There have been a host of articles, especially in the marketing and communications space, reminding brands of the importance of maintaining visibility during these changing times. While I absolutely agree that companies must not be afraid to examine innovative ways in which to promote their business as part of a survival strategy, the question that becomes critical is what type of visibility is important in this changed world?
It is a difficult balance, managing financial resources to ensure business sustainability – while also examining ways to remain top of mind for your existing and potential customer market. But do not go ‘dark’ on your market – do not forget them and do not ignore them. Your customers also need support and insight into how to navigate this time of change. If your company is not strategically visible, then you risk losing market ground, and reputation, which can become an expensive undertaking to regain.
When businesses are once again able to make purchasing decisions, you want them to think of your brand first. Brands that remain top of mind, remain consistent in their approach and message, and most importantly that maintain credibility – will be in this position. Companies wanting to survive past the next six months, should examine this visibility far more innovatively, with the right communication mix focus and the right budget parameters.
Let me be honest, this does not mean spending huge amounts of money on marketing or communications campaigns. Rather, it means looking at marketing spend differently. It is often considered that innovation in marketing equals money, but as you navigate ways in which to adapt, remember that innovation can mean how you offer your products and solutions or what you offer. It means becoming less sales focused and more customer facing – do you listen to what your customer challenges are, what they are saying – and can you adapt and support them? Additionally, with limited budgets already in play, it also means your internal communications focus is now even more critical than before. Your staff are your advocates and must play a role in delivering market satisfaction and credibility. Your customer service will also become crucial to retaining buy-in, and must be viewed as reliable, to ensure you are seen as a brand that can help.
Sounds like marketing 101, and in many ways it is. However, in the days of increased competition, increased pressure on a bottom line and the advent of new technologies every year, so many companies have forgotten that it is their clients and staff that built them and therefore their clients and staff that should be supported. And this support means, engaging them, talking to them, and providing value – and this is where your marketing and communications spend should be focused.
I am seeing a host of our clients that have understood this concept, accepting the change in market requirements, and adapting to engage with clients and the broader market to add real value. The innovative thinking and approach we are seeing by our clients has meant that they have quickly and effectively moved away from being just hard sales focused to, engaging with clients, navigating the changing market differently, developing new solutions/approaches that add value and also solving problems (in some cases, before their client thinks it is a problem) – and communicating these changes effectively – and that is innovation!
A brand’s ability to be available to its customers, and at the same time offer credibility and real value, is one that will support sustainability during these challenging times. As it is these brands that have understood that communications, when used strategically, can become a powerful weapon in their road to business recovery and ultimately their business growth.
- It is not only visibility that is needed, but credibility! - May 26, 2020
- Relevance will mean focus - Feb 3, 2020