COVID-19 has radically changed the world and our economy. Business leaders and marketers around the world have been thinking about the best way to position themselves and their products and services, not only to survive but also to emerge stronger.
For many people, the threat of an economic crisis evokes fear and uncertainty. But the survey shows that 14% of companies improve growth and margins during recessions. Therefore, strategic and smart gains can still be achieved if you rephrase your message and shift your focus to the right sectors.
As we face the economic challenges that will inevitably remain at your doorstep, let me share four marketing tactics that will help you and your organization improve sales and marketing success during a recession.
- Identify the needs of your new marketing strategy and tactics
What we experience is not normal. Accurately understanding the impact of the recession is essential not only for your company but also for your customers.
To do this, put noise aside and focus on the most important issues and identify your top priorities. Next, you need to develop new strategies based on exactly how you work, the sectors you sell to, and your customers.
It also means doing your homework and digging into it. Study industry and peer research to determine the impact of the pandemic. Talk to your customers; you must not question them. Talk to you to understand your challenges and emerging scenarios.
I recommend talking to at least 15-20 customers and using this information to confirm (or refute) your original hypothesis. Interviews should also provide ideas about future itineraries.
Use the information to compile a list of supplies:
- Economic opportunities: how can you gain weight with your business, but not build muscle?
- Operational improvement: where can you free up money while maintaining operational strength?
- Sales and marketing: how can you strengthen your customer base by identifying new revenue streams?
- Customer-focused results: What data and information can you use to engage business decision-makers?
- Rethink your product and your audience
After gaining perspective through prioritization, think about how you sell, how you market, how you position your product or service, and whom you are aiming for.
Adapt your product or service to these emerging needs and focus on how your product or service will contribute to the customer’s business goals. Focus on selling results, not selling assets.
Resist the urge to continue with what you’ve always done.
Consider which sectors are most likely to be affected by the recession pandemic and how they can affect your approach to the market. For example, your product or service may be very technical, but maybe it’s time to reach out to the business decision-maker, not the IT manager, with a message about how your product can help them deliver operational efficiency?
In addition, in a recession, midsize companies tend to move faster than larger ones, so rethink your audience accordingly.
Make sure that the desired results are specific to the desired sectors: financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare will produce different results.
- Rewrite your story and use the corresponding tactics
You cannot tell the same story as before the pandemic. Think about what you’ve learned and how you can use it to train your positioners and interact effectively with your customers.
Emphasize what is positive and be empathetic. You must be willing to have a long-term perspective. Find the right balance between being too anxious and transmitting too much fear. You still need to edit your message.
In short, be sincere and emphasize the positive impact of your product or service, especially how it meets customer needs or achieves desired results. The message you used in 2019 will not be relevant in 2021.
I also recommend that you recognize the pain. Recognize the situation your customers are in and use it as a reference to strengthen yourself. Offer a product or service solution that helps them prepare for growth and, most importantly, progress in the game.
Show how your customer can keep up with the competition with your offer.
- Focus on digital marketing strategy and tactics to increase demand and increase sales
Now is a good time to assess how you’re running your business. Personal interaction is fundamentally disrupted, so you must accept that digital is now the primary channel for establishing and conducting business.
Learn how to expand the capabilities of your technology and discover new ways to connect with your audience. That means thinking about how to promote your brand or fill out your sales pitch.
If you’re rethinking your digital strategy, you need to rethink your metrics. Determine what success is. Success in 2021 will be different from success in 2019.
Update your sales pipeline and learn how to evaluate new opportunities by redefining success. Choose the criteria that fit your specific marketing mix, because digital marketing is not a process. Start all over again. Take a look at your company’s reality and find out how your digital approach may differ from your personal approach.
Finally, make sure you have the right platforms to conduct digitally, whether at lunches and virtual chat meetings, virtual workshops, or live events in webinars and webcasts.
Digital is no longer a pure mainstream strategy. This should be your approach to almost all sales and marketing activities.