Now’s the time for swift action and fast results, which goes against a lot of embedded marketing practices. We’re used to plans and schedules. Yes, there is always a degree of flexibility and reactivity – particularly when it comes to PR programmes – and yes, campaigns don’t always stick to initial deadlines. But when it comes to looking ahead, marketers like to plan, making sure that every seasonal date, event and advertising deadline is incorporated so that no opportunity is missed.
2020 has certainly thrown all business plans up in the air, with the majority of industries expected to see restricted growth and a challenging landscape ahead but this shouldn’t halt marketing activity – in fact, it should see renewed efforts.
Visibility is vital for keeping front of customers’ minds, driving sales and investment and aiding recovery. Equally, strong messages in the right places can give you the lead on your competitors. But how do you create the impact you need now, while remaining flexible and adaptable to the changing market?
Create a clear ‘Call to action’
Analyse where you can make quick business wins – consider off-the-shelf products or services that your customers need now and can purchase quickly – to create a clear value offer. Focus your marketing and communications activity on driving people to a simple offer but develop different stories and messages that will compel them to act.
Stay on message
Your business operations have undoubtedly changed over the past few months and may adapt further still to meet changing customer needs. Yet, your central business purpose has probably stayed the same. This is the essence of your organisation, it embodies the reason you and your teams go to work every day and reflects how you want your customers to see you. This message could be as simples as: “we make our customers feel valued”.
Stay true to this core value and ensure that marketing messages and promotional offers align with it, as it defines what your customers and staff expect from your brand.
Build on previous success
Measurement will help you to track how valuable activity is and what resonates well with your audiences. Quantifying impact will depend on your objectives – increasing reach, maximising engagement, generating sales leads – and the metrics employed will vary depending on the method of communication – PR, email marketing, social media, paid advertising etc. Before you start any marketing programme, it is important to understand what constitutes good results.
Review previous campaigns to identify what type of activity had the most business impact. Was it an article in a key national publication that generated sales enquiries, have you sent out a report or white paper to your email database that reignited dormant conversations or did a strategic social media campaign hit the mark? Replicate this tactic and develop new content that resonates with your audience.
In recent months we have developed and launched PR campaigns for clients within days, taking initial ideas through approval and write up to powerful press coverage within a couple of weeks. Equally, we have pivoted communications plans and refreshed content written prior to the pandemic to make it relevant now and enabling businesses to make the most of their marketing at this crucial time.
To discuss our post-Covid PR and marketing support programmes, please contact Caroline Walker.