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Using the Pandemic to Pivot: Uncovering Your Marketing Strategy Gems

Michelle Givens 6/10/20 6:23 PM

If you have a growth mindset, which I know you do because you're reading this blog post, then the pandemic has led you to panic and pivot. You've chosen to find a new normal for your business, and I applaud you for it. 

You have the potential for long-term benefits of all of this panic and pivoting you've done if you're strategic about your plans and approach in the weeks and months to come. 

If you're agonizing at night about what's next or which direction to take your marketing strategy, you're not alone. Marketing strategy has never been more critical when it comes to uncovering the "hidden gems" your company needs to regain its footing. 

With that in mind, let's explore a simple framework and tactics to make long-term marketing growth happen for you during these unprecedented times. 

Find Your New "Gems"

For impressive long-term growth to happen, you must isolate what I like to call the new marketing "gems" that have risen to the surface because of COVID-19.

What do I mean by marketing gems? 

Never in my career have I seen business talent respond with a greater abundance of creativity than since the outbreak began. Just consider the high digital technology adoption rates we've witnessed in a matter of a few months!

The need for companies to survive despite stay-at-home orders and social distancing have forced them to:

  • More readily embrace technology, social media, online ads, etc.
  • Be more creative and experimental with their service offerings

What's next for companies who have made either or both of these massive leaps? Identifying key areas that work well (a.k.a. marketing gems) so that results are maximized.

How do you do this?

  • Over-communicate with employees and customers to identify which adjustments are working within your organization.
  • Set up more frequent meetings and customer touchpoints.
  • Review social media engagement and feedback (e.g., surveys and reviews).
  • Use email marketing lists and social media channels to reach out to your customers.

From here, organize your initiatives in terms of what's working and what isn't. Within these two categories, create subcategories for old and new initiatives. Then, take action to ensure your employees remain empowered and your customers happy with their experiences.

If an old initiative isn't working, pause it. As for new ones that fall short? Try adjusting and then reiterating them.

How about older initiatives that are working? Keep them up. Finally, take the time to explore changes that appear successful and find out why. 

Explore Your Select "Gems"

Once you've identified potential marketing gems, it's time to examine them further. What questions should you consider when exploring new offerings that appear to be working well? They include these key takeaways:

  • Did you find your loyal fans?
  • Did you find brand promoters?
  • Did you find a new audience?
  • Did you find a new revenue source?

If you're new to digital marketing or haven't placed much focus there historically, you'll also want to ask yourself:

  • Did COVID-19 force me to take the leap into digital marketing? 
  • Did the pandemic help me make my digital marketing efforts work better?

Through this process, I want you to think past the novel coronavirus. After all, you've essentially done rapid beta testing and launched new products in a three-month-long timeframe (or less). Along the way, you've learned countless lessons and tried new marketing tactics.

Now, apply these lessons long-term by thinking through how curbside offerings can continue after reopening. Consider how takeaway offerings might get reconstructed into a monthly subscription system and how "real" video footage can elevate marketing and sales.

Gain Your "Crisis Win"

Now that you've asked the right questions and applied the art of over-communication, it's time to find your loyal fans and promoters. How? Start by pouring over the customer info that you've already captured from donations, orders, and more. 

You can rely on this pool of email addresses and phone numbers to give you an underlying sense of who your customers. But the data collection shouldn't stop there. 

With Facebook Business Manager, set up a new Facebook Audience to capture even more vital information like:

  • A Facebook pixel for website traffic
  • Engagements with any post or ad
  • Clicks on any call-to-action button
  • Anyone who visited your page
  • Saved pages or posts
  • Sent messages to your page

After you've identified your loyal core, what's next? Find creative and fun ways to reward them. These rewards might include early access to promos, extra-special coupons, pre-launch access for new offerings, or private event invites.

Customer appreciation is the name of the game when it comes to these marketing strategies, so leverage the data that you've gained to let customers know that they matter to you.

But don't stop there! Continue to satisfy your growth mindset and long-term focus by growing your reach even further. That means finding more customers like the loyal ones you're already reaching. 

Continue to grow your reach through Facebook Ads by targeting:

  • Users who engaged with any post or ad
  • Customer lists
  • Those who messaged your page
  • Individuals who saved your page or any post
  • Website visitors (using the FB pixel)

Remember that Facebook Custom Audience provides many fantastic options for getting to know your ideal customer better. Let the insights you've gained about loyal customers during the pandemic help you find more like-minded individuals! 

Uncovering Your Marketing Strategy "Gems"

The 2020 pandemic has forced a business pivot for many companies, launching new marketing strategy initiatives in mere months. While many people remain focused on returning to normal, a more valuable mindset is finding the new normal that makes the most sense for your company.

The marketing techniques described above translate the growth mindset into a series of actionable steps to move your company forward. In the process, identify fruitful long-term directions while expanding your customer base through targeted marketing.

Your company can come out of the pandemic stronger than before, and we're here to help. Contact us to discuss ways to get your small business back on track for long-term success.