Strategies that worked a few months and a few years ago no longer work. The world has changed. People have changed, priorities have changed. What used to be taken for granted, such as going out for a walk or your local gym, is no longer possible. So, there are definitely new problems to take into consideration. And new problems need new solutions.
Businesses are starting again on a blank page, and going into the unknown is scary. Especially, if you don’t know in which direction you should go, or even what is your destination and how many resources you need versus how many you actually have… But it’s definitely easier to adjust quickly, if you have a Plan A, Plan B, and so on in your back pocket – one for the best case scenario, one for the second best case scenario and so on until the worst case scenario.
So, how can you help yourself in coming up with a new strategy? That is what we discussed in our last week’s Powerful Marketer Talks live webinar “How to overcome your marketing strategies in 2020”. Watch the full recording at the end of the post!
Here is an overview of the key discussion points:
In difficult and complex times, we all need simpler solutions. Simple things are easy to remember and therefore easy to implement and adjust, if necessary. One way, to make sense of this new world, is to use the SMARKETING approach when planning your new marketing strategy.
SMARKETING is an acronym where each letter signifies an important activity in marketing strategy generation. And it goes like this:
- Sales & service activities, because marketing is not an island and cannot function truly on its own. Work together with sales & service to provide your audience with the right information at the right time and in the right channels. Now is the time to think outside the box and implement new interactive channels in your service, such as instant messaging apps, video calls or even chatbots.
- Metrics, because marketing is also a numbers game and numbers can give us valuable information on which we can base our decisions. Make sure you measure the relevant things and focus on just a few key indicators at the moment to make sense of what is happening in the market. Don’t forget about the indirect metrics that indicate how safe and well taken care of customers feel doing business with you during this chaotic time.
- Audience, because marketing is also about communication and spreading awareness. Be aware that your audience does not consist of only your target audience. There are people who have never heard of you, and may even never need your products, but if they come into contact with you, and find what you are sharing rude or inconsiderate, it will damage your reputation. Create activities for all phases of your audience: suspects, prospects, customers, clients and advocates (based on the Glass Halo Approach by Glass Halo Ltd.)
- Research, because our own knowledge and experiences may not be enough and it’s important to base your decisions on trustworthy information and facts. Chaos always brings new players and opportunities, so it is wise to monitor the market even more right now. Keep an eye on what the competitors are doing, if there are new ones, how the clients are reacting and so on. Use relevant sources of information to base your decisions on.
- Knowledge, because you need to be aware of the things you do know, and the things you don’t know, and how you can bridge that gap. You need to feed your subconscious mind valuable and relevant information on a consistent basis, so that you can fall back on it and make decisions quickly at a critical time. The challenge, of course, is making time for it, but it is possible if you follow the 8-8-8 principle and prioritize your tasks with the Eisenhower Matrix.
- Emotions, because marketing is for and about people, and we are emotional beings. So, we need to take that into account and think about psychological aspects, not just about rational aspects. The majority of today’s challenges can be categorized under the Emotions. So, pay really close attention to that – take care of your own emotions and mindset, as this will give you the power to carry on, and help lead your audience’s emotions to positivity and hope.
- Target audience, because we cannot target everyone with the same content and at the same time. There are different steps in the customer journey, and the easiest way to cater to them all is through content creation. Find your voice and to stay true to it, so your content remains consistent, valuable and relevant. Keep in mind the different channels your audience may use and choose the right form of content depending on your objective (awareness, interest generation, consideration, evaluation, purchase, follow-up and re-engaging).
- Industry, because we are part of a bigger ecosystem, and major changes in industry, legislation and politics will influence our business, as very well illustrated with the current pandemic. Many people say that coronavirus came out of nowhere. Well, that is not true, there were signs actually, but the majority of us chose to dismiss them. Regularly monitor what is happening in the industry with the help of the PESTLE tool, evaluating the political, economical, social, technological, legal and environmental influences your business may have.
- Network, because the foundation of any business is people, and that includes key relationships with service providers, partners, and so on. You can’t do everything by yourself and taking on new partners in the middle of a crisis is not just costly, but also extremely difficult. So, be proactive and keep up-to-date with your network. Support each other and don’t be blindsided by any of your key partner’s bankruptcy or a sudden change of business.
- Goals, because without a destination it is very difficult to move in the right direction. This is where the metrics come in, and ideally all the previous points should be complemented with relevant goals. The challenge is that we don’t know what will happen in the market tomorrow, but regardless you need to make short-term goals to keep on going. Over time you will see which goals are realistic and which are not, but always be ready and willing to adjust!
PS! Remember that change takes time, you always need to go on step by step. You just need to be bold enough to start planning and being active. And don’t worry if you don’t know exactly where to go or how to go – as you take the first step, only then you will see the next one, and then the next one and so on.
How to implement all these steps and how to overcome the challenges that 2020 brings, make sure you watch the webinar recording below!
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