COVID-19 has shown all of us that nothing is ever permanent in this world. The way it upended a lot of things in our lives is something that was never seen before in history. At the time of writing, the deadly virus has already claimed 2 million lives out of 96 million cases recorded.
On top of its threat to our health, it has also done plenty of damage to business and trade. The U.S. stock market alone experienced a whopping drop of 2,353 points in one day, its biggest loss since 1987. Brick-and-mortar shops indefinitely closed their doors in compliance with social distancing protocols enforced by the CDC. Hundreds of businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and millions of workers were displaced.
It was a very challenging year, indeed. And the thing is, experts say that even if they see 2021 as being a lot better than 2020, things might get worse before they improve. With that type of forecast, businesses should arm themselves with the right strategies to help tide them over until the pandemic is done.
What You Should DO:
Know your customers.
One of the very first things any business owner should do, pandemic or not, is to know their target market — its needs, behavior, and preferences. Now that we’re living in an unprecedented time, owners and managers need to reach out to their customers and find out how they’re doing. COVID-19 has impacted a lot of lives and customers are reacting to it in different ways.
For instance, if you’re a business owner and you have an auto detailing shop, how should you adjust this season to stay relevant to your clients? Businesses need to develop marketing strategies based on how their customer base is adapting to the present changes.
Be sensitive in your communications.
Communicating in a time of pandemic is not easy. While not everyone is expecting that you have all the answers related to the health crisis, it should not hinder you from keeping in touch with your clients and customers. Whenever you communicate to them, it tells them that you’re sensitive to their needs and are empathic. It shows them that you’re not just after their money but you’re concerned about their welfare.
Revisit your market segmentation.
During times of crisis, businesses should be more attuned to their customer base. For instance, if you have a wide reach and broad market, think of ways how you can reach each demographic with a more specific message. You can do this by segmentizing your market according to behavior, age, and psychographics. Utilize your platform’s web analytics and take note of the data and metrics needed to so you know how to customize your marketing strategies,
Come up with new strategies and refocus your marketing output.
As mentioned above, it is important for businesses to customize their sales and marketing strategies if they want to remain standing when the pandemic is over. In fact, even if a lot of businesses were negatively affected by it, several of them surprisingly thrived. This is because they realized the need to adapt and pivot in order to keep operating.
What You Should AVOID DOING:
Take a position of pre-pandemic consumer behavior.
A major faux pas that any business owner can ever commit at this time is to take an assumptive position about consumer behavior that it will go back to the way things were before all this chaos took place.
Given all the drastic changes COVID-19 has brought about, owners and managers should take into consideration that the new normal that we now know will probably be the standard operating procedure moving forward. If they fail to adapt and insist that things will go back to normal, they might end up not just disappointed but out of business.
Post misleading content and false information.
Since online visibility and content creation are now more important than ever before, businesses need to be mindful of the things they post on their website, blog site, and social media accounts. The internet is filled with information but not every one of those is accurate and true. They should always check out the source before creating content inspired by it and not make the mistake of exploiting the situation just to further spread brand awareness.
Take cuts on your marketing budget.
If there’s one thing businesses and establishments should take advantage of at this time, it is to acquire ad placement services. It is true that a lot of businesses had to close shop due to lack of income but this does not mean that you should follow suit when there’s still something you can do, especially in the area of marketing.
Because ad rates have decreased this season, every dollar you spend on your marketing and promotion will go a lot further now than before. This gives existing and operational companies an edge over their inactive competition.
The pandemic is changing the way we do business for good. We need to adapt to these changes because they will determine what things will be like in a post-pandemic world.