How marketing strategies can adapt to the 'new normal'
As we return to the new norm (whatever that may be), we asked our friends at Wild Bird Marketing to take a look at how businesses should adjust their marketing strategy.
The world has changed, and we won’t argue whether it’s for better or not but what we know for sure is; consumers, the general public, your customers, audience, clients (whichever term you use) have completely adapted their habits since lockdown. From a marketing perspective this means the strategy that you had in place may no longer be as effective as it once was.
This is not said to petrify you – we’re in the same storm too – work that we had put inplace with our clients has had to be adjusted, moved and sometimes scrapped as we pivot to meet the needs of the new norm.
Where to start? We are big fans of research, and this is exactly where we begin our marketing adjustments. What do you know about your audience right now? How have their habits changed? For example, if you are targeting Mums with children and you knew you could advertise to them on the morning school run via radio… that route is no longer available to you, so how can you reach them in another way?
If you have a digital presence, we suggest taking a look atyour website analytics, February versus June or even a year on year comparison (if you have enough data). February was a relatively ‘normal’ month pre-lockdown so you can compare times of day, traffic and demographics with a lockdown month to see when and where your audience is engaging with you. We’d then suggest overlaying that with your social media insights. It will be no surprise that digital activity has increased but what other nuggets can you gain from that info? It’s time to put your detective hat on and get to know and understand your audience again.
Once you have completed your detective work, it’s time to transform that into something tangible. If you have done any previous work on target audience, client persona/avatar compare it to what you have discovered with your own research. Then you can begin your work on a new strategy that will effectively market your business in the new world.
When we talk marketing, we mean everything from your website down to what you say about your business to a potential client. From here, it’s time to step into the shoes of your audience and look at your business through their eyes. Is your website still serving/meeting their needs? Does your social media voice match that of your brand? The next step is to get our strategic planning heads on!
What needs to happen from here to reconnect with your audience?
How are you going to adjust your strategy moving forward based on your learnings? We would suggest planning three months of activity based on your research and reviewing it after one month. That way you can make adjustments to the next two months and so forth.
One of the great things about digital marketing is that you learn very quickly if your strategy is working – use that to your advantage and make the changes you need to.
If you are investing money in advertising then those learnings could take a little longer to come through and the same can be said for networking too. When you are assessing whether a marketing channel is effective, you need to be clear on your objectives… are you looking to drive: brand awareness, engagement or leads?
Marketing takes time to build, especially in today’s world. This is mainly because we have all become detectives in our own right from behind our screens. Think about a purchase you are weighing up… now consider how much research you’ve done yourself? Websites, reviews, social media and talking to your friends and family about it? The accessible world we live in means we can find anything out at the touch of a button. Reviewing your own marketing touchpoints (social media channels, website, branding) is absolutely key to striking a chord with your audience and making it more likely to convert them into a paying customerr.
Luckily, there are lots of us here to help you with that (ahem; Wild Things & Wild Bird Marketing) but you can also do some of it yourself. Here is a bullet point summary:
• Be honest about your objectives and what you want to achieve.
• Research, plan and review what is working.
• Be patient if you are advertising. Set a realistic deadline of when you will review it.
• Look beyond assumptions and embrace insights.