Marketing through the storm

Why Marketing Is More Important Than Ever Before

We are now over 5 months into the global pandemic and the impact has been felt across every single business. Even core businesses needed have had to cope with supply and demand issues.  For those businesses with staff on furlough, it is a particularly worrying time.  So many questions are being explored. Can employees or departments be reinstated? Are office premises needed anymore? Can we still reach our customers? What if we lose customers? Can we afford to keep marketing our business?

Naturally, businesses will firstly look at reducing costs to their business and for those businesses that aren’t marketing centred, marketing budgets are usually the first to be cut.

Effects of reduced marketing activity

Whilst it is understandable that businesses want to reduce costs, reducing your brand awareness can be damaging. Whilst we haven’t yet returned to normal life and many businesses either have staff on furlough or working from home, green shoots are starting to appear. The UK Government has ploughed huge amounts of money into helping businesses during the pandemic as they gradually reopen the economy. Whilst some industries are fairing better than some, businesses need to be ready and able to react.

Reducing your marketing can be harmful to your brand. If you have spent years building up your company brand and reputation through sales and marketing activities and you suddenly stop you risk falling off your customers radar. A company that has suddenly gone can be perceived as one that is in trouble. You also run the risk of your customer’s going to your competitors. Loyalty in this current climate is tough.

Content marketing is key to creating greater awareness for your business

Help with marketing

For those businesses that are now examining their costs but want to continue with marketing activities what is the answer? Whether you have a marketing person, department or use a marketing agency working for your business it is vital to retain a good level of marketing. Here are some suggestions to help your business continue marketing through the storm:

  1. Partnership Marketing: Partnership marketing is a collaboration between two or more businesses with the aim of creating a mutually beneficial marketing campaign. This is a cost effective option for small businesses who may not have the money and resources of a marketing department. There are pros and cons of this strategy, but one that is worth exploring in such uncertain times.
  2. Online shop: Most businesses have a website, but can you sell your products and services online? If it is feasible to create an online store, then this is something worth investing in. Half the things we purchase these days is online and the growth of online sales during the COVID lockdown were up significantly. Online food sales grew by 55.8% and retail sales grew to 30.7%. Online shops have lower overheads, more profit and can reach wide target audiences.
  3. Diversifying: Some of the biggest winners of the pandemic were those businesses that looked at diversifying their offerings. Many businesses were forced to take a long hard look and their products and services and see if there were other ways of delivering within government guidelines. Many restaurants for example offered take-away and delivery services when dining in was no longer an option. Now dining in dome tents on restaurant premises and fashionable face masks have now become our new normal.
  4. Social marketing: Oberlo reported some statistics on social media for 2020. Globally 3.5 billion (or about 45% of the world’s population) use social media each day, typically through their mobile devices. Facebook is the most used form of social media, accounting for 2.32 billion active users each month, spending an average of 3 hours a day on social media and messaging. Many brands are investing in social media with 73% of marketers believing this form of marketing to being effective for their business. With more businesses now turning to social media to promote their business, it is important to keep content fresh, keep customer engagement high (through comments and reviews etc), exploring paid for social marketing options and remain relatable to your market.
  5. Marketing Agencies: You may be a business facing a difficult decision about your marketing department or may just need some extra help. Marketing agencies are often perceived as being expensive and that they can never keep to budget, but this isn’t always the case. Affordable, flexible and measurable marketing agencies can offer many solutions to business. Firstly they can help work with existing business marketing departments or they can act as a virtual marketing department.  Bluezoo Ltd also offers affordable marketing by the hour solutions, keeping it simple and straight forward.

There is no doubt that COVID has left a lasting impact on many businesses, but there is still a lot of hope for businesses to survive and succeed. Retaining brand awareness and customers is key during these uncertain times. Remember to tap into the many resources available to help.

Bluezoo Ltd is a Chester based marketing agency serving businesses of all sizes across the UK and beyond. We deliver simple, straight forward marketing from our cost-effective and flexible Marketing By the Hour, to Small Business Solutions and Projects.  Contact us now for more information.

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