The year 2020, witnessed phenomenal changes in the way we live, work, socialize and do business. All of this was due to the Covid 19 pandemic. People had to stay home, drastically limit social contacts and work online.
The pandemic changed the business methodology altogether. Ecommerce and online store saw an exponential growth since most of the business and shopping was being done online.
The survival war during the pandemic was fought on two front. One, the personal front, where all precautions were taken to keep the disease away from self and family. Secondly, it was on the business front. Here, the economic survival depended upon thinking out of the box and adapt to the new business environment as soon as possible.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago, though fought well on both these fronts, however, this fight must continue for some more time to come.
This article lists and elaborates on six practical marketing guidelines to help thrive a business in this changed and new environment.
Adjust and adapt quickly
Do not waste time waiting for the business environment to come back to the previous state anytime soon because it will not. It is not a pessimistic view, rather it is based on undeniable facts and realities.
Different COVID vaccines are being developed but their availability and efficacy leave a lot to be desired. Social distancing has altered people’s state of mind. They now avoid crowded places and hence prefer to work and shop from the comfort and safety of their homes.
It is thus imperative for the business setups to adapt their working and marketing protocols, in line with this changed scenario to facilitate, retain and increase their customers.
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Seek help; it is nothing to be ashamed of
If your business requires help in adapting to the changing eCommerce environment, seek the help of your community, customers and clients.
Helping each other develops a strong bond. Share your stories of efforts, successes and vulnerabilities. People will appreciate your honesty and would be able to relate to you and your organization, more comfortably. Moreover, based on diverse experiences, you might get some very precious ideas and suggestions in response to your call for help.
Develop your sphere of influence
Intelligently and expeditiously, adjust to the changing business environment, marketing and customer preferences. To enhance business influence, revamp your marketing strategies and explore new venues.
Change your product tagline and slogans to reflect your organization’s new approach. Make these changes in conformity to the changing customer priorities and preferences.
Explore and utilize the social media platforms that have gained immense popularity during lockdowns. These may include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, mobile gaming and video streaming platforms etc. Use them effectively to promote your business philosophy, products and services.
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Keep your customer involved and informed
Make your customer a productive part of your team. Involve them and share information with them. They must know about your efforts. Highlight the changes made to benefit the customers. Invite their feedback, based on which, make new changes (if required).
The clients must be made aware of your efforts to uplift your community as well as the positive part played by the community to keep your business afloat. However, always share authentic information with them to keep their trust and loyalty intact.
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Be authentic, accurate and factual
The pandemic has created a fearful environment of uncertainty. Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation and fake news has aggravated the situation even further.
People want real facts, accurate data and authentic news. Do not feed your customer even with the slightest amount of misleading information or distorted facts.
A trusting customer is a loyal customer. Take this opportunity to build up your loyal customer base. If your community starts looking up to your organization for authentic information, consider them a part of your team.
Make your offers more attractive
Cheer up the community by making some attractive new offers or modify some existing ones. This could be in the form of discounts, reduced prices, free membership or free home delivery of your product/service etc.
Think out of the box. Try to put yourself in customer’s shoes to visualize and understand their needs and preferences. This will help you come up with attractive and practical ideas, benefitting both the sides.
Never the less, strictly refrain from making unrealistic offers and commitments. This can lead you into trouble in the form of bad reviews and comments, which are difficult to handle.
Some inspiring marketing leaders
Here are some industry leaders who successfully adapted to the situation and maybe a source of inspiration for people in Trinidad and Tobago.
A promotional video, released by Macdonald’s Philippines elaborates the fast-food chain’s changed philosophy to provide safe and healthy service to their customers in the pandemic.
The message prioritizes customer safety. The organization reassures the customers that in the pandemic they are following procedures that ensure customer safety, even at the cost of their business profits.
The automaker has a long and commendable service record. During the pandemic, Ford also used its technical facilities to manufacture medical equipment for frontline medical staff and patients, thus doing community service on a large scale. People do remember such gestures and the brand.
Ford also introduced a credit relief program to help the customers facing financial crunch due to Covid-19.
This US-based pharmacy and health care service provider served the community during the pandemic by providing a YouTube-based service, namely ‘Ask a pharmacist’. This service answered Covid related queries and provided online guidance. The company also introduced ‘Free drug prescription delivery service’ and ‘Drive through testing service’ for front line medical professionals.
The home furnishing mega supplier made inspiring ads for people to help them make their home more comfortable to live in, during lockdowns. They encouraged people to love their abodes and stay in the safety and security of their homes for the safety of their self and family.
The world in general and business world, in particular, have witnessed transitions and recessions in the past as well. However, the successful survivors in those testing times have always been the ones who accepted the change and quickly adapted.
Current pandemic is a reality. Make the most of it by accepting it, understanding the changing dynamics and quickly adapting accordingly.
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