As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens and many companies are cutting spending, some may think now is the time to cut back on marketing and creative, but that is one area no organization should skimp on, especially now!
Good news for marketing and creative teams – despite the current turbulence in the economy, your jobs are more important than ever. Why? Because marketing and creative are the connection between the company and the market. You are the face of the company, the personality of the brand. In times like these it is marketing, fueled by powerful creative, that is going to get the attention of the market, continue to build relationships, and open the door for sales conversations.
In a recent post on LinkedIn, Netta Kivilis, Founder and CEO at Blue Seedling, shares why she thinks “cutting marketing now is a mistake – and what you should be doing to keep reaching your audience.”
Netta starts by making several strong points as to why we should keep doing marketing now. First, she points out something that you probably won’t think about if you’re watching too much news – there is still opportunity out there. She emphasizes that some businesses are growing, and many are feeling pre-existing pain points more acutely. Despite what the click-bait news media would have you believe, there are many businesses out there trying to keep things going normally. They are going to be looking for solutions that keep them humming along at top speed, so don’t miss the chance to talk to them!
Additionally, Netta highlights the importance of customer marketing. For many organizations keeping and upselling current customers is one of the most important things to their bottom line right now. If you don’t already have a robust customer marketing program in place, partner with your Customer Success team and lend them some of your marketing magic.
Now let’s talk tactics. Yes, we’re going to keep marketing, but we’re not going to just blindly plug away doing the same things we always do. Use that marketing brain to think about your target market, how they’ve likely been impacted by the pandemic, how that affects their pain points, and how you can best get in front of them. Netta points out, wisely, that now is not the moment for the hard sale. You need to be focused on articulating value and solving pain points. That means that content is where most marketing teams need to double down right now.
In her LinkedIn article, Netta quotes Dave Gerhardt, Chief Marketing Officer at Privy.com, when he says
“Content is the thing that gets people to know/like/trust your brand. And if you do content right over the next 3-6 months, you can build relationships with people who will be your future buyers in Q4 and beyond. Just because people might not be buying in your industry doesn’t mean they don’t want entertainment or education from your brand.”
Some content tactics that will work well during this time:
- Blogs. We should always be stocking our arsenal with easy-to-consume short form content on a wide range of relevant topics.
- eBooks. Now’s a great time to double down on some longer form content that you can gate. Use this content to expand your email list.
- Email. Speaking of email lists – don’t forget this classic. You can put anything into an email, so dial down the hard sell and use this as a way to deliver useful content to your audience.
- Webinars. As Netta points out, pretty much everyone has jumped on the webinar train since all in-person events are cancelled or postponed. It’s a great tactic, just make sure you have something unique to say. Webinars are going to be the most powerful for your existing customers, rather than prospects.
- Surveys. Not sure how your market or customers are feeling about or responding to the situation? Ask them! These can be informal polls on social media, or a larger effort that results in a full-blown report with industry expert analysis, like our annual In-House Creative Management Report.
Here’s the point: we’re going to get through this. And when we do, we want to pick right up where we left off. Marketing and creative teams are the key to making that happen. Keep talking to your market, keep showing your value, and when they are ready to buy, you’ll be ready and waiting!
Looking for ways to keep your marketing and creative team humming during the pandemic? Schedule a demo of inMotion ignite today to see how we can help you streamline your creative workflows.
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual In-House Creative Management Report for 3 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 1,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.