Assessing Your Small Business Marketing Plan Post-COVID

Four questions to get your strategy back on track.

In March, we experienced a seismic shift in the way businesses must operate and market themselves in the new New Zealand under COVID. 

Companies scrambled to update their messaging or pause their campaigns altogether. Communicating opening protocols and hygiene practices became just as important as deals of the week and last-chance sales. 

But where do you go from there? 

Now that we’ve entered a second lockdown and the chances of returning to the way things were before is becoming more and more distant, how can you redirect your marketing efforts to help your business get back on track? 

Marketing remains the golden ticket to business growth, but in a post-COVID lockdown world your customers’ needs, values, and habits may have changed – not to mention your own business’ operations and budget. 

As we tentatively feel our way through 2020, it’s important to reassess your business’ marketing plan to consider how it may have shifted as a result of COVID-19. 

With answers to these four questions, you’re well placed to create a strong new strategy that enables your business to scale up and succeed despite the restrictions. 

When reassessing your business marketing plan, there are four key areas to consider: 

  • How your business has changed
  • How your customers have changed
  • How your budget has changed
  • How your strategy needs to adapt to suit these changes. 

Let’s talk through each in turn. 

How Has Your Business Changed?

As Kiwis shopping habits have shifted in the first six months of this year, you’ve probably found the way that customers interact with your business is different too. 

  • Are you receiving more online enquiries, and fewer in-store visits? 
  • Are leads through your website outweighing those coming from other sources?

Analysing both of these points can provide you with an understanding of how the sales pipeline for your business has changed since COVID-19 hit our shores, allowing you to create a freshly informed campaign and allocate your marketing budget accordingly. 

It’s important to consider changes from the top end, too. If your business has pivoted to attract a new customer-base or offer a new product, you will need to consider how to integrate this into your overall business marketing strategy, and how to distribute budget for each new audience or offering.

How Have Your Customers Changed?

It’s not just your customers’ shopping habits that have changed – their lifestyle, income, and values may have shifted, too, as we enter a period of financial uncertainty. 

When was the last time you updated your customer persona profiles? This is the perfect opportunity to revisit and reconsider who your ideal customer is, and what you know about their wants and needs. 

  • Have your customers lost their jobs or income security? 
  • Have their values changed as a result of this? Are they living differently? 
  • Have their needs changed – how does your product solve this?

Tapping into the new needs of your customers will allow you to target them more effectively, increasing your overall conversion rate while improving your standing with your audience by showing you understand them. 

If your customers are more money-conscious than before, you could consider new tactics such as offering special deals, Afterpay or Laybuy to remove barriers to purchase and make it easier for them to access what you offer.

How Has Your Budget Changed?

You can be forgiven for wanting to tighten your marketing budget, but as long as you’re using data to direct your efforts you don’t need to cut back – it’s all about increasing efficiency and allocating your spend smartly. 

Your website and advertising analytics will reveal which channels and tactics perform best for your audience and how these may have shifted through the changes of the past few months. 

To make the most of your advertising budget now, you want to use the data you have to identify where and how you can achieve a higher conversion rate for a lower cost-per-conversion. 

Continuing to advertise through a downturn is important, and it becomes even more important to craft a strategic, data-driven marketing plan for your business. This means you can be sure you’re getting the highest return for your investment. 
Not all digital marketing agencies work the same, so make sure whoever you’re with is working for your budget and goals.

How Does Your Strategy Need To Change?

As you can see, your business, budget, and customers have all evolved – and so should the strategy that ties them all together. 

With the insights gained from the first three questions, you can now revisit your digital marketing plan with confidence and start moving forward to deliver targeted campaigns that contribute to your goals. 

Another important lesson we’ve all learned this year is just how necessary it is to include a crisis plan in any future strategies – business, marketing, or otherwise. The sudden resurgence of COVID and lockdown limitations across the country have reminded us how prepared we must be in case another outbreak occurs. How did your business cope? 

As the shock and uncertainty subsides, we’re able to see a bit more clearly where we are and what to expect as things continue to change. Now it’s time to use that insight to develop a strong digital strategy to keep your business thriving through the coming months and years. 

Sprocket Digital creates tailor-made data-driven marketing plans for businesses across New Zealand and Australia. Push your performance and reach your revenue goals with the experts by your side. 

Let us help create your digital marketing strategy today.

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