Most of us have had to make marketing changes over the past year, pivoting to find new ways to reach prospective customers. Gone are the advantages of face-to-face interactions in a retail store, via in-person sales calls, or at a trade show. It’s likely that any marketing plan you crafted before 2020 has been gathering dust as you’ve adapted to the new reality.
If you’re like us, you’ve been working to better understand how your customers’ needs have changed and will continue to change over the next several months. Understanding these new needs and buying behaviors is key for any marketer who wants to stay relevant and helpful to their customers.
Discovering how to work effectively in this new environment can be a challenge. Here are three approaches that can help you adapt your marketing to reach prospects and customers where they are today.
Understand your Customers (As They Are Now)
While we all know that the only thing constant is change, that doesn’t keep us from getting stuck in a rut, leaving well enough alone with existing customers. But regardless of how satisfied customers were with your products or services in the past, it’s worth going back to basics to make sure you’re meeting their new, post-COVID needs. Open a dialogue, whether that involves a sit-down meeting, phone call, or customer survey. No matter how well you’ve understood a given customer’s needs until now, don’t assume they haven’t changed in the past year.
Simplify the Buyers’ Journey
You can help make the buying process easier by providing the content and support that buyers need to make good purchasing decisions. Creating buyer-centric content that removes any barriers to taking action makes your website a robust resource for buyers. A content-rich website will not only drive conversions, it will position you as the go-to authority in your industry.
Embrace the Growth of Digital Marketing
The need to reach customers online isn’t going to abate after the pandemic. Yes, trade shows and travel will resume and stores will reopen, but customer behavior — including an increased comfort level with virtual interactions, newly established online buying habits, and an interest in replacing costly travel with virtual event attendance — aren’t likely to disappear.
Now is the time to double down on digital marketing:
- Use search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns, such as Google Ads, to target searchers who are looking for you. You can target according to the phase of the buying process by using just the right keywords. Analyze the data from each campaign to refine your ads and make future campaigns more effective.
- Develop video, webinars, and podcasts.
- Reach leads where they are with well-designed, well-written emails that offer useful information and drive prospects to your website.
- While you’re at it, use digital ads to attract skilled employees.
The good news is, you’re not alone in adapting your business to succeed in this new reality. Virtually all marketers should be re-examining how they can best meet their customers where they are today. If it’s time to update your marketing plans, we’d be happy to help. Or call us at 231.727.9778 to learn more.