Don’t stop the comms – just make them relevant

by Kristie Fankhauser, Director of Strategic Marketing

While the world is changing and the way we do business most certainly will change for the next few months at least, it’s important for businesses to keep the communication lines open. And keep their marketing going. The only difference is make sure its relevant, compassionate and connects to your audience.

Successful marketing is still governed by the same set of principles whether the world is in chaos or not. Creating communication that effectively connects emotionally with human beings never changes either.
If you think marketing is just an activity or a channel, then you are already behind. Marketing is everything you say and everything you do in your business, all the time.

My advice to all businesses is to plan key messages now and keep communication flowing as the impact of coronavirus continues to reverberate.

The big end of town, with their communication departments and strategists, are likely well ahead of the game, but small and medium size businesses also need to get on the front foot.

  1. Be clear and deliberate in your communication strategy – don’t be sucked into switching to tactical mode without thinking strategically or holistically across your touch points – that means sales, social media and communications all working together.
  2. You need to create confidence in your business and be agile in identifying other market openings or opportunities in the meantime.
  3. Be proactive and compassionate in your messaging. It will stamp your business as a leader in the face of uncertainty and that can carry cache well into the future.
  4. But in the race to get your messages out, don’t forget the importance of internal communication as well. It’s good practice, in uncertain times, for all businesses to reassure employees that plans are in place and any future responses to commercial challenges have been pre-empted rather than made on the run.

Confidence, like charity, should begin at home.
While I don’t have all the answers as to how individual businesses should navigate the way ahead, a clear communication strategy should be key in riding out this business climate, perhaps even rising above, the coronavirus curve ball.

The take-home advice is to keep communication channels open and try to be:

• Helpful
• Relevant
• Constructively distracting or
• Authentically compassionate.

A clear message and strategy will be equated to confidence in your business and, that perception may just be the self-fulfilling prophecy that’s needed.

Stop the automated promo messages as if COVID-19 doesn’t exist and communicate better with your customers.

Tell your customers about your policy and services updates. Tell them how you are taking care of your employees (and them) and tell them about your discounts or charity work – just don’t try to sell them as if nothing is happening.
And if you need help, or want to bounce some ideas around and get the creative juices flowing, we can run a virtual brainstorming session with you or act as a sanity check. All you have to do is email [email protected]

fmadmin, 2020 Focused Marketing