A crisis can turn things upside down for everyone. It can put many people and businesses into tough spots where they have to prioritize and concentrate on what’s really important and what will help them pull through a period of anxiety and uncertainty.
During such a time, marketers can keep marketing, but effective messaging tries to be human, helpful, and mindful. They need to watch their tone and their approach, which might not be easy, but they should be reaching out to customers and seeing how they can help. There are also other areas marketers can look at improving and refining, such as SEO, their strategy, content, and overall planning.
To provide insights into how marketers should operate during a difficult time, we put together these ten expert tips to show you how to be resilient, sensitive, and productive during a crisis.
The “unapologetic truth teller in marketing,” Katie Martell, says that this crisis is a chance for marketers to act with competence and ethics. You should try not to take advantage of the crisis in any way. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to help your customers, your team, and your community.
When it comes to marketing, context matters! Asher Rumack, Director of Brand & Content Strategy at Column Five, stresses the importance of marketers addressing a crisis with empathy and tact. This means maybe altering your campaigns, deadlines, and tone, as you should strive to be positive, helpful, and informative.
During a crisis, the customer experience becomes more important than ever, according to Vandita Grover, a freelance contributor for MarTechAdvisor. With technology and a digital presence, marketers can still reach their customers and provide solutions and information that can help with at least some of their problems.
Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing believes that customer empathy should be at the forefront of marketing during any time and especially during a crisis. Part of this is providing solutions and answers that customers need, and SEO remains a frequently used channel for information discovery. Marketers can make their content as relevant and easy to find as possible for audiences, and SEO allows people to discover information on their own terms rather than as the result of unemphatic or even opportunistic marketing.
Put people first with your social media marketing and not brands or logos, says Jay Baer of Convince & Convert. Post with a purpose and listen harder to discover what opportunities out there exist where you can lend a hand.
Digital marketing pioneer Ann Handley suggests slowing down now to speed up later. Now is the time to build momentum for what truly matters long term. You have a chance to deepen relationships, redefine often confusing marketing roles, and see how you can help your community, company, and industry in both the long and short term.
Matt Heinz, B2B marketing and sales expert, wants people to know that we will all get through this! However, some of the ways in which people are now reorganizing their lives and careers will become part of the new normal. Some of the pivots you make now will help you become more efficient, effective, and useful in the future.
A crisis requires marketers have to think up and propose new ways to engage with customers, Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD feels. To justify a new approach (and the budget to do so), build a solid business case, connect business objectives to marketing outcomes, align with sales, and create the right benchmarks. Above everything though, you have to be realistic and honest in how you go about achieving your goals. Without honesty or being realistic, you can't have trust, which is essential to innovation and convincing people to invest in you and your plans.
Your sales team will have the best insights into what is going with customers and how you can help them. Use this opportunity to better align with your sales team, suggests Tom Cunniff, of Cunniff Consulting, and Mike Cucka, of Brand Evident.
Freelance B2B writer Sharon Hurley Hall wants marketers to acknowledge that things have changed that this is “business unusual.” This means you should continue marketing but not doing in a tone-deaf and insensitive manner. You should also be reaching out to clients if only to check in with them and see how you can help, to stay top of mind to them and build goodwill for when things get closer back to normal. It’s also a chance to identify new opportunities that you might not be able to pursue now but for later.
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