Maximising marketing to help you adapt to a challenging landscape


Maximising marketing to help you adapt to a challenging landscape

3rd April 2020

Maximising marketing to help you adapt to a challenging landscape and keep your business strong – it is currently a challenging time for many businesses, and it is in difficult times like these when we all need to work together to come out of the situation stronger. By taking proactive steps now, you can put your business in a more secure position which will help it to stay strong, recover faster and build for the future.

Businesses are having to re-shape their marketing strategies and marketing plans quickly, focusing on what will keep them at the forefront, but at the same time being sympathetic and sensitive about the situation.

To help mitigate the impact of this difficult time on organisations, Horizon Works has put together some practical marketing advice and tips on maximising marketing and what you can do to limit the damage to your business and put your organisation in a good position for the future.

Continue to connect with customers, stakeholders, and prospects.

Now more than ever you need to communicate with your customers, prospects, suppliers, and stakeholders to maintain strong relationships. Listening to customers’ and prospects’ needs is equally as important as promoting your products and services – and a deeper dialogue may help you to re-shape what you offer around what they really need.

Ensuring that lines of communication are open with suppliers and stakeholders will help you to maintain relationships – simple actions, such as informing them of who they need to contact if any of your staff are absent, can make a big difference.

  • Create informative e-shots with tailored content relevant to current climate.
  • Put out messages/announcements on social media platforms – let people know you are still here.
  • Let technology help – and set up regular virtual meetings and conference calls.
  • Develop new website content tailored to needs of your clients/prospects at this time.
  • Listen to your clients’ needs, make the effort to call/video call.
  • Organise round table conference calls/video calls with suppliers, customers, and stakeholders.
  • Take part in network webinars and virtual networking events.

Engage with staff and strengthen morale.

With many staff now working from home, strong internal communications are vital – and not just from an operational point of view. Clear, regular internal communication is an important part of building and maintaining morale, and promoting wellbeing, especially given the challenging conditions now facing many businesses. Staff should feel connected, up-to-date, and informed.

  • Embrace and integrate digital comms technology such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and WhatsApp.
  • Implement internal company e-newsletters.
  • Enhance intranet communications.
  • Share advice and guidance regularly to help support staff and their wellbeing.
  • Support with the production of PDF or intranet guides on new ways of working.
  • Organise team activities – such as desk exercises, virtual lunches, and quizzes.
  • Take the time to speak to your team and schedule regular check-ins.

Make your messaging consistent and make it count.

Your messages and content may need to be adapted in line with the current business climate. Certain products and services may not now be relevant or will need to be re-positioned. Think about what your customers and prospects need. What will be useful to them? What are they likely to respond to?

Tone of voice also needs to be carefully considered – are you hitting the right note, given the way staff, customers, prospects, and the wider business community may be feeling?

  • Adapt messages and content to address the current business climate.
  • Understand your audiences and what will appeal to them at this time.
  • Think about repositioning some of your products / services.
  • Write content that will encourage a positive response (not a sales pitch)
  • Consider your tone of voice across your communications.
  • The right tone is important given how staff, customers, prospects, and the wider community is feeling.
  • Press and media engagement needs to be relevant and on message.

Re-position your products and services and make the most of your opportunities.

What your customers may need now might differ greatly to what they needed earlier this year. Some of your products and services may not be in such high demand – others may be more popular than ever so maximising marketing is essential. You may have had to adapt to new manufacturing processes or ways of working. You may not be able to rely upon long-standing customers and markets, and therefore need to look at new opportunities elsewhere.

You may need a new marketing strategy which can re-position your business and its products and services for a changing landscape and can help your company steer a new course.

  • Analyse your current customers’ needs now and what they will be in future.
  • Analyse your current product/ service portfolio and make decisions.
  • Conduct a risk assessment based on the above findings.
  • Assess your current marketing activities – do they support these findings?
  • Develop a new go-to market strategy which is quick and relevant.
  • Re-energise and adapt your marketing approach to maximise on opportunities.

Energise your digital presence to generate more business.

As your sales teams may not be able to meet with customers and prospects face to face, you will need to ensure that your website really works for you in maximising your marketing – and that your business can be easily found by your target audience.

This could mean enhancing your website with new content, images, or graphics, making it more user-friendly, adding downloadable content and helping it to rise the Google rankings to drive traffic, increase inbound enquiries and generate new leads.

Your website should help you to build credibility for your business and could even become a useful knowledge hub for your customers.

  • Audit your website and SEO.
  • Find out what information will support your sales team.
  • Generate new content such as case studies and blogs – make them visual.
  • Look at enhancing your design and navigation – to make it easy and appealing.
  • Look at key words and other online activities to support your SEO – make your website easy to find.
  • Look at how prospects can get information – look at downloadable content such as PDF brochures and data sheets.
  • Add relevant advice-based blogs to the website – make it a knowledge hub.

Engage effectively on multiple platforms and build your audience.

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are now seeing surges in demand and with good reason – in the absence of face-to-face networking and sales meetings, they represent a great way of connecting with customers, prospects, and partners and maximising marketing campaign efforts. Crucially, effective social media is a means of staying visible and disseminating your messages.

But your company and staff need to stay on-brand and be consistent in how they are communicating. You may need to re-consider your company’s tone of voice on social media, or it might be important to re-shape social media content around the products, services, and expertise your customers and prospects need now.

  • Audit your social media use and platforms.
  • Develop a plan and content which will appeal to your audience.
  • Look at enhancing ways of communicating your message, such as infographics, videos, and webinars.
  • Train your staff on maximising LinkedIn use and provide the resources they need.
  • Communicate your social media campaigns with your team to get broader reach.
  • Spend time making sure you are connecting with the right audiences!

Keep your business in the spotlight.

It is vitally important to remain visible to the world. Customers and prospects need to have confidence that you are operational and available to help them. And even in the current climate, there can still be positive news to share about your business.

Of course, getting the tone right is key – as is ensuring the right people see your news. Regional, national and trade press are all still active and are still looking for interesting content for their readers, and if your business is dealing with difficult circumstances, having a good public relations strategy in place is essential.

  • Shape and adapt your current PR strategy.
  • Develop new messages and content which are relevant to the media and press.
  • Look at what news from your business is relevant currently.
  • Take the time to review feature opportunities in the press – you could be preparing great content for the future.
  • Strengthen your connections to journalists.
  • Build and refine a target media list.
  • Nominate a spokesperson for media engagement – who are your experts? Who is qualified to be interviewed on behalf of your company?

Support for business development teams is essential to boost their engagement with prospects.

If your business development and sales teams are struggling to adapt to the current business landscape, they may need some additional support – and tools – to help them.

Much of their business will now be conducted over email or through platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and LinkedIn – and there are numerous ways in which their communications with prospects and customers can be enhanced.

  • Review the tools and materials you currently have.
  • Develop the necessary materials needed and make them visually appealing and accessible.
  • Consider the design and content of your sales presentations – remember these will be delivered online, so they need to do a lot of the talking.
  • Look at how you can make brochures/ flyers/ information stand out more.
  • Sales campaigns will be online based – look at e-marketing support and the creation of content templates for sales.

Build your network and share your knowledge.

Webinars, online presentations, and digital networking events are becoming more popular as the business world adapts to working from home. It opens opportunities to share your knowledge and expertise on a global scale and engage with new audiences using platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook, and YouTube.

Think about how a product could be demonstrated online, or how technical data may be displayed for maximum impact in an online event environment.

  • Look at improving your PowerPoint presentation design and content – especially for use on webinar platforms.
  • Create better ways to communicate information through infographics and videos.
  • Get support with presentation scripts or webinar structures – make the presentation focused and on message.
  • Promote webinars, presentations and online events through social media, PR, and e-marketing.
  • Make a lasting impression with your presentation content and delivery!

Strengthen your profile in target sectors.

Is your business a member of an industry network or trade body? Are you getting the most out of your membership? Or do you need support in evaluating which organisations to join and how to get the best out of them?

Connecting with potential prospects and partners – and getting access to industry advice and expertise – through being an active network member can have huge advantages for your business, especially in these challenging times.

  • Assess your current networks and the opportunities they provide.
  • Look at the communications channels each network has to offer.
  • Send news and information on webinars you are hosting to them.
  • Look at specific member to member offers.
  • Can you provide advice at this time to the network?
  • Are your connected with the right companies?
  • Utilise your member benefits!

We can help you adapt by maximising marketing efforts and meet the changing business landscape and keep your business strong through these challenging times. Check out our case studies here. If you would like to discuss more about maximising marketing, get in touch.