To get leads and convince them to buy your product or service is often an uphill battle. But, 2020 put this challenge on a whole new level of difficulty. Everyone desperately needs to sell; meanwhile, no one wants to buy. This scenario raises the question: how do we market our products as the world as we know it ends?
Now, more than ever, marketers are responsible not only by selling products or services; we are ambassadors of our companies. There’s no magical formula or playbook to lead a successful marketing campaign during these hard times. Through trial and error, here are a few lessons I’ve learned in the last weeks that might be valuable to your marketing team as well.
Respect your clients’ moment
Things are uncertain, and no one knows how the crisis will affect their business. Therefore, you won’t find many customers willing to spend money now. Instead of pushing a purchase your clients can’t afford, restructure your marketing actions to long-term strategies.
It doesn’t mean to abandon the idea of selling or accept failure. If someone is willing to purchase, you’ll need to facilitate the deal, but always keep in mind that everyone’s going through hard times. Being pushy is just one step away from being insensitive.
A long-term marketing strategy that is relevant at this moment is to be as useful as possible. Make yourself memorable with your audience. So, when all of this ends, your company will be top of mind and remembered as trustable and knowledgeable.
And how to do this?
Well, there are a few ways. You can focus on content marketing, producing blog posts, videos, and webinars about relevant topics related to your product. Here at Pipefy, we focus our efforts on building content about remote work—something that is trending because of quarantine, and makes sense for our product, since it can be used to facilitate workflows for remote teams.
Another strategy is to offer free stuff. It might sound counterproductive if your goal is to bring more revenue to your company. But, helping your customers is a great way to make your company valuable and guarantee you’ll be remembered when the crisis passes.
Here at Pipefy, for example, we offered 3 months free for NGOs who signed up during the COVID-19 crisis and a discount for them in subsequent months. Also, for our regular users, we made ourselves available for renegotiation. We trust that as soon as the pandemic goes away, these users will still be with us—more loyal than ever.
Empathy and common sense are your best friends
It might sound obvious, but now is not a good moment to use catchphrases such as “this promo is breathtaking!” or to use stock pictures of people crowded in a dance club. When in doubt, pick empathy always.
We know marketing is one of the first departments to suffer budget cuts when trouble strikes. If your company can afford it, don’t fall into this trap. That way, when things go back to normal (or as normal as possible), there still will be a market to warm, customers to seduce, and competitors to defeat.
By keeping your marketing operation, you make sure to stay on your audience’s minds, keep your current customers happy, and won’t have to rebuild your strategy from scratch later.
Remember: this too shall pass
Sooner than you think, this whole situation will be over. Then, you’ll want your company to be remembered as one that helped their customers and was sensitive with their communication, rather than the one that was selfish, rude, or, worse, acted like nothing extraordinary was happening.
* With experience in journalism and Digital Marketing, Thaís Macedo loves writing, traveling, and learning new things.