As we all continue to grapple with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis as both a nation and within our homes, Australia’s business owners, sales managers and marketing managers need to think about how we can get on with business. This calls for a slight shift in our regular pattern of thinking, from: “How is my business going to get through this?” to “What is my business going to look like on the other side?”
The answer may seem a little grey right now.
At Oddball, we are committed to continually sharing the best options to help you market your changing business throughout COVID-19. We’re here to support Central Coast businesses and beyond, for the long-term, with free crisis marketing advice.
Go easy on us, as we have never lived through a pandemic before either! But we are sharing EVERYTHING as we learn it it in the hope you can get some valuable takeaways for your own situation, (or perhaps share them with someone struggling to run their own shop right now?).
If your current priority involves adapting, pivoting, flipping or transforming the way you do things in the short-term – we can help make things clearer for you.
How is your business coping?
Since the pandemic hit our shores, people in business leadership or management positions have been confronted with a choice. Almost overnight, they needed to commit their company focus on one of the following options:
None of these options are easy. Whatever route a business decides to go down, there is still plenty of work to be done!
And that’s why we’ve created this resource. It’s a kind of map to point your operations in the right direction.
During COVID-19, businesses really need to focus on WHAT they can offer customers, and how best to deliver it. It’s vital to rethink HOW you market to customers too. How do you let them know you’re still here? How do you update the public that you’re “Open for Business”? Are you clued in on how to attract new customers?
You might want to bookmark this article, as we will continue to add more and more insights all the time to grow this resource library.
What you’ll find in this article:
How to access free, weekly marketing tips
Most popular free online resources for businesses
Marketing under current COVID-19 restrictions
Marketing under COVID-19 in the coming months
How to market your business after COVID-19
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Top 7 Most Popular COVID-19 Marketing Resources:
- Why Google Ads still Works Wonders during a Crisis
During a crisis, your natural instinct is to view paid Google Ads as an unnecessary expense, but here’s proven reasons why AdWords is now a significant marketing opportunity, even during a global pandemic.
- Inspiration from Central Coast Businesses Dealing with COVID-19
Despite the limiting reality of COVID-19, we’re hugely motivated by the fighting spirit of Central Coast businesses already trying these simple yet effective marketing ideas.
- 5 Ways your Marketing Strategy can cope with Social Distancing
Social distancing is changing the way consumers buy. It’s now up to business managers and owners to change their marketing to help people, not sell to them.
- JobKeeper Program: 3 Important Considerations for Businesses
Australia’s JobKeeper program guarantees some security for small to medium businesses, but have you considered these 3 important aspects for the next 6 months?
- Has COVID-19 Changed the Customer Journey Forever?
There is no ‘business as usual’ with the customer journey profoundly changing due to COVID-19. Keep up by moving from old activities to these new opportunities.
- 7 Ways Marketing can help your Business Survive COVID-19
Practical advice and ideas on how to adapt your business and continue advertising products and services to stay healthy during a global crisis.
- Adapting to COVID-19: Video & Tech Tools for Business
Innovate your business overnight by introducing our top recommended digital tools and video technology to your business and daily remote routine.
What Challenges and Opportunities is COVID-19 Creating?
Right now it’s a difficult time to stand out with your online marketing. People are suddenly inundated with the latest news headlines, social media angst, plus everything we are doing at the moment is surrounded by so much uncertainty. Add to this the massive risk many people will perceive when considering a purchase, ultimately causing them to hold back (this is not a time for being a spendthrift!).
Some businesses haven’t lost customers, but instead gained them. If you’re in an industry selling essential products or services that people can access or use at home – you’re probably experiencing a boost in trade. Websites featuring online shops (an “ecommerce” website) are seeing a particular boom at the moment, while all physical shops are closed indefinitely.
For example, Australian businesses like Harvey Norman and Kogan are doing bumper trade right now. Consumers are seeking to upgrade their home devices as we sit out COVID-19 in isolation. Other high-demand businesses, such as local grocery stores, accountants or even Bunnings are also doing extremely well considering the current restrictive climate.
Most businesses are doing it tough though. This is partially due to enforced restrictions, but also because of no flow-on business being generated.
All things considered, there are some massive challenges ahead. We will be addressing how to approach and overcome these in the coming weeks by covering topics such as:
- How to attract new customers in a COVID-19 world
- How people are behaving and consuming content in a world with COVID-19
- What marketing channels still work with COVID-19
- How to affordably market your business despite COVID-19
- Old School marketing that is now New School
- What industries will thrive under COVID-19 and should they pursue marketing
- How to communicate with customers if your business is still operating
- What can you do as a business to avoid infection
- What industries are dead due to COVID-19
- Can your business pivot with COVID-19
Suggested Initial COVID-19 Business Response
(this applies if you are a business still trading)
STEP 1: Make sure people know you are still trading
If you have made the bold decision to keep trading under COVID-19, you need to communicate this with your customers. This includes if your opening hours are reduced, or your services are restricted to online only. You need to share this information clearly and consistently across all your existing platforms, including social media and your website’s homepage as this is where customers will look. And if you haven’t already created a Google My Business account – now is an absolutely vital time to set this up!
STEP 2: Let them know how you are dealing with and complying to restrictions
If you’ve told your regular customers that you’re still open for business, they will also want to know how (and if) they can approach you. Online only? Can you video quote? Have you extended your contact hours? Are you delivering your goods directly to customers who order through your website? On top of this, you need to share a message showing how responsible you are being as a business in reaction to COVID-19, which includes how you treat your customers and staff safety right now. This will help to create trust and demonstrate you’re putting people’s health and safety above making a sale.
Later Stage Marketing COVID-19
(we’re talking May to December 2020)
If you think COVID-19 is just a short term issue, you are going to be very disappointed. The presence of this virus is here and will be for a long time, even if in the background.
Our (non expert) opinion is that we won’t collectively get rid of the weight of Coronavirus this side of Christmas, so we may have to learn to run our businesses with the ongoing risk of a COVID-19 outbreak around every corner. A potential outbreak may come from within our own country, or from overseas visitors (we can’t stay isolated from foreign countries forever).
This means if we want to stay trading in 2020, we need to be highly adaptive.
What we need to work out is how you can best connect with customers and deliver your services while the threat of COVID-19 still remains. To explore this, explore the following areas:
- What are the Top Marketing Channels to utilise during COVID-19?
- How do we remotely grab customers’ attention during COVID-19?
- Do customers even want to hear from us during COVID-19?
That last point is quite vital. It’s all well and good making moves to evolve your service… but it’s pointless if people don’t know about you and can’t find you. That’s where your marketing plan should come in…
Later Stage Marketing Strategies COVID-19
Marketing strategies we consider best suited to the COVID-19 climate right now:
Post COVID-19 Marketing
(now we’re realistically talking about 2021 onwards)
We want to focus on getting prepared for a world recovering from the suffocating grip of COVID-19. This symbolises a time when we can all truly get back to ‘business as usual’.
The reality is that we probably won’t see this happen for 12-18 months – either with an international vaccine or controlled contact. That’s the most likely reality, and we’ve got to work with it.
So what businesses really need to think about as part of a smart 12-month Marketing Plan is finding answers to:
- What kind of behavioural changes have become commonplace during COVID-19?
- Will our ‘new normal’ set in and COVID-19 effectively change the way we do things from 2020 onwards?
- What changes may revert back to the way we used to do things?
- How long will it take for customers to come back (or have they realised they don’t need us)?
- With the economic damage, how long will it take before people can afford to spend again?
Post COVID-19 Marketing Strategies
Come the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses will need to be equipped with a thorough action plan. At the moment, we believe this involves:
- Planning a marketing strategy for a post COVID-19 world in remission
- Researching what behaviours are likely to stay with us for the future
- Conducting conference calls as standard for meetings and client interactions
- Marketing on channels that specifically work for social distancing considering the world will be heavily reliant on digital connection