Is it thriving and as on point as ever? Does it exist in dribs and drabs as you put out other fires caused by the pandemic? Is it non-existent, because you’ve got rid of your Chief Marketing Officer or even the whole marketing department in order to save money?
The world, for however long it lasts, is slowly returning to normal. People have gone back to work, to the shops, to the pub. Money is being spent…but is it being spent with you?
How a company acted throughout lockdown may influence whether customers return to it now restrictions have eased. Take Wetherspoons: Tim Martin made a comment that was meant to sound realistic but supportive in a staff meeting when lockdown began, then the media manipulated it to mean something else and everyone rounded on the brand.
Safety is another issue. Covid-19 hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s all around us still. How can you, as a company, make your customers feel safe if they visit your store(s)?
Marketing isn’t just about selling stuff. Marketing strengthens your brand, influences your customers’ perception of you, outlines the experience your customers are likely to have if shopping with you and more. If you have no one in your team consistently pushing out what your consumers want to hear, you’ll pale into insignificance against your competitors – who will undoubtedly be pulling all the stops out at the moment, with regards to their marketing.
The first budget to go, the first area that tends to suffer, the first element in any company to be deemed a luxury…is a company’s marketing. This is really, really not the way to fight a crisis, a recession or a pandemic. You need to do more to entice people to spend with you/use your services when they’re retracting and putting a brake on their spending, too.
Yes, this may involve a new angle, a new message, a new approach – particularly if you don’t fulfil a need and could be deemed a luxury when things turn crazy. But what other choice do you have?
The other significant change to come out of the coronavirus pandemic is the rise in online spending. June 2020 saw a whopping 76% increase in e-commerce compared to the same period in the year previous. That’s incredible, and any company that’s not changed its strategy to compensate for what will become the new normal is going to be left behind.
Influencer marketing, often pooh-poohed by some marketing boffins, has grown massively. Savvy businesses have seen the merit of diversifying their business, making services from products and vice versa. And marketing is key to all this. No one will know you’ve changed direction, created new products or received recommendations from trendy types if it’s not being shouted about.
No doubt, if you did sack your marketing team, you saved a few pounds, which may have helped you through the worst of the pandemic. Government ‘bounce back’ loans will also have done their job and softened the financial blow of lockdown. Therefore, there should be something in the coffers to put towards your marketing now.
You don’t need to employ a team, and until your company is back on an even keel, it’s perhaps a risky thing to contemplate…for the moment. The best solution for any business right now is an outsourced marketing department. Pay for expertise in many areas, but only the amount that you need and use. Take advantage of more heads being better than one, but without the hassle of arranging holiday entitlement, pension benefits and the like.
Smaller businesses probably won’t think differently about their marketing department, as they’re always the chief cook and bottle-washer. This article is aimed at larger companies who risk losing their hard-won marketing share and their standing against their rivals. Companies that understand marketing better than most, but who need to move quickly and can’t wait to train up a whole army of in-house marketers before they start to see some return on their efforts. To these companies, outsourcing their marketing to an agency such as Novus is the perfect answer.
Call 07983 575934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a chat about your current situation.