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A marketer's job is to predict how customers' needs, wants, expectations, and purchasing behaviors would change in response to certain factors. In light of COVID-19 and its ripple effects in business and the socioeconomic landscape, marketing just became more challenging.
Customers and businesses alike don't know how long the crisis will last and how massive the impacts will be. Daily life is affected, and government regulations are being revised and updated regularly.
It's going to take time to adjust to the new normal fully. But marketers need to be agile in crafting solutions to relaunching a brand. Don't wait for more problems to arise or for a clear direction to appear before acting and deciding for your business.
If your business is currently on pause or undergoing extreme changes brought about by the pandemic, you'll need a plan to relaunch once we're safely in the new normal. In this post, we'll show you seven essential strategies to relaunch your business in a post-COVID-19 world.
People are stuck at home and have turned to online shopping to purchase both essential goods and other services. Before the pandemic, studies show that 54% of consumers reported having a better online shopping experience. A few months into the lockdowns, that number rose to 76%. Additionally, 57% of those consumers plan to continue shopping online even when the pandemic is over.
That's why there's no better time than today to adjust your marketing strategies to relaunch your business to be relevant to customers and be pandemic-proof. But before you adjust, you'll need to know what you're currently doing and how it's working. This is where a marketing audit comes in, where you'll review all your existing tactics and strategies and then see whether they're relevant or even essential.
Part of this strategy means customer journey mapping, or seeing how customers’ journeys with your brand may have changed since the pandemic started. With the right insights from fresh customer data, you can better focus on concerns and understand how your customers experience your business.
Ask yourself the following questions when you plan out the customer experience for COVID-19:
For more on how to build a customer journey map:
During this lonely and socially-isolated period, your brand should try and understand what your customers are going through. Put their experiences and needs at the center of your strategies.
Customers are worried and frightened, so it’s best to create authentic and personal experiences for them through your brand. They’re looking for stability during the pandemic, so you need to be more than a brand and be more like a friend.
Social listening tools are particularly helpful to get insights about customer sentiments. Check out apps and tools to monitor social media discussions about health concerns that may be relevant to your business or brand.
Marketers can also find a way to create meaningful connections with customers through virtual conferences. You can team up with other brands that provide health, financial, or self-care services and create relevant, timely, and compassionate content together.
Even before the pandemic, consumers have become savvier and more prone to distrusting big brands. When the lockdowns are lifted, customers are sure to be more vigilant about health and safety protocols.
An effective way to rebuild trust among your customers is to let them know that your business follows and applies rigorous sanitation standards. This shows that you value the customer experiences and that you put their needs and safety first.
It would help if you communicated about the measures that your business is implementing to ensure quality and safe health standards for your products and services. Aside from social distancing practices, companies also follow regular sanitation periods, set up hand sanitizer stations, and promote contactless payments.
But take care to not over-promise and under-deliver. Stay honest about what your brand can realistically offer in the short term and in the long run.
Empathy should be at the heart of your marketing campaigns, especially during a difficult time like this.
It's essential to understand customer sentiments and how they see your brand. People want to relate and connect with people, so a cold corporate persona isn't apt during a worrisome situation.
Humanizing your brand involves creating better and more relevant content to improve customer engagement and eventually increase your conversions. Pull back the curtains and show off real photos of your hardworking staff and team who provide the best services.
Savvy marketers are sure to have developed an iconic brand voice and online persona. And the best teams embody the brand through their online professional profiles.
It’s doubly effective to establish partnerships with influencers who have a wider reach and a much more loyal and highly-engaged customer following. You can use influencer marketing platforms like Brybe to find and collaborate with influencers best suited for your brand, then implement people-focused campaigns together.
Since everyone is advised to stay at home, it’s no surprise that restaurants are among the most affected businesses by the pandemic. Local food businesses, for example, are looking for ways on how to add delivery to restaurants. That’s because 43% of consumers said they want to support small restaurants by ordering take-out and delivery.
Aside from curbside pick-up and delivery services, restaurants can also offer customized meal kits complete with ingredients and instructions for the DIY-obsessed folks stuck at home. On social media, brands also share preparation tips or cooking classes using their meal kits.
Other industries are not spared from the new normal, either. Gyms may need to switch models from being places where people gather to work out to be places that sell gym equipment and support at-home workout regimens. Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are now increasingly turning to online experiences instead of their in-store experiences.
Take heed from how popular brands are pivoting, and find ways to meet customers' needs even in a new climate.
Remote work is part of the adjustments that businesses had to make because of the pandemic. That means you won’t get to personally interact with customers in case they have questions or concerns.
Interactions with customers and clients will be mostly, if not entirely, digital from now on. Marketing automation tools can make the customer experience easier and faster, and it will save you a lot of time and resources as well.
Consider investing in AI and other tools like social media chatbots to manage interactions with customers and analyze their behaviors. Which touchpoints lead them to your brand? How many times do they need to engage with your brand before they convert? Powerful AI marketing tools can provide these insights which you can use to tailor the customer experience.
During uncertain times, an effective and efficient customer support center is crucial for your business. Research shows that 57% of customers prefer call support to solve their issues. It was also found that 43% of consumers would stop their transactions with a business during the pandemic if they received poor customer experience.
To improve customer support, you need to equip your staff to work remotely effectively and efficiently. Provide them with the necessary infrastructure to deliver top support. You can also take advantage of virtual agents to enhance your current workforce and address concerns specific to COVID-19.
For more on how to enhance your customer support via social media:
Don’t be daunted by the waves of uncertainty brought about by COVID-19. Engage with your customers and be the steady hand that they are looking for. You can apply these agile strategies to relaunch your business, develop customer trust for your brand, and generate more conversions during the pandemic.
Originally published on August 20th, 2020, last updated on September 16th, 2022.