As more and more companies slowly begin to emerge from lockdown, the rally for a ‘business as usual’ approach has possibly never been stronger. But springing back to life from the imposed period of hibernation is no walk in the park. Few businesses can expect to return to the same modus operandi as pre-Covid-19 but in addition to this, there is likely to be a degree of apathy amongst customers. While the potential for a further spike hangs over our heads like the sword of Damocles, people are understandably reticent to commit to any major purchasing so a compelling call to action has never been more important.
Survival post the pandemic depends on business owners keeping their commercial operations fit to face the challenges of the potentially uncertain economic climate. But how do you define ‘fit’? The company needs to be communicating clearly with its audiences. It needs to be assured of the fact that it is talking to the right people, at the right time, with the right tone of voice. There needs to be a defined proposition. The messaging needs to have stand out. It must be relevant. It must be memorable. All communications must be consistent, there must be synergy across all the channels employed.
Sounds like a job for marketing … So, while some companies may be considering cutting back on marketing support at a time when trading conditions and sales are less likely to predict, this is in reality precisely the period when marketing programmes should be maintained.
A withdrawal of all marketing activity can cost a business dearly. Marketing comprises a drip feed of messages using a variety of communication vehicles. It might be possible to turn the pressure down, but it is still important to maintain awareness levels so that when the business climate begins to perk up, it is possible to simply crank up the volume. Companies choosing to opt out of all marketing ‘noise’ and hoping to reactivate their marketing campaign following a void of silence – when their competitors have maintained their customer / prospect conversations – could be in for a real challenge.
Of course, marketing is so much more than implementing an advertising / PR / social media / influencer programme. These of course, provide highly credible conduits to ‘touch’ the existing customer / future prospect. But for any of these disciplines to deliver to their full potential, the recommended activity must be tied to an overarching strategy. Now more than ever, companies should invest in understanding exactly what they are offering, who represents the optimum target audience, how that target audience functions and how best to connect with them both in terms of the style of messaging and genre of activity. Post lockdown, companies must be prepared to embrace new routes to market which might look quite different to those employed prior to the pandemic.
Businesses are entering a completely new phase, to cite a phrase used frequently over the last few months, these are uncharted waters. Only the fittest will survive the currents of uncertainty. Make sure your business is one of them. Talk to the team of experts at The Food Marketing Experts. We can help you plot your path to success by working together to develop a Covid-19 fit business strategy and programme of marketing activity.