The landscape for all Marketers has shifted exponentially over the last few months.
Whether you’re one of the lucky businesses that’s been able to continue operating online or one that has seen its revenue streams cut off by lockdown, you will have had to adapt.
Some sectors have seen demand outstrip supply, while others have been mothballed, and others still have evolved their business model, moving from offline to online, or eat-in to delivery. Whatever changes your industry has seen, chances are that you’ve been operating in crisis mode for the last few months.
But now lockdown is, at least tentatively, lifting. As firms prepare for the next chapter, what should Marketing teams be doing? How can you get your strategy in place for the coming weeks and months?
Preparing to come out of lockdown – implications for marketing
A blog last week from digital agency 3WhiteHats looks at this issue. Here we pick out some highlights from the blog – what should Marketers be doing now to get their digital marketing ready? The easing of lockdown will bring opportunities – how can your firm capitalise on them?
Who were the lockdown winners?
The blog shares data from Google showing the products and services most in demand. Search terms like “standing desk” and “facemasks” were – probably unsurprisingly high-rankers. Keyphrases relating to virtual work and online shopping also fared well.
Conversely, demand in other areas has fallen off a cliff – although charts in the blog show that at least some of these areas at least are starting to see green shoots of recovery.
The explosion of digital
The lockdown has seen huge growth, as you might expect, in the use of digital technology. Whether it’s online schooling, remote working or the adoption of online shopping by those who have never shopped virtually before, digital has become the saviour in many ways.
What does this mean for Marketers? For some, digital marketing and solutions will be nothing new – they will already have been core elements of your offering and promotional strategy. For others, the foray into more innovative approaches will be new. As the blog says, “if you’re a predominantly offline business, now is a good time to double down on your digital efforts.”
Seizing the opportunity
This naturally brings opportunity as well as challenge. If you’re one of the businesses that’s been lucky enough to see growth, your priority will be delivering on this demand.
On the other hand, if you’ve seen a downturn, as things open up you’ll need to ensure your voice is heard among your competitors. When it comes to digital strategies, 3WhiteHats suggest that you:
- Keep a close eye on market trends to identify opportunities to join the conversation. If this is something you’d welcome a refresher on, you might want to read our blog on how to maximise engagement with your content
- Consider paid social activity. The blog notes that cost-per-click for Google and Bing is lower than usual – you may want to take advantage of this
- Get your SEO in good order to ensure you can be found online
- Make sure your data gathering is on-point so you have data to work with if you want to use remarketing or ramp up your email marketing strategy
- If you work in a regulated sector, don’t forget the need to comply with specific regulatory requirements. Your marketing needs to satisfy the specific rules for your industry, as well as the CAP/ASA regulations that apply to all UK advertising
If you’re governed by the FCA, for instance, this means that your social media and financial promotions need to adhere to its rules. This can seem like a challenge, but our recent blog has advice on how you can make your marketing content both creative and compliant
Get a step ahead
With many industries expected to see a release of pent-up demand when they return to operating at full capacity, now is the time to prepare.
As the blog points out, marketing usually lags behind any spike in demand, being difficult to quickly switch on or off. Today’s situation gives Marketers an unprecedented advantage in that regard. The “pause” button that’s been pressed on many industries gives you breathing space to get ahead, to prepare for the return to (a new) normal.
As the blog says, “Now is the time to ensure your digital marketing is ready so that, when the time is right, you can switch back on and capitalise on the opportunity.”
Brief your creative agencies, identify your target audience (maybe making use of buying personas to fine-tune your approach) and get your email marketing and online campaigns ready to launch. Take steps now to ensure you’re ready to act and get ahead.
You can read the full 3WhiteHats blog on their website.
The coronavirus crisis is just one (albeit quite extreme!) example of the constant change facing all Marketing professionals. Whether it’s evolving customer expectations, delivery methods that are adapting to new technologies, or ever-increasing regulation to comply with, the Marketing Manager’s role never stands still.
If you want to read more on this, and the ways Marketers can respond to the challenges they face, you can download a copy of our whitepaper, The changing role of the Marketing Manager. It’s available from our resource library.
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