There are four marketing tactics to start right now to help your company prepare for future growth. As things begin to return to normal and pandemic restrictions continue to be lifted, it’s time to prepare your company for the economic growth that has been predicted for 2021. If your company is ready to revamp its marketing strategies, continue reading below or, click here to contact us.
The International Monetary Fund stated in March 2021 that it anticipates 6% economic growth in 2021, an increase from previous forecasts. As vaccinations roll out along with stimulus from federal to local governments, consumers and businesses are starting to ramp up activity.
It’s time for small businesses to take a cue from enterprise and start making moves to prepare for growth and success over the next 12 months. Here are four suggestions to consider doing right now.
1. Talk to your customers.
It’s time to figure out how to market your business in the new era. Your consumers will behave differently as we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic. There may be a new sense of urgency, or buying cycles may be slower because of lingering uncertainty. Your customers or clients may be expecting a different level of experience after operating mainly digitally for the last 12 months.
What do you need to do to up your game to meet their needs?
If you are not already involved in online or in-person networking groups where your ideal customers hang out, then find some opportunities to have more casual conversations with people who are like your ideal customer. Find out what they’re excited about, what they’re worried about and what’s important to them right now. Take a moment to call on customers and clients and find out the same; ask them specifically what they’d like to see from your business in the coming year.
Your path to growth and navigating the unknown will rely on your ability to have customer conversations.
2. Set short-term sales strategies to help recover and long-term marketing strategies for success.
Not everything in business needs a three-month evaluation cycle for implementation. In fact, leaning too heavily on a bloated process to get something going right now will hinder opportunities. Meet with your sales and marketing leaders and brainstorm some short-term and effective ways to capture sales in the second and third quarters of the year. Resist the urge to overcomplicate it.
After you’ve implemented the right-now needs, look into the future and do some informed marketing and sales planning. Based on what you’ve learned from customer conversations, determine the following:
- How do I need to reposition my brand to meet the new era?
- What services/products should be the focus of our short-term growth goals?
- What are the marketing goals that will drive our strategy?
What you develop now and begin to implement over the second part of 2021 will determine your business success in 2022. It may feel hard to think about long-term foundations when businesses have been operating in crisis mode, but as the economy begins to ramp up, your competitive advantage next year hinges on what you work on now.
3. Get real about your website.
Websites are no longer brochures; they’re 24/7 salespeople. Yours should be set up to not only address your customers’ issues but also to effectively recommend a solution, show the solution in a way your customers understand, and provide easy ways for them to take the next step. They can provide this path through online booking tools, contact forms, web chat or online purchasing.
Does your website currently provide an interactive experience?
Even in the most traditional of industries, companies need to look at upping their website game. The restaurant and online shopping industry advanced lightyears in months or even in weeks or days in some cases due to necessity. Individuals in a work setting or personal setting now have different expectations for what they should be able to understand and accomplish online when they’re looking to buy something. Use the time now to honestly audit your website. Look for the following:
- Does your message sound consumer-centric or company-centric?
- Does the website effectively describe your solution to the customer’s issue?
- Are you demonstrating how your solution solves your customer’s issues?
- Have you made it clear how you’d like your potential customer to take the next step?
- Did you make it as frictionless as possible for that customer to do so?
- Can you be easily found online?
- Are all connected digital platforms up to date and accurate?
- Does the website load well on mobile devices and all other screen sizes?
Websites need to be updated regularly to reflect accurate information. As well, make sure design and content are refreshed at least every three to four years. After this monumental period in emerging history, now is the exact right time to take a hard look at your website.
4. Start showing off your people in your marketing.
A 2018 Accenture study found that 62% of consumer purchasing behavior is driven by a company’s ethical values and authenticity, and 65% of those surveyed said that they are attracted to companies that treat employees well.
Considering the lack of human connection the world has been suffering from over the last 12 months, there is an opportunity to connect with your customers through sincere promotion and public gratitude for the individuals who work at your business. By putting faces to the products or services you market, you’re creating the connection that people are craving right now. This also gives local and regional businesses an opportunity to differentiate themselves from big, faceless corporations competing in the same market.
The other advantage of this people-first approach to your marketing content is employee appreciation. The job market is tough for individuals and businesses for different reasons, and this amount of change in the world will bring turnover within your organization. Turnover is expensive. Consider promoting your people’s profiles on social media and other channels as another tool in your retention toolbox.
Making these moves right now will make a difference in how your 2021 rounds out and how your upcoming years pan out. Don’t let the uncertainty stall you. You can easily out-market your competitors and have a distinct advantage if you make the most of the opportunities present now.
Original article published on forbes.com