Complete lockdown!! Even thinking about it gave businesses chills. To close the business for three weeks is career suicide is what they thought. How can a business stay afloat when people can’t even go out? But the government imposed lockdown doesn’t need to be this grim and frustrating. Granted the consumers’ behavior has changed. People come out of their homes only to buy essential things. It’s because they have survival in their minds. They aren’t looking to buy a new dress or a mobile phone. They cannot even if they want to. But this doesn’t mean that businesses should just sit idly and wait for this whole thing to be over. Surely most of them may not sell right now, but they can do something which will be helpful in the future growth of their business. This is the time to work towards building an online presence. And if one already has an online profile, it is time to update it. Let’s see how businesses can capitalize this lockdown situation:
Think about brand awareness and engagement
Up to this point, brands have poured their resources into sales only. And they are not completely wrong. Sales should be given more importance because that’s where the revenue comes in. But right now, it can’t be done anyway. So let’s stop and think about something that should always be thought about when you establish a company: branding. Branding is by definition creation of a brand’s name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable. It helps distinguish a brand from others.
Audience attention time is high right now. This is the best time as everybody is glued to their phones d and thus the brand has their undivided attention.
Following things can be done for brand awareness and engagement during this time:
- Collect social proof: Brands can reach out to old customers for their reviews, photos or videos after/while using the product/service. If a brand has a physical location, then opt for Google My Business reviews.
- Build a community: a lot of customers may not have still followed the brand’s social channels, a brand can start communicating with them about its social presence. Also, further develop a strong community by organizing live sessions and challenges.
- Develop thought leadership: Brand should use this time to build value-added content for its business, which explains the differentiating factor, unique value-added in a customer’s life and solution to the challenges faced by customers. It can show the lasting effects of the products/services offered by creating case studies or real-world scenarios about how the offerings work.
Time to get emotional
The situation is very sensitive right now. People are on edge. They are emotional and scared. It is time for brands to connect with them on a personal level. Brands can connect with their target audience and empathize with them. It is time for brands to show how much they care about their consumers. They can let them know it by running some campaigns regarding Covid 19 and social distancing. Look at Amul’s twitter post regarding lockdown.
Pivot your business model
Brands tend to rely solely on one business model. This stops it from growing and reaching a potential audience. Situations like lockdown can be boon for brands as it helps find alternative routes of income. Right now a brand can not go out and sell. It has been given a constraint in terms of lockdown and now they have to overcome it. They have to think of other ways from which they can keep the revenue stream. See the example of Bhavin Shah.
He is a motivational speaker and trainer. He used to do seminars but in lockdown, he started doing webinars. That opened up a whole new path for him. A brand can think about what it can do in such times. For example, a retail chain can start planning for an e-commerce model. The opportunities are as many as one can think of.
The tools that can help you start webinars: Zoom, Be Live
Develop processes for your business
It is also time to step back and work on your organizational processes. It is the right time when a brand finds some automation in the operations. It’s the time for digitization and automation in marketing, as marketing automation is the future. One can find numerous software for business processes.
Certain software that we use for specific business processes are:
- For smooth HR functioning – Zoho People
- For internal communication and planning- Microsoft Team and Planner
- For Custom Relationship Management- Hubspot
- For trigger-based automation- Zapier
- For precise accounting – Zoho Books
- For custom live dashboard- Google Data Studio
Find new business opportunities
Finding different opportunities for growth of the brand should be next on the mind. A brand should think about the unexplored paths from which they can benefit the most. One of such ways is getting government tenders for the company. There are a wide variety of tenders available from the government. One needs to find a tender that suits their work and needs and start bidding. It helps the company grow at an insurmountable rate. National tenders is one of the few websites which help businesses find tenders related to their field. It also helps them register in Government e-Marketplace where they can list out their needs.
Segment your profitable customers
It is time to sit back and explore your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and website analytics. It is time to look deeply into the customer base and understand them. A brand has to do some research regarding their customers. It should find the demographics of their customers. It should find out about their purchase behavior and get insights. It needs to check which segment of customers is likely to give them the maximum business. A brand can collect all these data and analyze it. When the lockdown is lifted, it can use it for maximizing the profit.
Develop training materials
A brand can take this time to develop some training material for its team. It can find suitable training material online. There are many such training websites available from which one can find material of their own field.
Certain digital marketing training portals are:
It is trying times for sure. Everybody has to work together to eradicate the COVID 19 out of our lives forever. A brand has to understand the current situation and the mindset of the consumers. It shouldn’t take advantage of this situation in poor taste. It should be considerate. It should provide a ray of hope to them that this will all be over soon. It can take some time to work on other things and come out even stronger than ever.