5 tips for creating your post-pandemic marketing strategy
As control over the pandemic increases, businesses and their customers balance optimism with curiosity about just what 'normal' will look like going forward. If you’re a startup, taking critical next steps may involve reassessing your marketing strategy. After all, it is indeed a changed world. It only makes sense that your marketing plan could use some adjusting.
Here are five tips to keep in mind as you tackle post-pandemic marketing efforts.
1. Assess Your Brand
As you look at your overall marketing strategy, take a good look at how your brand has weathered the pandemic. Branding is essential to any startup, so you’ll want to ask questions about how your branding strategy might need to change.
Some companies are using the post-pandemic experience as an opportunity to debut fresh logos, taglines and other compelling new messaging for their target audience. Major brands like Burger King and General Motors are two examples of big brands jumping into the refresh fray with new logos and taglines (although some argue it wasn’t a good move for the latter).
If change is in order, remember that you’ll need to revisit all marketing collateral, digital templates, website pages, social channels and other marketing pieces to make sure your brand is refreshed across all your customer touch points - including those you may not think of as marketing (but which nonetheless are) such as invoices, packaging, labels, maps, work vehicle graphics, building and directional signage, etc.
2. Make a Community Commitment
Whether you’re a small retail establishment or a different type of startup, connection to community matters more today than ever. The pandemic created its share of opinions and divisions, but people also learned to bond and help one another as well. The net result is that many of today’s consumers care a little more about whether your company cares about others.
So, tuck community efforts into your marketing plan. Align yourself with charities that mean something to you and your team, and that help your local community. If there are industry-supported initiatives for nonprofits that your company can align with, those efforts work, too. And don’t forget to share your experiences with customers and potential clients. Which brings us to...
3. Weave PR into Your Overall Strategy
It’s easy to get caught up in SEO, organic social and paid strategies for lead generation and other digital marketing tactics. But don’t overlook the power of PR and giving away a little of your expertise for free.
Look at your team of professionals, learn about their strengths, and see if you can leverage them in unique ways to get the company name in front of new eyes. You can position company executives or department managers as thought leaders in their space. You can make them available to the media for interviews and insights on business and industry trends. You can have them contribute to the company blog or chip in quotes on press releases that can be shared on social channels and in publications as you slowly gather a list of media contacts.
PR is a critical nurturing tool that supports all aspects of your marketing plan, from branding to lead generation and everything in between. In many ways it’s proof of your industry relevance. And even better, it’s quite inexpensive to start doing it.
4. Replenish Your Budget
It’s no secret that the pandemic dashed marketing budgets for some companies. If that’s you, then talk to your team about getting the budget back to pre-pandemic levels. Going quiet on the marketing front now, when customer bases are stirring back to life, is a bad move.
If there’s board or leadership friction around spending more on marketing, show them examples of others that are prospering by reinvesting. If those companies are in your particular industry, your pitch for more cash should be an easy one.
5. Analyse the User Experience on All Your Customer Channels
One key to effective marketing involves reducing friction for customers and users. Examine your customer channels to make sure there’s nothing in the way of closing the deal or initiating engagement with a lead.
Any hiccups present pre-pandemic on your website’s contact page, transaction cart or landing page should be ironed out. Lead hand-offs should be fluid. The ability to empathise with prospects seeking to learn more about you is more critical than ever. As you revisit your marketing plan, think of the pathways your audience travels to get to you. Put yourself in their shoes and remove any speedbumps that hinder them from talking to you or spending with you.
You probably won’t need to re-envision your entire marketing strategy for the post-pandemic world. But acknowledging shifts in your customers’ needs, the pathways in which they travel to find you, and even in the very offerings you may deliver, are necessary to move forward with a more targeted and successful marketing approach.
Yes, it’s good to be back. But make sure your marketing plan is ready for it.