When times become difficult, your external business support systems are challenged.

There is pressure from every angle and you need good foundations to be able to weather the storm. There is no point using more junior staff for systems such as your marketing if those people are not equipped to create the resilience that you need.

Marketing vision and excellence comes through experience coupled with proven teaching. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) are the most recognised body within the UK for marketing qualifications. In order to be able to correctly support businesses you need to work with someone who has both the theoretical experience from the CIM at a high level (ME) and the real life practical hands on experience too. Just having the training is not enough. It is just like working on a car…you can read a book on how to fix an engine but unless you have done it yourself practically and come across the problems that can occur in real time, you are not equipped to correctly problem solve.

The focus here needs to be on outcomes. In terms of your marketing the outcome you need is likely customer satisfaction and repeat purchase. Therefore, you need to work with someone who prioritises your customer but also your internal business needs as well.

You need to work with someone who is experienced in crisis marketing and who can adapt your business story for the customer benefit.

You need to risk mitigate and you need marketing contingencies coming out of your ears. I work with my clients to build a strong and resilient marketing tool box that includes a whole host of marketing collateral that can be used at any time. This negates the need for constant briefs and design work. This is your armoury.

You need a promotional calendar and promotional tools even if historically you haven’t offered this sort of thing and it doesn’t fit with your brand guidelines. You need to be prepared to serve your customer come what may. Now is the time to take action with your marketing and stock your reserves. Consistent communication that you are absolutely accountable for will give you strength and resilience. Here we are trying to protect the competitive advantage you have built up over the years because to see that dwindle or deplete would be a terrible thing after all of the efforts you have already put in to protect your customer database.

One of the issues with more junior/less qualified marketers is that you can spend money on tactics that aren’t matched with your bigger business vision. This can make you feel like you are doing the right thing by your customer but actually you are just ticking a box in your head so that you feel like you are doing something. Generally Junior marketers do not have the foresight or experience to be able to plan ahead and account for all of the commercial challenges that may lie ahead simply because they haven’t had the exposure to local and global businesses where they have seen the pressures that can occur in every department.

If you would like to create some business resilience with someone who understands you your business your customer and what you need from your marketing here I am.

So for some it’s already panic stations for others you aren’t quite there yet but looks like we need to GET READY because of the virus outbreak. My job here is to show you how to have business resilience during the next 6-12 months and create a super strong toolbox for getting back up after potentially slow times. 

Don’t keep your head in the sand thinking this will all blow over in a heartbeat, if you currently have a strategy, adjust it. If you don’t have a strategy, build one in the next 3 months or take a serious look at how to apply your crisis marketing. 

If you ignore the pandemic and your customers concerns regarding continuity of business, supply of product or safety when using your service your marketing will be lost and your resilience down. 

Time to pause and reflect.

Build strength whilst knowing when to speak to customers and when to be silent. 

From a marketing perspective, this period may give you the ‘time’ you’ve always said you haven’t had, to get a huge business survival toolkit ready. 

I know you are worried about your business.

You are worried about customer drop-off, loss of competitive advantage, your staff resource management, productivity in general, continuity of business, and the reliance on your online presence. Can the digital infrastructure cope?

Do you have enough of a digital story to ride out the next few months?

Are your customer communications consistent? Will you be accountable for the results?

My clients with a strategy, (especially the ones who have kept it rolling year after year) all have the power to win through this due to consistent client communication.

Their strategies remove any stress about messaging, method of marketing delivery or tools available. Nothing has to be created from scratch as it’s all there to be adapted.

It’s a great time to advertise and communicate so your customers are reassured and that you don’t lose competitive advantage and then have to invest MORE longer term, to get back up. 

  1. Stay consistent: make customer service a priority, update your team web page, prioritise web content. Keep your emails to customers relevant and timely with support as a key focus. Make the business about your PEOPLE. Don’t stop marketing as you’ll lose momentum and have to spend more to build up. This is no ploy to get businesses to keep marketing.  It’s about knowing what tools to use when, why and for what benefit. 
  2. Stay real: don’t all of a sudden be someone you are not or go in to desperation mode. This is the sort of ‘event’ I have seen strategies help to build businesses time and time again when they’ve been implemented correctly. Be authentic. Have a conversation with your customer via your marketing as if you were face to face. 
  3. Reassure: don’t be shy. Your customers need to know what you are doing to keep their business and keep them safe. Can you offer to change your delivery process? Can you alter the staff working to benefit customer outcome? Can you offer packages or post outbreak solutions? Whatever you need to do to keep your customer. Do it. 
  4. Remain accountable: business may change or slow down or increase (depending on your industry). Whatever happens in the next 6-12 months you need to be ready. This is the time to stay visible and cut through the noise whilst not being ignorant. 
  5. Still communicate! :Now is the time to organise everything, all those hours you wish you had when business is chocca – you might now have them and use them wisely. This is the time to get ready and invest in high level strategic marketing and PR activities. Stay visible and stay strong because trust me, if you let it slip it will be far harder to build back up again. 

Think of ways to build your business using the advantage of people potentially being at home more, being in front of a computer more, being with family more or being bored! 

If you need marketing support or guidance during the outbreak, let me help. I will make you stronger than ever http://www.gemmaangharad.co.uk


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