Business continuity has started to get exhilarating for many businesses resuming operations – especially reaching existing customers; and what is even more impossible is creating new business. Unfortunately, 90% of businesses may fail to make meaningful sales and returns in the first few months of a comeback. This means that knowing how to re-market your services or products effectively is critical to your survival at this point.
Strategic marketing is therefore going to demand every little effort, adequate planning, and then be flawlessly executed – welcome to the New Normal. How do businesses achieve this besides the numerous burdens and new customers’ expectations?
There is actually no hidden secret to successful marketing at the moment, because the secret itself is in how the whole marketing process, new consumer preferences, and crisis sales strategy is managed. From creating the appropriate awareness and attention to spiral/improve the profit curve.
Well, let’s re-look at a few benefits of business success with strategic marketing:
- Communicates products and services to customers
- Improves brand awareness
- Creates and increases brand visibility
- Positions business in industry and competition
- Builds business and customers’ engagement, creating loyalty and trust
- Creates credibility, and
- Boosts profitability
Just as good marketing can project your business in the best ways possible, there is also the kind of marketing that can turn your business from sweet success to sour failure – bad marketing. Yes, there is such thing as a bad marketing.
Marketing can go bad, especially in a not-so-favourable business season. Now, the reason will not be due to a business’s reluctance to invest the needed attention and a little pain into effective marketing, but the challenges of no proven crisis marketing and the battle of the new normal and customers’ unwillingness and fear for life. To know what type of marketing is right for your business now is a gamble, but doing it right means being strategic and innovative.
Don’t forget these few things are still constant:
- Business model
- Product and services
- Plan and strategy
- Niche, among others
Businesses, currently do not have money to spend on marketing, reaching the right targets, supplying the right market and engaging with the right prospects; hence, reviewing your old plans and bringing out some old tricks with a twist to the new normal will be the smartest thing any business can do.
Here’s how to rewind and include the new normal
- Identify and understand the existing and new audience
Before you can first sell anything, whether a product or services, you need to know who you are marketing to. The ‘Who’ has many determinants. This is the first step in re-defining your target and marketing effectively. A little or more is required here to identify an audience. An improved market research will give you a solid idea of the complete ‘Who’ you are going to sell to.
- The goals – what do you want to achieve now?
What’s the new normal goals? Your new marketing campaign won’t be successful without that.
What do you want to achieve with the new campaign?
Why is it important to your business?
What are the specific expectations?
All these must be projected in order to know where to start, when to start, and following it through to the last prospect.
You probably know the effectiveness of goal-setting. It keeps your efforts focused and resources directed to the right channels. Every marketer set goals. Usually, these goals are set to be tangible, achievable and result-oriented for their campaigns.
While your marketing goals are intrinsically tied to the new business normal, these goals must be set within balance. Not too high or low.
Remember your SMART marketing?
- Realistic, and
- Content, content, more content
We cannot forget – marketing is telling a story. It is not always about selling; but to sell you must create communication, which is content. Content is powerful. Your content should cut across all levels of your prospect’s receptiveness. Originality and details to content will serve your brand a whole lot. Content goes hand in hand with social media. To sustain your online presence, you need content that speaks volumes to your prospects; and content that can generate leads – performing content.
Simply, create shareable and engaging content and turn your prospects into revenue-driving customers. Your content must appeal to all the senses of your target prospects and levels of understanding.
Creating excellent content can be a lot of baggage. In the process, you need to keep in mind the various projected personalities of your target prospects
- Social Media
Social media is definitely on another level right now – flooding content with both businesses and individuals battling for engagements. It has become one of the most-used marketing platforms to engage with audiences and turning prospects into loyal brand advocates and customers. The truth is, your customers expect you to be using social media as well.
It is imperative that businesses get the peak benefits of social media. It’s biggest about now, which will get prospects or customers to directly respond to your brand and building real relationships with them. It’s a must for businesses to be getting the hang of social media in this crisis to improve business situations and marketing.
- Relationship – Engagement
Customer relationships in this age have become essential and an added advantage in reaching out to prospects on any level of engagement. Whatever media is used as a communication tool, it is mandatory to create a level of engagement. Ideally, it must be approachable, reachable and receptive.
Some customers and experts have raised eyebrows on the need for customer services and relationships, because some businesses have failed or are failing at bonding with their customers and seeking their interests. Simply engage with your prospects. Find out how your business services or products are meeting their needs and solving their actual problems, especially with the pandemic concerns and varied expectations now. Ask them questions and provide the answers
Perhaps the most rewarding and positive marketing is Relationship Marketing. It is easier to sell to people or customers you have created a relationship with. When you first establish that rapport between yourself and a prospect, the magic usually follows.
Now, let’s generate some revenue leads
- Purpose – why do you need to sell it?
First, know why it must be done. The reason for every business activity is important. Avoid being all over the place and doing everything without a purpose, as it will be a total waste of time and money – and in the end, disastrous. What is the aim of marketing your business services or products? When the aim of the campaign is defined, it is easier to pursue it to success. So, first identify the need and aim for your marketing campaign.
- Develop a plan – a fool-proof one
Strategic planning is everything to your business amid a global crisis. Don’t just follow the flow or take steps and decisions when things are unfolding. Running a business is a gambling risk, but the only way to be successful is to have a plan; an excellent plan.
Set your plan of action. It doesn’t have to be written professionally or as detailed as a business plan. It can be brief to the point – outlining your tactics, what you’ll sell, who will want to buy and how it must generate leads. The winning plan must focus on generating massive leads and keeping customers.
- Set targets – who are you selling to, who would want to buy?
Old as the hills, but relevant. Targets are crucial to your campaign. Define the set of people or prospects who you can sell your services or products to, and will be willing to buy. Customers have different preferences and tastes.
To define the right target for your business services and products, you first need to identify the unique target that has a higher need for them or is cut out for the services and products you have developed to sell. Defining a target for your marketing campaign will save you time, costs, and unnecessary prospect coverage.
- Strategy/approach – tactics; how you go about them
As much as every other step of your marketing campaign is important, this is the most important of all. It is how you would execute the plans and strategies. This is where it all happens. The approach must target your prospects at all stages of your marketing/sales cycle. Outline your primary marketing strategies and match them with approaches or tactics to use for reaching prospects.
What will your strategy or tactics be?
- Budget – how much are you willing to spend?
We can’t discuss marketing without a budget, much more so when a business is just picking up pace within a major global crisis – cash is damn relevant! It’s the determinate of your campaign success; not entirely, but definitely the force that will make your marketing plans materialise. Money is a huge challenge for businesses today, but to run a successful business and impact growth you need to devote a percentage of your projected gross income or sales toward your marketing budget and activities.
Marketing is an essential aspect of your business success and must be invested into. You do not need to break the bank to carry out a successful marketing campaign.
Clues to consider:
- Never exceed your budgets
- Adjust budgets frequently within financial power
- Use affordable and accessible media
- Never stop marketing
- Consistency – how often will you be selling?
This is an unavoidable question for business continuity. Consistency is key – it keeps your business fresh in the minds of customers. It makes your business relevant and grooms your existence.
New businesses sprout every day, and already existing markets are very competitive. To stay on top of your game, you must be consistent. Marketing is a process that never ends. Consistency also implies meeting demand and supplying when its high. It also means staying in business.
>>>The writer is the CEO of Commec Group, a business development consultancy. She is a multiple award winning Business Development Consultant and a Writer. For business and engagements: [email protected] / www.commec.group