Whenever there is deep uncertainty in the market, small businesses tend to go into fight or flight. Budget that would otherwise go to initiatives like Marketing (an “extremity”), tend to be redirected to the core and stored as reserve.
It’s not a bad idea to have cash on hand, but pulling all resources from your Marketing programs can be a short-sighted move.
Here are some reasons why you may want to continue to invest in your Marketing initiatives in the age of COVID-19.
Giving existing customers (and employees) a sense of security
All business leaders are scrambling to determine how they’re going to keep afloat in the midst of this dynamic crisis. What customers (and employees) DON’T want to see is radio silence. Likely, your customers are still invested in your product or service. Continue to give them faith in your offering by being a calm and assuring voice. Don’t be tone deaf – but a “business as usual” approach will reinforce that you won’t be going anywhere.
You’ve already invested thousands into your marketing programs. Content marketing, social media, lead generation, marketers and sales teams to run these initiatives. Don’t throw that away. You will have too much to make up. Instead, use this time to do some housekeeping, test different strategies, innovate and refine your approach.
Isaac Newton’s first law states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Don’t be that force. Once you have the momentum, it is better to maintain it or you will have a lot of ground to make up. This is a marathon – not a sprint.
Business will go back to normal. It’s inevitable. Will your company be top-of-mind? Or will one of your competitors outshine you? Brand awareness is the difference between being able to immediately scale up and having to push your way through the crowd. Through ads, lead generation and content marketing – continue to let your customer base know you exist, even if there’s no expectation of an immediate need.
Any good sales team needs a pipeline and this doesn’t stop in the midst of a crisis – but, expectations may need to be reset. Some of your prospects will want to ride out the storm before committing to your product or service, but that doesn’t mean it’s a waste of your time to invest in the relationship. Ride it out with them. Nurture the relationship. Chances are, once they are ready to buy, they will be a more loyal customer because you stuck with them even when there was not an immediate opportunity to close the deal.
If you’re wondering how to keep your Sales and Marketing initiatives alive in the midst of COVID-19, reach out today!