The unprecedented Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has turned into one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime – all in a matter of weeks. Not only is there immense pain in the loss of human life and worry for our loved ones, but secondary to this, the impact on businesses and socio-economic factors is undoubtedly on a scale never seen before in modern times. At Lightning Transformations, we are doing everything we can to help our clients through these difficult times. We’d like to share some business and marketing related tips to help your organisation over the next few months.
Although things are changing on a regular basis, here are some of the things we believe are working well right now:
Adapt your existing services
Does your business offer services that could be offered in the current situation with some tweaks? These could be quick wins to bring in some much-needed revenue, or prevent streams of revenue falling away from the business. For example, we’re taking some of our social media training material, usually delivered to groups in person, and putting into live, interactive online sessions.
Offer more online
If your business has the potential to generate revenue online that’s previously gone untapped, now might be the time to invest in your website and social media channels. Not only could this help your business to survive in the short term, but it’s likely to prove a good long-term investment with an increasing amount of digitisation occurring across the board.
Chat Bots, SMS and WhatsApp integrations
Your business may be experienced with online lead generation or sales to some degree, but now is a great time to invest in order to stay ahead of the competition. Think about how you can nurture and retain customer relationships through your website. We’ve been working with some of our clients to implement online chat bots, SMS and WhatsApp integrations on their websites, enabling them to serve their customers more efficiently whilst many people are working or ordering online. This is relatively cost effective and simple to implement – could your business benefit?
Keep your customers informed
During these times of crisis, not much is certain or predictable. Whilst you are probably caught up in responding to daily challenges as they arise, don’t forget to let customers know of simple changes such as new opening hours, closures or site restrictions, postponed events, refund, return or cancellation policies and new delivery timescales as they happen. Whilst, it’s natural to feel that you don’t want to portray the image of your business profiteering from these times, if you have products and services that are useful during the crisis, don’t be afraid to let potential customers know how you can help.
Communicate regularly with staff working from home
Whilst so much is going on, check on employees working from home to see how they are coping and let them know how the business is evolving during this time. Try to consider how employees can be supported, motivated and kept abreast of developments, as well as how they might be able to help the company’s own marketing efforts – simple things such as sharing company posts on social media can really help. Providing internal communications through a regular e-newsletter can be really effective in medium or large businesses where staff find themselves working from home in multiple locations.
Prepare for lift off!
Many businesses will find that they have less work in the schedule than would otherwise be the case if it wasn’t for the pandemic. Try to use this time wisely to prepare a revised marketing strategy for the year and some special initiatives ready for when the lockdown measures are lifted. Once business gets back to normal, we are all going to need our revenue streams back online as fast as possible – don’t get caught knapping and make sure your business is best placed to compete in the marketplace when things get up and running.
Strengthen your marketing materials
As small business owners, we can easily be caught up in the day to day running of the business and helping our clients. Often website refreshes, updates to online content or creating that much needed brochure take a back seat. With a little free time in the schedule now is the time to do these all-important tasks – we are currently working with a number of clients, helping them to design new product and service brochures or developing case studies to use once the pandemic is over.
The Coronavirus pandemic is unchartered territory for all of us and this uncertainty will inevitably lead to increasing anxiety levels for most. Remember though, we are all in this together and we’ve already encountered so many examples of kindness – people and businesses going out of their way to help each other. Try to stay calm, think logically about your marketing and invest in areas where you will get the best return on investment whilst, perhaps, cutting back temporarily on promoting those services that may not be able to operate in the current conditions.
We will be posting more regularly on our blog during these unusual times, providing some more marketing hints and advice, so please stay tuned to our website and social media platforms. In the meantime, we’d love to hear any tips you have to share!
During the crisis we continue to offer our free initial consultations as always, but via teleconference rather than a face to face meeting. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01284 332 738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss in more detail.