As most of us sit at home, doing our part to prevent the spread of a pandemic, we’re also watching the world change around us.
The world is morphing before our eyes. There’s no doubt that when we emerge from our stay-at-home life, the world we emerge into will be very different. It’s more than just the new social distancing rules or ever-present masks that will mark the change. Even the way we conduct business and market to customers will be different.
Business has shifted. Needs have changed. There are new customers and new opportunities, while old sales avenues have shuttered or closed. Priorities have changed, so we have new products and services to sell – new stories to tell and new ways to showcase our business.
It’s difficult to identify exactly how sales and marketing will change, but it’s time to start thinking about how we’ll adapt and what we’ll need to succeed.
Reaching Customers in a Changing World
It’s not a stretch to say the COVID-19 changed how we connect to the world.
Our internet use rapidly increased in a few short weeks at the beginning of March. With the rise of stay-at-home orders and the closure of businesses, digital content became our window to the world. Facebook visits increased more than 27%, Netflix sessions increased by 16%, and YouTube sessions increased by 15.3%. Other sites reported a 50% increase in internet traffic during that time. Before the COVID crisis, Google reported an average of 3.5 billion searches a day, and after the crisis Google reported as many as 6 billion or more searches a day.
Interestingly, mobile use saw a much smaller bump. Mobile (app) Facebook access saw an increase of only 1.1%, which means traffic was primarily driven by users on systems other than phones.
Reaching and influencing prospects and customers means finding out where they are and how they gather information to inform an opinion. Today, in a world dealing with a viral outbreak, that means going online. Digital information and online content are where your prospects are spending their time and energy.
Let’s look at how you can reach your customers and grow your business today.
Review your brand
With so much changing impacting the world, businesses need to re-evaluate their message and brand.
That killer pitch and awesome tagline from 2019 may not have the same impact in 2020. Business has changed, and all of us have different priorities and a different view of the world. It’s worth taking a step back from the day-to-day business grind to review and reconsider your brand.
Consider the “why” of your business. Why are you in business? What is the purpose of your company, and how can you share that with prospects, customers, and even your coworkers? In the world today, the answer to those questions may be very different than they were just a few months ago.
Never before has authenticity been so important. We’re all struggling in a world that sometimes feels strange and unnerving, like someone pulled the floor out from under us. Customers will turn to companies they can trust. Authenticity can do all of us good.
Speak to your customers
With all of us relying more and more on the internet to connect with the world, businesses need to focus on their digital presence.
What does your website say about you? Do you have engaging and informative content for the potential customers looking for a solution to their problems? People are finding information and even comfort from digital content. The digital world is connecting people, and if you want to be part of that conversation you need a digital presence – a strong website and content that tells your story.
It used to be a handshake, a power point and a presentation would complete a sale. Today, more and more of the work of sales is being done online. You need to leverage resources to build out a successful digital strategy, and you need to prioritize content creation and online sales and marketing tools.
Do you control your content?
In the past, many companies saw social media – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – as extensions of their website. They used social media as the primary window to the company, with the platform as a token investment in digital marketing. Today, relying so heavily on an outside platform for your business can be risky and even dangerous.
The COVID crisis has exposed the problems in relying primarily on social media for a digital strategy. Governments can delete content they feel is dangerous or deceptive. Platforms are constantly adjusting and adapting how consumers engage with and use content. With so much disinformation and problematic content on social media, there is a chance your content is being viewed by an audience in ways you can’t control.
We aren’t suggesting that businesses need to avoid social media. Instead, you need to also build out your own property – your website. Look at it like a walled garden, and make it a complete, one-stop resource for customers interested in your business. Don’t rely primarily on platforms you can’t control. Make sure you are in control of the story of your business.
Can you capitalize on opportunity?
With so many businesses closing, resources tight, and the supply chain in flux or even broken, some businesses are struggling to even stay open or provide for their customers. Critical supplies are missing, and productivity has taken a hit as more and more employees are working from home.
Today, businesses need to be agile and flexible, adapting as change continues to shake the market. With resource uncertainty, agile may not be possible under the current conditions. It can be difficult, if not impossible to channel resources when an opportunity appears. It can seem impractical to execute quickly when basic business functions are a challenge, and so opportunities pass and frustration grows.
Rather than relying on internal resources alone, businesses need to draw on outside resources to execute quickly. Business agility doesn’t need to come from hiring more but partnering smarter. Look at implementing managed services to secure and strengthen your supply chain. Develop contingencies – a backup plan – to protect against future disruption.
Managed services can also provide the additional marketing resources you need to execute on your business goals. You’ll have additional, best-in-class resources on hand when you need them. Use those resources to target potential weaknesses in your marketing strategy before a weakness becomes a problem. Rather than working harder, you and your team are working smarter.
With the right marketing and business partner, you can better serve your customers and implement additional support when you need it. Marketing execution and managed services can provide your company vital support in a changing marketplace.
Aligning Marketing and Sales as the World Changes
The world has changed, bringing your prospects, customers, employees and business with it. It’s foolish to believe you won’t need to change and adapt your sales and marketing strategies also.
Get ahead of the game by taking steps now to optimize and adjust your strategy to compete in a new world. Bring on new resources now so you’re ready when opportunity strikes. Identify risks and develop solutions before a risk becomes an insurmountable problem.
If you’re ready to see how your business can find success in the new world we find ourselves in, then contact GO2 Partners today. Schedule time to speak with one of our team to see how you can build a digital strategy that future proofs your business and turns change into opportunity. We’re here to help.