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Marketing Strategies for Businesses to Stay Afloat During the Pandemic

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COVID-19 has ended up causing financial ruin across the world. Names like Rolls-Royce, Airbnb, and Zara, among several others, have had to scale back their operations. Chances are they’ll have to face further losses before the pandemic finally recedes. Large and small enterprises are increasingly worried about their futures. Here are marketing strategies for businesses to stay afloat during this pandemic.

Whatever the future holds, the best thing for small businesses to do would be to understand that this is probably the great economic upheaval of our times. Fortunately for them, there’s still hope for them to survive amidst the current crisis. By reinventing their marketing tactics, they can hope to labor on and stay afloat during this pandemic. What are these marketing strategies, and how can small businesses benefit? Read on to learn more:

Understand the Challenges YOUR Customers Face

Understanding the challenges your customers are facing is the marketing strategy on top because it is an important distinction to make. In a crisis of this magnitude, nearly every entity and individual faces a different set of challenges. You must identify how the challenges YOU face are different from others.

Only when you identify your customers’ problems can you move forward towards provided a similarly tailored solution. Moreover, in a pandemic situation, how you provide the solutions can change as well. Understanding the problem is just a part of the equation, a vital and irreplaceable part, but a part nonetheless.

According to Jayson Demers, CEO of Email Analytics “The best way to identify your customers’ problems is rather simple; keep yourself updated on what’s going on in the industry. These developments can help you stay ahead of the competition and retain yourself as the ideal choice for your customersâ€�

Another way is to ask the customers themselves. Surveying customers can help you identify problems that you may not have known even existed. You can only begin to solve your customers’ problems once you know what those problems are.

Double Down on Valuable Content

You may find that both your existing and potential customers are likely to become more selective in their purchases.

Sam Olmsted from Online Optimism says “The pandemic will have a lasting economic impact meaning that they’ll be extra careful and diligent when deciding what to purchase and what not to. The pandemic behavior is likely to continue for a while even after the pandemic has ended.â€�

Doubling-down on valuable content is a marketing strategy that brings both an opportunity and a challenge for digital marketers. For starters, businesses that rely on building relations and establishing rapport with their customers will find customers more amicable at this time. Content that reflects this commitment towards building a lasting relationship could be exactly what your brand needs to continue bringing in new customers.

As an additional benefit, this will allow you to enhance the quality of your content. Often brands, even the more reputable ones, can be prone to underappreciating the value of content that strikes a chord with your audience.

Optimize Your Targeted Channels

These are unprecedented times. Once the pandemic reaches its conclusion, we may find ourselves living in a world with completely different social norms and patterns.

Naturally, most users are spending more time online and various other digital platforms because of lockdown conditions than they would otherwise. This presents marketers with the kind of audience that is guaranteed to yield the best conversion, i.e., a captive audience.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to carry out a sort of mini-audit of your brand strategy and see how you target channels accordingly. You can pinpoint exactly which touchpoints, apps, content, websites, and mediums deliver the best results and focus your energies on ones that prove most promising.

Adam Lumb from Cashcow.media says “Brands will need to be both highly effective and efficient simultaneously to be assured of any success going forward. Optimizing which channels to target would be one of the best places to get started on that front�

Use Data to Figure Out What Works — and What Doesn’t

Uncertain times bring uncertain behaviors. This translates into uncertain and uncommon market situations. This can be particularly worrisome for online marketers as it negates the blueprints that help them navigate the digital environment.

However, even in times of crisis like this, hypotheses are easy to generate. More importantly, these hypotheses allow marketers to speculate on what strategies and tactics may work and what won’t. The best part is that any hypothesis is easy to prove or disprove based on data and analytics tools that marketers have been using for years.

These tools are just as good now as any time before. You can put different forms of data such as online visitors, sales, conversions, click-through rates, bounce rates, heatmaps, etc. through different metrics and see which ideas are likely to work for you. Not only does this allow you to create strategies that are certain to succeed, but they also help you classify which ideas do not work, so you avoid wasting precious resources on pursuing them.

Look at What the Competition is Doing

Finally, you can always see what your competitors are up to. I’ve placed it last not because it isn’t an effective strategy, but because it can quickly erode your USP. If your competitors are doing better than you, then it’s natural to want to try and emulate them. However, most brands forget the difference between emulating and downright plagiarism going down this path.

Your competitor witnessed success since they took the initiative to change their practices, and it paid them dividends towards the end. However, when I say look at what your competitor is doing, I mean their proactive attitude towards change and not their actual practices.

Losing your identity can be catastrophic and neigh impossible to recover from, especially after a pandemic.

According to Eric Edelist Founder and CEO of Bizooy.com “Learn from your competitor’s success, analyze how you can tailor your efforts based on their success, and whether you can add more value to itâ€�

Conclusion

At some point, nearly every business may find itself on the brink. However, all is not lost. While the traditional landscape might change permanently, whatever goodwill your brand and business have accumulated over the years still means something.

The marketing strategies mentioned above are supposed to act as measures aimed at preventing the worse from happening. In the end, it depends entirely on how your small businesses adapt to the market and, more importantly, how you evolve as a brand.

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Covid-19 – 5 Ways Startups Can Tackle the Effects of the Outbreak

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The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic problems have negatively affected millions of people globally — not only did it affect people, but it also harmed many businesses and startups, disrupting their day to day activities. The global pandemic has hurt businesses and the economy as a whole, but this is more worrying and sparks a lot of fear in the hearts of startup CEOs, founders, and team members as startups are less likely to survive in times of crisis. Here are five ways startups can tackle the effects of the outbreak.

One major effect the virus has had on startups is how it has disrupted team members’ normal day-to-day activities. Every startup longs for a culture founded on and promotes teamwork through in-office collaboration, but with recent worldwide shutdowns, companies have turned to remote working to compensate.

The magic of in-house collaboration, peer to peer conversations, and lunch breaks would be gone, affecting employee morale. Many employees simply won’t be able to adapt to a new way of working.

The pandemic has also affected the quarterly earnings of top companies. Startups are far more likely to record a plateau or a tremendous drop in growth, thereby increasing the chances of you missing your monthly or quarterly goals.

The virus has also stopped many supply chains in various countries, including China, one of the world’s biggest suppliers; this has affected startups that deal with hardware and the production or manufacture of physical goods. Many startups had shut down totally or minimize their local and international business travel plans to reduce the chances of an employee getting the virus.

How startups can tackle the effects of the pandemic

Even with the various negative impacts of Covid-19, startup founders and CEOs can reduce the effects of the virus and their startups’ chances of closing down.

1. Remote working

In-office collaboration can simply not be overstated; it’s essential for building personal relationships between coworkers, thereby boosting employee productivity; it is also essential for the creation of company culture, but what’s more important to you as CEO is keeping your customers and employees safe.

With social distancing policies that ban public gatherings being implemented, startups have had no other choice than to turn to remote working to keep their startups running. The popularity of Zoom, Slack, and Skype, apps great for remote working, have skyrocketed since lockdowns have been in place.

2. Limiting in-office work

Limiting the number or set of people required to come to the office is important for reducing employee risk of getting the virus. Employees should only go to the office when a project is crucial and cannot be done from home.

Offering your team unlimited sick time can also incentivize workers to stay at home when feeling ill, thereby lowering the risk of spreading the virus to other team members.

3. Inform your investors

As a CEO and founder, it is important to communicate what’s happening with your startup to investors, your plans, cash runway, new business strategy, and overview of how the pandemic is affecting your startup.

This is essential in letting your investors know if you’ll need money anytime soon, and the overall impact the coronavirus would have on your startup. It is important to communicate openly and on time with investors.

4. Create a new business plan

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.� — Charles Darwin.

Scrapping your old business plan and strategy and creating a new one from scratch is essential for the survival of a startup at this time, as former business plans were made with a normal worldview and might not work well in such times.

How you as a founder completely restructure how your startup operates depends on few factors; your burn rate and cash runway, how long your startup can survive assuming this problem lasts longer, and analyzing risk and resources expected. This ensures that if the present situation persists, your business won’t go out of business. Even though we don’t have enough info on the present situation, it’s important to change plans and adjust as new updates are released.

5. Effective Communication and Transparency

As a startup leader, you have to be transparent with your team as they are also in fear of what the future holds for their startup; this means being completely honest and open about what’s going on, regular updates on the state of your startup.

When it comes to communicating with your team and investors, It’s best to find the balance where you, as a founder, can be compassionate without sugarcoating and being too optimistic, harsh, or negative. Effective communication helps employees keep calm as they are less likely to make assumptions and panic about the startup’s future because they are being told what’s going on.

In Conclusion

We can’t possibly know how long startups and businesses will suffer from the effects of the pandemic, or even when the global economy will heal anytime soon as it might take a few months for the virus to be fully contained.

However, CEOs and founders of startups need to learn from this by adapting their plans, increasing the flexibility of their future business activities, and how they operate.

Now more than ever, your team needs leadership. You panicking will only harm employee morale. You need to restructure your startup, reevaluate your expenses, be transparent, communicate effectively with the team, be compassionate, and, most of all, learn from the many lessons that are to be learned from this pandemic.

Image Credit: pexels

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5 Post-Pandemic Changes to Expect in the Workplace

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Disrupting businesses in every sector of the economy and infecting nearly 7 million people at the time of this writing — with 400,000 deaths globally. The coronavirus pandemic that sprung up December 2019 has had negative effects on businesses across the world, and the economy as a whole.

The stay-at-home orders that have been mandatory in several countries have caused our work lives to be affected in so many ways, from working in open offices and interacting with coworkers daily to working from home and having to rely on video conferencing apps for effective communication.

These many changes in our current work-life have left many of us wondering whether it’ll have any lasting effects on our work-lives once the pandemic is over and the current lockdown measures are eased. How will how our new work lives proceed from here?

The many effects the pandemic will have on our current work-life include:

  • Higher Prioritization of workers’ health.

The current attention that employee well-being has been garnered recently by organizations and employees themselves will surely increase. We will surely see employee health, wellness, and well-being being of greater importance in a post-pandemic situation.

We can predict more sick day allowances and health initiatives like the full health checks and examination of employees before they enter their workplaces.

After the pandemic and for a short period of time, signs may be posted to remind everyone to wash hands and perhaps limit how they give handshakes and hugs, and to maintain personal space.

To avoid overcrowding, keycards and sensors will monitor your whereabouts throughout the day and alert you whenever you’re in close proximity to another individual.

In the long run, contact-tracing apps for co-workers may also become part of the work-life experience to avoid the spread of future diseases and infrared body temperature scanners before access to the office building. These contact-tracing apps might even show areas with high coworker traffic similar to apps like Waze.com.

  • Remote work

The role in-office collaboration has to play in a company is overwhelming as it is important for building personal bonds and relationships between coworkers and boosting employee productivity, it is also essential for the creation of company culture, but what is more important is the safety of an organization’s employees.

The importance of remote working at a time like this has shown as many organizations have looked too remote working as a means of sustaining their businesses and to keep them up and running.

In a post-pandemic situation, it’s likely that we see the retention of remote working as a means of working for non-essential workers by organizations. However, office and in-house collaboration are surely not going away and higher-ranking workers may still work in-house.

  • Restructuring of office spaces.

The fundamental design of office workspaces and offices will surely be altered. More personal space, elevator capacity limits, and demarcating spots to stand in elevators to limit physical contact.

More space between desks with coworkers sitting on every other seat, partitioning may be installed to reduce the risk of spreading diseases, fewer chairs in conference rooms, private cubicles or offices, there’s an endless list of how the overall design of the office space might evolve in a post-pandemic situation.

  • Business travel and conferencing.

The coronavirus pandemic will definitely have a lasting effect on meetings as a whole, we should expect fewer conferences and curtailed travel plans in the post-pandemic era. Essential meetings will still hold, but ones with lesser importance will be moved to emails, phone calls, and video conferences.

We should expect employees will only have physical meetings when a project is crucial and cannot be done via video conferencing. Conferences, meetings, and conventions will be halted for the foreseeable future with meetings that aren’t necessary would now be done with video conferencing.

  • Work shifts and office hours.

Organizations will have gradual returns and might not require most people to come back until there’s widespread testing, treatment, or a vaccine. Work shifts might be put in place to ensure there’s a limited amount of employees in the workplace at any given time.

Limiting the number or set of people required to come to the office has been important for employee safety as it reduces the chances of them getting the disease. Only requiring essential workers to come to the office might be the norm in a post-pandemic situation.

In Conclusion

How business around the world is going to be changed due to the current global pandemic is unknown as we cannot predict the future with a 100 percent accuracy but by making educated guesses we might know how the impacts of the pandemic might shape our work life.

Workplaces may have significant changes in the long run, these may include new seating arrangements and the addition of building materials that discourage the spread of germs.

In order to reduce the risk of spreading future diseases, it’s a great time for new technology and innovation. We will need to be provided with access to rooms and elevators without employees having to physically touch a handle or press a button. Innovations in automatic door sensors, automatic sinks, soap dispensers, and maybe even voice-activated elevators.

Measures will surely be put in place to reduce the spread of any future diseases and pandemics to guarantee the general public and employee safety.

Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels

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