Commercial markets endure rapid changes. Having a marketing plan in place can mean the difference between a thriving business and disaster. Nothing has made this clearer in today’s economy like the global Covid-19 pandemic. When economies shut down and business’ close, your digital marketing presence can be the lifeline you need to not only survive but thrive during times of uncertainty. In this article, we discuss the importance of a digital marketing presence as your foundation for maintaining and growing your business during a crisis.
Why Build a Digital Marketing Presence at All?
Even under normal circumstances, an online presence can lead to sales. Consumer research has become a major part of the purchasing process in today’s economy. If consumers cannot find your business online, your ability to get the sale diminishes. Even having a website is no longer sufficient when every competitor also has a website. Your business’ needs a way to distinguish itself from the competition. A digital marketing tool such as Google Ads or a business Facebook page can do that quickly and efficiently.
What happens during a crisis when consumers are staying close to home? In this case, your physical reach shrinks down to the amount of people that are only searching for essential items. Things like tourism, or even people enjoying a stroll around town are non-existent. By building a digital marketing presence, you become less reliant on physical advertising allowing you to stay connected to your audience.
Further, during a time of crisis, many business’ cut marketing costs thereby reducing overhead. In times of uncertainty, it’s easy for business’ to instinctually take risk averse actions like cutting budgets. Unfortunately for them, when the market rebounds, they will be left with a diminished digital presence giving their competitors an advantage in the marketplace.
Building a Digital Marketing Plan During a Crisis
Crisis marketing can be tricky. Tensions are high among your audience members, so you want to be sensitive to their concerns. This means keeping the following few things in mind.
First, expect reduced spending on “non-essential items” among your audience members. Consumer spending dropped by 12.6% in April 2020, when most states were under lockdown orders. Under such conditions, it is best to shift your marketing strategy from sales to brand awareness. By building brand awareness, you are not only staying connected with your current customer base, you are also building connections with future customers that may covert once the market rebounds.
Second, keep your audience informed. Your business needs to adapt to the changing conditions of the market and a digital marketing presence proves vital for getting messages out to your customers quickly and clearly. If your restaurant offers curb-side pickup or your service business is scheduling phone appointments for example, you need to inform your customers of this before they start looking elsewhere.
Digital Marketing for the Future
It can be difficult to see past the uncertainty occurring during a crisis which can hinder any future planning. While building a successful business necessitates an online presence, the process can be confusing and even more so during a crisis. Fortunately, there are many Digital Agencies that offer a vast selection of digital services. From Search Engine Optimization to Facebook Advertising, marketing professionals offer plenty of tools for your business to not just survive, but thrive during, and especially after, times of uncertainty.