Over the last week or so we have been contacting each of our clients to explain and reiterate the importance of looking at realigning their marketing strategy and redesigning any existing campaigns during this period of uncertainty.
It got me thinking, this could also be some useful and valuable advice for other businesses; hence writing this blog for Uckfield Chamber of Commerce.
What is meant by strategy realignment?
For many businesses, particularly smaller organisations that don’t deliver their marketing collateral in line with a long-term strategy or with professional assistance, it can be challenging to drastically alter your processes overnight, let alone understanding the “how and the why” of doing it.
Unfortunately, though, it is vitally important that during times like these, you consider doing just that.
Let me explain why…
All good marketing campaigns follow a similar process in their planning and delivery:
1. Goal setting
Without a goal, success cannot be measured and ultimately everything you are doing Is without clear purpose.
Whether it be market research (for larger organisations or bigger budget businesses) or desk research for smaller companies, understanding the platforms and audiences available is vital to deciding how and where to deliver you campaign messages to meet the goal in stage 1.
Once you have gathered your research in stage 2, you need to carefully analyse the findings to understand the best ways to communicate to your audience.
Once you have the data and you have understood it, you should apply your knowledge to plan your campaigns.
5. Building & Plotting
Building your content, scheduling delivery times and tracking your campaigns is vital to maximising continuity of your campaign as well as minimising the time needed to implement it.
The point in which your marketing campaign goes live and reaches your audience.
Looking over your campaign, learning from the positives (and negatives) and reviewing things for the future.
This general process underpins all high-quality, high-performing marketing campaigns and it takes a lot of time and skill to deliver this effectively. However, when something changes drastically to your business (or clients’ business in our case) and the original goals of the campaign are no longer viable, the rest of the work you have done becomes out of line and you run the risk of wasting time and resources on marketing content that will not carry any weight and could even make your content appear lazy and robotic.
Let’s say you have been working hard to build a marketing campaign. Your campaign goal was to drive new customers into your store and you are currently at ‘stage 5’ on your journey to delivering that campaign. You have been carefully plotting your content. You may have spent hours writing blogs, designing emails and building PDF brochures or perhaps spent budget on advertising to push this message to a wider audience.
You should now stop.
As hard as it may be, all the work you have put in at stage 2 to 5 of your campaign are now likely to be void, because the goals in stage 1 can no longer be fulfilled.
You can go ahead and put the messages out there, but if no one is going to listen and no one is going to act, then you are wasting valuable time and resources.
Don’t get me wrong, core assets can be repurposed but don’t just steam ahead for the sake of it. Step back and revaluate wherever possible.
What is not meant by strategy realignment?
I have noticed an upsurge in people (particularly on LinkedIn) using the subject of the coronavirus as a loose link to their products in an attempt to push sales. This is not something that we endorse and clearly shows a lack of planning and strategy. Many messages are simply taken from similar collateral and placed in the context of the coronavirus. This doesn’t convert and quite frankly you look like a vulture.
Instead, you should be thinking about your strategy as a whole and revaluating your goals.
The changes we are seeing in terms of customer/business interaction should be treated like any other major change in behaviour – think desktop to mobile, store to ecommerce, socialising to “social” media!!
You need to go back to the drawing board and focus on new goals, highlight other areas of your business that you may not otherwise normally have recognised as of key value and (over everything else) continue to provide real value for your audience in the messages you are putting out, particularly across social media.
I completely understand it is easier said than done, having invested a lot of time, energy and effort in many client campaigns over the last few months and now having to go back to the drawing board is a bitter pill to swallow.
However, stubbornly continuing with the same marketing materials would be of no benefit to anyone.
For that reason, we are putting the work in to redesign and realign any marketing campaigns that we are currently running or are due to run for our clients, without additional charge. If you have your own campaigns that you are currently planning or running in-house and are stuck for how to realign them, I am happy to have a brainstorming chat over the phone to help steer you in the right direction.
If anyone needs any advice, whether it be about this blog or their wider digital marketing efforts, I am more than happy to offer a brainstorming chat over the phone to help steer you in the right and give guidance wherever possible (without cost of course).
I can be reached on 01825 703301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep thinking ahead, look for the positives and support local business wherever you can.