The First Step to Marketing Post Pandemic
Hi Flamingo Fans,
Quick question: is anybody’s closet starting to look a lot like ours? Professional Zoom shirts on the left, leggings and sweats on the right, slippers on the bottom. May marks a year and two months since the pandemic really hit the US in full force. Or, as we call it here at BF, “The Event.”
If you’ve read our Marketing During a Crisis: A Survival Guide (don’t worry if you haven’t, you can nab your free copy here), you’ll remember that…
There are 3 stages in a crisis:
- The Event
- New Normal
The shutdown across the U.S. and beyond definitely qualified as a crisis, and up until early in 2021 when the vaccines began to be released, the US was still very much in stage 1. We packed up our computers, invested in sweatpants (cue our closet confusion), and set up shop in home offices. We did not stop marketing communications for our clients during a time of crisis. In fact, we doubled down in our effort to help them communicate in the right way to best connect with their customers and prospects. We’ll cover more on how to do that when we reach Step 5: Engage.
And now, we’re in Stage 2: Recovery.
In this phase, you’ve most likely noticed:
- The country is beginning to open back up.
- In nearly every industry, the business landscape has changed in some way.
- Most notably, habits have been disrupted
- Workflow has changed.
- The need for products and services has changed.
- How we conduct business has changed.
In short: You’re ready to begin the five steps of messaging for Recovery.
These steps allow you to assess where your customers are right now: what they’re feeling, how they view your services or product, and what you need to do to ensure you continue to be their number one choice.
These steps are
- Plan & Pivot
Today, let’s talk about Step 1: Listen.
(Feel free to get a coffee refill before diving in. I’ll be right here.) ☕
Communication is key to business success. And there are opportunity costs when companies do a lot of talking and miss the chance to listen to their customers. And trust us, your customers have a lot to say.
All you have to do is listen.
Each day, schedule 30 minutes on your calendar to scan media outlets, social media and industry sources to get a feel for what’s being said and done. Scanning material serves to keep you in touch with the pulse of the current mindset. Take notes.
Tip: Set 30 minutes as the limit. It’s easy to get sucked into a rabbit hole of information.
Set up a phone call, Zoom sesh, or socially-distanced lunch date. Check in with a few customers in a natural and authentic way: “How are you feeling lately?” “How’s business?” Then, move on to specifics about your relationship. “What’s your experience with Acme123 been like in the last year?” “Did we meet your expectations?” “How can we help you reach your goals in your current situation?” “What was your favorite part about …” “Tell me about one of your favorite clients or partners.”
Continue to ask questions to probe deeper and get to the core of their joy or their unhappiness. You’ll likely uncover ways in which to bring delight to their experience and opportunities to communicate these findings to both current and prospective customers.
Tip 1: Always approach outreach with the mindset of “how can I help” and not “what can I sell you today.”
Tip 2: Ask each customer the same 3-5 questions so you can begin to see a trend.
Keep your ears open at the grocery store, restaurants, conversations with friends and family, etc. What are people chatting about? People usually have something to say, and often want somebody to say it to.
Tip: Clear your mind of prepared phrases you want to say. Listening without the intent to respond will help you truly hear and understand their perspective.
Listening is a great way to get a pulse on what your customers are saying, what they need, and how YOU can help to increase their brand loyalty during the Recovery phase of a crisis.
Check back next month for a deep dive on Step 2: Review! In the meantime, be sure to check out our Marketing During a Crisis: Survival Guide, and share with all your friends!
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