What Do We Do Now?
A personal message from Kimberly Brandner
I DID NOT HAVE OUR WONDERFUL WRITERS DRAFT ELOQUENT COPY. INSTEAD I WANTED TO QUICKLY SHARE MARKETING CONSIDERATIONS DURING THIS MARKET DISRUPTION.
Covid-19 sucks. Not sure there is any other way to look at it. As your marketing partner, we want to provide recommendations and insights how to navigate this uncharted territory.
We have spent a lot of time listening, watching and strategizing on the questions that every manufacturer should be asking in regards to marketing right now. Do we stay the course (A: possibly) Do we pull back (A: nope)? Do we course correct (A: possibly)? All, great questions. But we believe the question we should be considering is WHERE IS THE OPPORTUNITY?
If we go back to the recessions in the 80s, 90s and the mid-2000s, research is clear: Brands that maintained or increased advertising budgets achieved sales growth by more than 50%. And even more importantly, they experienced an increase in sales by over 200% compared to their competitors who didn’t keep a strong marketing presence. Brands that continued their course increased brand awareness and share of market significantly, which is critical if you aren’t the #1 brand in your segment.
Here is what we know. Many of the audiences you are targeting are not moving! This makes it easier to get your messaging/products in front of them. They also have more time to “check brands out” and take time for education. Being able to pinpoint where a target audience will be is a marketer’s dream. Projections are indicating that screen time will increase as much as 300 to 400% during this “stay at home” captivity.
The opportunity: We need to be brand leaders now. We need to focus on the needs of your audiences and deliver messaging that resonates. We need to be solution providers, community builders and, most importantly, a company that cares and listens to the needs of your audience. Don’t forget your audiences are real people.
So, here are some of the opportunities that we believe will keep moving your brands forward in a stronger position that will lead to increased growth, brand awareness and ultimately market share. Whatever we do, silence isn’t a solution.
DON’T GO DARK, GO DIGITAL: This is pretty easy. Your audience is captive and in front of the computer. Let’s talk to them! Also, we have been auditing where various publications are mailed – office or home? For example, you don’t want to run print ads if your target is at home, while the magazine is sitting at the empty office. What we found is that on average the ratio is approximately a 60% office/40% home split. So, if they aren’t in the office you are wasting a whole lot of $ talking to no one. Every publication and market is different. We suggest shifting away from print - in some cases -and increasing online exposure. Digital ads, email blasts, retargeting ads, etc. all would be very effective. Messaging is key!
TIME TO EDUCATE & TRAIN: Have a captive audience required to spend an investment in educating and training? Yes, please. Now is the time to promote CEU courses! If you have CEU courses, brush the dust off and start promoting them. Where we see the REAL opportunity is in CEU Webinars, keeping a large audience connected to your brand for an hour is golden. If you have one planned later in the year, let’s talk about moving it up or adding additional ones. If you don’t, let’s get one done quickly! These webinars can bring in anywhere from 300 – 1,500 attendees.
Staying connected from a sales front is also very important right now. We have already seen an increase in online training usage. This goes for sales training, dealer education, etc. Do it via a webinar, by phone, video or via your website. If you don’t have videos, let’s use this time to create them and drive people to them.
LET SOMEONE ELSE BANG YOUR DRUM: In the 30+ years we have been around, we have never seen a bigger opportunity to get exposure in PR. Editors are buried as they are managing print as well as daily content needs on the web. And, working from home has created havoc. Editors can’t do it all and they are leaning heavy on us to fill their publications with our clients’ bylined articles, case studies, columns, photography, quotes, etc. And that goes for brand integration on television as well. PR is highly influential and the opportunities are endless. PR demonstrates brand leadership and the ROI is significant. PR should be a foundation strategy in your marketing efforts, especially in this environment.
DIGITAL MARKETING IS CRITICAL: We know the audience will be online more. You want them on your website. Putting more power behind driving people to your site would be money well spent (PPC). And, while we are at it, adding tools to your website to keep them engaged would be timely.
HOW ARE YOU ENGAGING ONLINE: If you haven’t already done so, connect with your captive audience online both via your WEBSITE and on SOCIAL media. Add chat functionality to your website so we can meet them where they are. Provide tools to engage them and that lead them to product purchase. Use this time to make your website robust. And your SOCIAL MEDIA presence should communicate that you are here for them and will be there every step of the way. Show that you are a brand that is engaged, responsive and that cares. People want to work with brands and people they feel connected with – let’s get connected.
What started off with just a few thoughts has become a very long email. If you are still reading this, thank you. Please know that we are here for you and want to help you navigate this time, but more importantly, we want you to be successful. Let’s not give power to this disruption but instead emerge as growth leaders.
If you want to discuss your marketing strategy or just need a friend, feel free to call me or anyone on the BC team. In the meantime, if you need hand sanitizer, check out our video and make your own (it is so much better than store bought): BC HAND SANITIZER
All the best,