COVID-19 continues to bring businesses uncertainty. Unfortunately, this pandemic has yet to end.
It is why businesses, including yours, must not delay or slow down your marketing efforts.
Conversely, it is all the more that you need to act now rather than post-crisis. Use this time as an opportunity to increase your efforts and make your company stand out.
After all, it’s better to be proactive now than be left behind later.
While cutting back on marketing might seem like the better option, imagine this.
Your customers, who are the majority of people staying and working at home, are online. So if you’re in e-commerce, I’d say that this is the perfect time to launch campaigns, promote your business, give value, show empathy and CONNECT with your customers.
The Consequences of Delaying Marketing
Putting marketing efforts on hold now will make it harder for your company to adjust to the “new normal” after this pandemic.
According to a research by AdAge, brands that continued marketing despite difficult times fared better than their competitors did.
As while COVID-19 has slowed things down for the many of us, it has also brought new opportunities.
Some companies rose to the occasion by supporting their employees, customers and communities.
This pandemic may be one of the most difficult times, yes.
But if your company responds strongly and strategically, you’ll notice a big difference in how your employees and customers respond.
This pandemic is not the time to hibernate, but it is the time to step out of your comfort zone, think outside the box and spruce up marketing while others are slowing down theirs.
The demand for brand humanization is higher than ever, both internally and externally.
Building Trust through Humanization
On Employees: As Forbes put it, “In these uncertain times, how you treat your employees will be remembered for years to come.”
Use this time to build trust, not only among your customers, but also within your team. The way you handle and treat your people during a crisis impacts their engagement, productivity and loyalty to your company.
During and Post COVID-19: How to Humanize Your Brand to Survive
Take the human-centric approach when managing your people.
Put their welfare first. If possible, set up work from home for employees who are able to fulfill their responsibilities virtually.
Go the extra mile! Walmart, for example, pays frontliners an extra cash bonus. (It doesn’t mean you must if it does not apply to your business, but this is one example of how a business shows its employees that they are appreciated, especially front-line workers.)
In Edelman’s 2020 Trust Report, 90% of respondents wanted brands to protect their employees even if it might translate to huge financial losses. Brands will also earn their trust and reward them with loyalty, engagement, and advocacy, according to more than 50% of the respondents.
Build Employee Loyalty and Establish Respect
If you are a disgruntled employee, you can easily let other people know how unhappy you are with your company through a variety of social media channels.
On Facebook, for instance, you can also quickly find people with the same sentiments and spread the negative feedback further.
However, this alone, true or not, will affect your brand’s reputation, as people will perceive you negatively despite how excellent your products/services are.
Put a Face to Your Business
By default, businesses are faceless, not more than a logo or a slogan that makes people remember it.
Successful companies step up and humanize their brand, giving it not just a name but a face…
…A face that people can relate to, engage with and have a good conversation with.
The bottom line is that it pays off to humanize a brand and take a human-centric approach.
This is by far the most effective way of gaining consumer trust and increasing conversions (with strategic and smart effort from other marketing elements, such as social media marketing, blogging, quality web content, and advertising…).
Gain Real-Time Understanding of the Entire Consumer Experience (pre-, post-, and during)
Have a real-time 360°view and understanding of a customer’s whole experience at every stage from discovery (pre-sales) to engagement will hopefully result in retention, loyalty and eventually advocacy to spread the word about your business.
Give Customers Connected Experiences
This requires humanization at every stage.
According to Salesforce research, 84% of consumers stated that their experience as a customer was equally important to the brand’s products and services.
By understanding customer experiences holistically and in real-time, you can devise appropriate strategies to improve it.
Use Social Media to Connect
Humanizing your business involves social listening and proactive engagement, and social media could be just what you need.
What are your customers talking about? What questions have they been sending to your support inbox? How can you help them meet a need, solve a problem or learn something?
Offer value by taking the time to listen, solving problems and answering questions.
Ask yourself, “How can I empower consumers, make them feel my presence and show that I care amidst COVID-19?”
This is not the time to hibernate and delay marketing. Use this time to your advantage. Again, the crisis opens up new opportunities that you should make yourself aware of. Don’t let them pass you by and allow your competitors to get ahead.
With these tools, your efforts will create memorable experiences for your customers during and after the pandemic that will impact how people view your business for years to come.
In love and respect,