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Anxiety-rich, cash-poor?

How marketing can help your cause…

 

Going outside is now a bit of an adventure; putting ‘outside clothes’ on is pretty special. We’re all proud if/when we go out and look like respectable humans, as if we haven’t just been discussing eating ‘breakfast ice cream’.

Whilst we’re pretty good at powering through, this unprecedented time is seriously difficult for a lot of businesses. We’re talking about the seriousness from a business – and the marketing and communications stuff – point of view. We’ll leave it to the brilliant and knowledgeable health professionals to discuss the crucial health aspects.

Back to business…

Some businesses are, fortunately, able to continue (almost exactly) as before with the current situation having minimal negative impact. And then there are the many other organisations – big, small, product-based, service-based – who are suffering directly and indirectly in a range of different ways. What are we going to do? No-one knows the answers for this specific situation, but we do know about some of the things that can help a business when the difficult decisions are flying in thick and fast, but the cash is, unfortunately, not.

Be true to yourself, be true to your brand

This cued me to sing be true to your school* (Let’s all be glad we’re distancing ourselves from my singing…).

Now isn’t the time to change message to something radical/salesy/impersonal… You have worked hard to build the business just as you want it, promoting the products and services that you’re proud of and building your reputation accordingly.

Now isn’t the time to undermine that. Uphold your values, continue to embody them and, whilst it may feel hard, even ridiculous, at some points during the week, communicate the messages which reinforce the core value of your organisation – externally and internally.

 

Be social

Social distancing doesn’t mean getting off social media.

Stay on social media but keep the first point in mind; don’t feel the need to project an image that isn’t reflective of your business, your audience and the ‘realness’ that people naturally connect with. What do you want people to know? What do you want to know from ‘people’? Connect these up and have genuine conversations.

If it feels like there’s nothing of value to say right now, that’s okay, just don’t go completely silent. You can say less (less can be more, of course) but there are people out there who will be looking to connect with people like you, people who are looking ahead or who have heard good things about you and have been meaning to talk to you. They need to know that you’re still out there.

 

Review, refine, re-use

Paid activity: what are you delivering and what’s actually working? Rather than switching it all off, is there anything that’s working particularly well for you – can you re-route budgets from elsewhere and concentrate a feasible amount to this channel?

Organic activity: how can you make the most of existing assets? What has worked particularly well for you in the past? What can you recycle? Is there a blog that can be transformed into an infographic? Did you host a Q&A or hold some polls that you can turn into a webinar/podcast/series of social posts? Looking back and reusing, recycling, improving can be very helpful right now – we can learn more about what works well (for future winning content) and we can chop up, re-edit, re-format, re-write and produce more effective content right now, for less. Again, stay true to your brand.

 

Are you useful?

As always, what is helpful to your audience? If you’re having conversations that could help others, think of (creative) ways to share these. Can you record a conversation – with consent… – which discusses a pain point?  Can this have a transcript, summary and follow-up prompts for more questions which can lead to other Q&As? A little conversation can go a long way. And don’t let the fear of an overly niche topic stop you – if it helps you, it’s likely to help someone else too. Niche is good.

 

Checklist time

If it looks like your organisation will move through this time, and I very much hope that we can all successfully muddle through… what is there that you can think about now that you can jump straight into when times are clearer/easier and opportunities arise? Maybe it’s time for a list of priorities; what are the assets you need to leap off out of this time and plough ahead? Maybe it’s time to prepare briefs so that when funding emerges, you know what you need and how you want it to be delivered, meaning that you can push the full steam ahead button asap.

 

For me… working away from the team is hard (we’re all working remotely and very much enjoy Teams, and Phil’s daily accidental calls to a team). We’re very close and the office is my second home, I really miss going up and down the 5 flights of stairs because I:

forgot to get something from the printer/get the coffee I meant to get;

left my pen upstairs;

left my pen downstairs;

want to talk to someone and decided stairs are faster than technology/the speed of sound.

But the building and the stairs aren’t much without its people. I hope we are all safe – physically and mentally – and can catch up in the not too distant future (this year), happily wearing our outside clothes and discussing the weather.

For now: if you need me, call me (07944341749).

 

*I was brought up surrounded by sounds of the Beach Boys… I have a lot to thank my parents for.

You have worked hard to build the business just as you want it, promoting the products and services that you’re proud of and building your reputation accordingly.

Now isn’t the time to undermine that. Uphold your values, continue to embody them and, whilst it may feel hard, even ridiculous, at some points during the week, communicate the messages which reinforce the core value of your organisation – externally and internally.