The pandemic has changed the way consumers discover, buy, and use goods and services — and research shows that these behavioral changes are likely to remain in the foreseeable future. This means that if businesses want to drive sales and profitability, they will have to rethink — if not overhaul — their current marketing strategies.
Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that usually have slim profit margins need to act swiftly and adopt the following approaches in order to keep their bottom lines healthy:
Understand the context
The first step in solving a problem is understanding it, so it’s crucial for any business to understand its unique predicament in the new normal. For one, business owners should study how their market has changed. Is the target audience the same? Are there new needs that need to be addressed? What are clients’ post-pandemic nonnegotiables?
Answering such questions will also inform you which areas you should change or improve to better adapt to your customers’ needs. It will also push you to evolve into a business that is always relevant and sought after.
Understand your company’s current digital marketing strategy
More and more consumers are using digital platforms to transact with businesses due to their accessibility and convenience. This is why it’s critical that you have a good grasp of your current digital marketing strategies. What are you doing to cater to consumers who are predominantly accessing goods and services online?
Assessing how well you respond to the needs of your digital-based consumers will enable you to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of your approach. For instance, if your website only contains a catalog of your products, upgrade it by adding a feature that lets customers purchase items directly online. Depending on the needs you have to address, you may need to make modifications to your current setup, such as by upgrading your systems.
Leverage what makes your company stand out
Now is the perfect opportunity to reassess what makes your business different from the competition. Is it the extra mile you go for your customers? The lineup of services or goods you’re offering? The security your business provides to online buyers?
Reconsider which values lead and drive your business to reach your goals. Once you find the core of your business that makes you stand out, you can leverage it as a marketing advantage. For example, if your selling point is business excellence, you can post on your social media accounts the awards, portfolios, or achievements that prove your commitment to the highest standards. This will highlight your uniqueness as a company, which can increase customer engagement and strengthen consumer loyalty, in turn.
Ask for consumer feedback
If you’re unsure of what your audience is interested in, a good strategy is to simply ask your social media followers. Use the public poll or ask features on different social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, to ask users what content or services they are interested in right now. Use their responses to develop offerings that reflect your customers’ current routines and lifestyles.
For instance, if the majority of your customers say that shipping fees are their top consideration when purchasing goods, you can offer free shipping or shipping discounts to those whose purchases reach a certain amount.
However, it’s not enough to just ask your audience for feedback; you must always be ready to engage with replies or messages to show your customers that you genuinely care about what they think. By dealing with online customer interactions with an open mind and an attitude for service, you can leave a lasting impression that your consumers are likely to remember when they’re ready to buy something.
Updating your marketing strategies is just one way to keep up with the times and ensure that your SMB keeps thriving in the new normal. Discover how else your company can stay relevant by reading our FREE eBook “Shift Happens”, an exploration of how the IT landscape is changing and how your business can change along with it. Download your complimentary copy today.