As a business owner, you’re used to maneuvering through challenges and finding the right solution for your employees, customers, and business. However, few things prepared us for COVID19 and the challenges that all of us have had to face in the last several months. Nevertheless, you’ve figured out ways to adapt your daily operations, you’ve found solutions for your team members to work and sell remotely, and you’ve learned how to communicate with customers during a crisis.
We know that this hasn’t been easy. Our continued goal is to help you in anyway possible to manage these challenges. As we move forward, we’ll continue to help you along the way as the situation around COVID19 evolves by tapping into our subject matter experts, and industry and business veterans.
We’ve connected with Tanya Murphy, Central’s Director of Marketing, to learn more about effectively marketing during a crisis.
A lot of things have changed in the last few months, and marketing is no different. While many of the basic fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed, the where and the when have only moved faster toward digital and online.
Mass marketing like print and direct-mail pieces have fallen by the wayside and one-to-one digital and online marketing and communications have gained even more traction than before. With less [or no] face-to-face interaction, consumers are spending more time online—video chats, social media, online searches, websites, and email.
So, how do you navigate this new normal and effectively market to your customers during this time? Below I have outlined 6 Tips for Marketing During Coronavirus:
Communicate About Your Company’s Response to Safety
Now more than ever, customers will want to know that your company is serious about safety. Make sure that you continue to communicate with your customers about what your business is doing to keep them safe, as well as your employees.
Safety does not need to be the focus of every marketing piece that goes out. However, you should look to communicate with your customers whenever something new is implemented or something changes. Make sure to include messaging on your website that is easy to find about these safety procedures and policies.
Navigate Customer Interactions & Communication
Customers are going to want contactless selling and interactions for the foreseeable future. As businesses, it is up to us to navigate this new normal. Whether is utilizing Google Maps for estimates, walking the property without the customer, shifting to WiFi controllers and remote shutoff valves, or utilizing video conferencing—now is the time to embrace technology to replicate that physical experience online.
Think outside the box and figure out what works best for your team to interact with your customers, whether its consulting, troubleshooting or selling to them.
Focus on Your Company’s Values and What’s Important to You
With all the negative news that consumers have seen in the last couple months, a positive message will be a warm welcome. Customers appreciate a business that has values and lives by them. Share what’s important to you, why its important, and what you are doing as an organization to make sure you live by these values.
This shows your customer the personality of the company and allows them to align their values with yours. When touting your values, its also a good time to talk about your commitment to your customers and their satisfaction.
Highlight How Your Company Can Help
You want to showcase how your services and can help make your customer’s life better or easier. Talk about how you are looking to build a relationship with your customer. You can do this by solving their problems. You’ve probably heard the saying, “sell to their pain points.” What does that mean, exactly? When you offer a service, you’re offering a solution to a problem. Find what pain points your customers have then market and sell toward those pain points with solutions that will help make their lives better.
Do your customers want to relax in their yard and they are dealing with mosquitoes and ticks? Market mosquito and tick control. Do your customers want to spend more time at night outside? Market lighting products.
Evaluate Imagery and Language
When putting out marketing material, it’s always important to evaluate images and language used. Does it convey the right message? Will it catch someone’s attention? Does that image showcase your work in the best light? However, during a crisis it doesn’t hurt to be even more aware of the messaging and imagery your company uses.
At the beginning of the virus outbreak, having someone wear a mask may have fueled panic because it was not common. However today, it may make sense to show precautions and safety measures your team members are taking, including wearing masks.
When creating communications, avoid using words that can trigger fear such as “deadly,” “catastrophic,” and don’t offer “pandemic specials.” Think about what resonates with your customers and use images and messaging that will pique their interests.
Adjust Marketing Timelines as Needed
With situations around COVID-19 changing quickly, it’s a good idea to not pre-schedule emails or messages too far in advance. Put in place a plan and work to execute that plan but realize that you may need to shift focus or change messaging before that marketing piece goes out to customers. This is especially critical with email marketing pieces or social media posts that have been pre-scheduled in advance. This is something we need to be cognizant of in our industry regardless of COVID-19 because of the seasonality and how heavily weather related our work tends to be. Timing with messaging is vital.
Finally, rely on Central to help, whether it’s questions about marketing strategy, strategic purchasing, or business planning during COVID-19. Central is the right partner for your business. We stay at the leading edge of the industry and we’re ready to help you grow!
About Tanya Murphy
Tanya Murphy has been with Central Turf & Irrigation Supply for nearly two years as its Director of Marketing. She is a marketing veteran with more than 15 years of experience in the field. She has worked across multiple industries including healthcare, media, and green building on both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sides. Tanya’s diverse background has enabled her to work for fast growing companies both big and small—with the major focus toward strategic growth. Tanya is your resource for all things marketing related, feel free to reach out to her with any questions. She is ready to help you grow your business.