Still open for business
(Posted on 02/02/21)
Like many companies up and down the country, Zebra’s office is currently closed, and the team is working from home (WFH). However, we are still collaborating as a team (via Zoom) and working hard for our clients.
Whereas in the first lockdown, there was a general feeling of panic across the business world – and work all but ground to a halt in some sectors – in these subsequent lockdowns and tightening of restrictions, things feel slightly different.
Unfortunately, there are still far too many businesses that are unable to trade, or whose trading is severely restricted. But there are also many companies, across different sectors, that have found ways to continue, by altering their business practices to meet the latest rules and restrictions.
Don’t stop now!
While there is barely an industry that hasn’t been affected to some extent by the pandemic, for the lucky few that impact has actually been positive. Whatever impact the pandemic has had on your business, it is vital that wherever possible, you continue to invest in – not pull back from – your marketing.
Marketing is an important element of what will help your business survive in the long term. Even though it might feel like an easy cost saving, to reduce your marketing spend during these challenging times, it’s important to retain that impetus your marketing has built up. That’s not to say it’s necessarily ‘business as usual’, rather it’s important to recognise the mood of your audience and target your message to meet their needs.
As the owner of a marketing company, you might expect me to suggest expensive marketing campaigns. In reality, it’s more important to develop a marketing plan that is right for you and your business for the current circumstances – one that will help you get clear, consistent messages out to your customers in a timely manner.
Digitally does it
Web articles, social media campaigns, online newsletters and email marketing all represent cost-effective profile-raising for your business. Products and platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, MailChimp, HubSpot and even online survey providers (such as Survey Monkey) can all provide levels of automated marketing that helps you shape your message and get it out there.
A place for print
But digital isn’t the only way to go at this time. More traditional forms of marketing are just as important and can deliver an equally powerful message. Think about physical marketing: direct mail, printed newsletters, branded merchandise – all these have their place, and with so many people WFH, they can provide a welcome distraction when the post-box clatters.
Share your story
PR has its place too and is another cost-effective way to share news about your business. With a mix of printed and online titles available within most sectors, there is now the opportunity to share your business news in a convenient manner. Newspapers and magazines still have to fill their pages and positive articles about new appointments, new products, innovations or community initiatives will always be welcome.
Putting a face to the name
As you know, physical events have been severely impacted by the pandemic, but many of these have moved online. Virtual networking, exhibitions and conferences have all found their feet over the last 12 months. Even those most resistant to attending online events early in the pandemic are beginning to see the necessity and importance of engaging with their potential customers, partners and peers – even if it has to be done virtually. Workshops and seminars have also moved online and it is possible to develop a programme of webinars targeting your specific audience.
However you decide to do it, now is the time to develop your marketing plan and reach out to your customers and remind them you are there.