabler for your business success and NOW is the right time to market your business more than ever before.

I hope this blog triggered a thought process on your side! If you need to talk to experts, even if you just have general questions, our team are here to help, just book a meeting with us using the stylish CTA here!

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