By now we are witnessing the impact of corona virus in global economy and daily lives of people. The bump is so strong it forced many businesses to suddenly shut down their physical stores and some have started to ask their employees to work from home as a way to reduce the spread.
Popular spots in big cities are now empty and office workers including front liners on CBDs are now practicing safe distancing. Internet usage surges as more people are working from home and for some to entertain themselves on their favorite programs in Netflix and YouTube until the virus goes away.
These are just some of the many effects of Corona Virus in our daily lives. It significantly changed how we work, learn and play. For businesses, we all know that it will struggle but the worrying part is we don’t know how long. As digital marketers, what does it mean for us? How do we use our time to contribute and minimize the escalating impact to your business such as lost of sales?
Companies have now fully understand the value of transformation and the focus now turns to digital channels. To stay connected with customers and keep the sales alive some companies have started updating their websites or start building up social media pages. Furthermore, below are some initiatives and contingency action plans that you can do to continue serving customers, maintain acceptable level of sales and increase employee productivity while the world is on lockdown.
Customer retention strategies
Lockdown does not mean you have to stop the whole business operation. Drop in sales from new customers is inevitable, however do you know that the easiest way to increase revenue is through existing customers?
Develop a campaign that drives more sales from your existing and loyal customers. You can focus on customer engagement by gathering customer data, build segments based on consistent patterns, behavior and profiles then map complimentary options to understand what to offer to which customers.
You can do this by analyzing customers purchase history and categorizing customers to each segment based on their age, income bracket, occupation etc., then develop a personalize email campaign for each segment.
This is the best time to focus and re-engage your existing customers. However don’t use this time to exploit the situation and earn a quick buck. Focus on long term customer engagement plans that produce more business opportunities and integrate to your regular BAU campaign in the future.
Evaluate your existing digital marketing channels
Businesses normally leverage digital channels such as search engines, smart re-targeting through banner ads, email, social media and search engine marketing. Due to busy schedules it is easy to just keep our marketing engine running on status quo.
Now is the best time to reflect and review the effectiveness of each channels. Explore new mediums and expand digital marketing reach. Review your data, the best way to go is through customer feedback or survey polls data. You may find fresh information about how they found your website which is beyond your traditional marketing mix. Have you tried Podcast, Video Marketing or Live streaming?
Review your digital analytics capability
Does your analytics and marketing blend well to grow better? When marketers hear web analytics they tend to think typical metrics such as traffic, page views, bounce rates or leads etc.,
These high level metrics is just the first piece of the puzzle, marketers need richer data to understand their impact on conversion rates. Review current dashboards and add new metrics. For engagement metrics, have you tried adding website stickiness, brand reach and retention rates? For acquisition metrics have you tried bottom funnel metrics such as incremental sales, assisted sales conversion, customer lifetime value etc.?
This is also the best time to review multi-channel attribution model. How far or close channel conversion rates when comparing time-decay versus last click attribution? Does linear makes more sense or position base is more logical for campaigns that involves multiple channels and longer purchasing journey?
Examine your customer sentiment data
Some companies are too focus with bottom funnel metrics, it is easy to ignore customer sentimental metrics. Now is the best time to streamline and automate reports to get useful insights and urge effective communication strategies.
This is the time to explore tools and metrics to help PR and marketing team better understand customers true motivations behind positive, negative and neutral feedback on specific products or services. Use these tools to measure how these opinions impacted sales, benchmark competitors and reveal new markets.
Use this time to test and invest on your customer sentiments measurement plan. Automate this report as dashboard so that when things go back to normal you can focus more on analysis than report preparation.
Upgrade your digital skills
Remember all those time when you caught yourself saying, “I should have learn this“, this is actually the best time to go ahead and learn it. Even company heads are suggesting you to develop new skills whether it is for professional or personal growth. Do home-based learning, there are tons of skills you can acquire online. Focus your energy to productivity and use this opportunity to your highest advantage.
For digital marketers, this is the time to learn advance SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. If you are fronting the business then use this time to learn effective pricing strategies or enroll yourself with advance lessons on marketing and management performance.
For analyst, learn new visualization tools such as Tableau, DOMO or Power BI to enhance your dashboard communication. Learn new programming language such as Python, R or SQL. Learn Data Science courses such as data manipulation or more advances courses such as deep learning and machine learning.
For business leaders deep dive on inspirational leadership, enroll yourself on how to improve your coaching skills and acquire new skills in business innovation.
Use this time to be with your love ones. This means more time with your kids, partner, parents, siblings and friends. Use Skype, Facebook or other video conference tools if you are not able to meet physically.
Finally, to win this war against the virus please stay at home. Help and donate whatever you can for the front liners, those infected and those who lost their jobs and businesses. Pray that this virus will go away soon.
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