It’s happened, it’s here, what now? We’ve panicked, we’re uncertain, we’re kinda bracing ourselves for the new normal, although we’re not quite sure what that will be. There may be a knee-jerk response to cutting marketing budgets, however, that may be a short term solution. Maintaining visibility in a cost-effective and relevant way is what is required.

Consumers are understandably becoming extremely cost-conscious, but they are still going to be spending. The question is what are they spending on and how can you as a service/product provider build trust in them. Afterall consumers want to buy the right products or services from a company they can trust without costly errors in their judgment at this time.

Lockdown time is really the time for businesses to rethink their communication strategy and be prepared for when things start to thaw out. As much as we all say that the world is now forever changed and the digital revolution has been fast-tracked, human beings will come out ravenous for physical engagement with each other. However at this point, digital communication lacks the ability to convey the energy and spirit of physical interaction which is something humans strongly desire. After all who wants to live their entire lives in front of a screen, bleh!

But for now, let’s focus on digital communication with a few questions to brands and companies during the lockdown period and beyond: Are you communicating your values and disposition through the various digital channels to remind people on how you can relate to them and what value you have to offer:

And here comes the old adage: Out of sight is out of mind.
So how can you keep in touch with your customers without the risk of losing them? (We all know it’s cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire new ones).Staying visible to existing and new customers:

Take advantage of The Mere Exposure Effect
This is a psychological phenomenon whereby people subconsciously take a liking or preference to something once it becomes familiar to them. (Also called the familiarity principle). Think of the songs you may first hear on the radio which you may not like, but after repeated exposure you become comfortable with it and start to prefer it without being conscious of your preference.

Always stay relevant
How do you stay visible in the Coronavirus age? Position your product/service offering relative to the situation. Eg. If you’re selling kitchenware, how can you position your product to bring value to people having to spend more time cooking at home during this time?

Be prepared to pivot by showing support not hard selling
Gyms are closed, but many of them are offering online workout classes. Doctors are offering online consultations, Grocery stores have strengthened their online ordering and streamlined their delivery service.

Don’t hard sell, instead show support 
Right now, it’s not a time to ask how you can sell more, but rather think of how you can support customers. Focussing on exploiting profits at this time could come across as insensitive and may hurt your brand.

With these questions, you can use this downtime effectively and build a stronger online presence

  • Are you preparing social media content during this time with relevant stories of your business?

  • Are you preparing your email newsletter communication content?

  • Do you have a website? And is it updated?

  • Is your Google My Business account set up?

  • Do you have a Pay Per Click campaign set up and do you know what your customers are searching for online?

These are but a few ways to consider how to communicate with your audience and offer relevant value during this time. Stay safe!

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