How To Strengthen Your Marketing Strategy Plan During COVID-19

By Kyle Hotchkiss

Some of us are over a month into self-quarantine and have made the appropriate adjustments for operating our business during this new uncertain climate. We’ve settled into acceptance and adjusted to the “new normal.” While some businesses are on a strict holding pattern, some are taking an aggressive approach to reevaluating their business models, planning for new product releases, and focusing on weak spots in their business plan, one of which is often their marketing strategy.

At Reeder Media we help many businesses reach solutions to a plethora of marketing problems. Some of our clients are at a complete loss as to where to start, while some have already started and just need some assistance in defining their goals and solidifying a marketing plan to reach them. Regardless of the problems that many businesses face when it comes to marketing, we understand that that marketing is both a discouraging and complicated field. We’re here to help you find a place to start your marketing journey if you haven’t already or help you revitalize your marketing strategy and inject it with well proven practices and techniques.

1. Reevaluate your market position during the pandemic.

This is the most important step. First, we suggest taking this time to reposition your brand if you haven’t already. With smartphone and PC usage going through the roof on multiple online mediums, this is the opportune time to start that. 

The first step is to identify your target customer, your product and service offer, what the customer will benefit from that product or service, and the evidence that proves this benefit. Once you have established that you can then create a strong and emotional tagline or slogan that you wish to put in the minds of your audience and customers. 

The goal is to make sure that you develop a brand that represents your business properly and conveys the message you want your customers to think of when they think of your business.

Next, you’re going to establish which sort of market positioning strategy you are going to deploy: cost leadership or differentiation marketing position strategies. When establishing a competitive edge in the market  you’re either going to assert that you have the most competitive prices in the industry, focus on one market segment and it’s specific needs to differentiate from your competitors, or you’re going to practice a blend of the two. 

It’s important to know whether you are going to attack the market as a whole through cost leadership or if you are going to solve a problem of a specific customer group in the market through differentiation so you know who you are going to market to and establish that competitive edge. 

Once your brand, combined with its value proposition in mind, and your market positioning strategy is understood you can then hit the ground running in search of the perfect marketing strategy.

2. Plan to bounce back hard with a new marketing strategy for your company.

Now that you’ve set the foundation, it’s time to put up the framework. Like building a home and setting the walls before you put up the roof, you’re going to have to set the walls for your marketing strategy and that comes first with identifying the channels that fit your goals and product best. 

Where you established your target customer in the branding process, you’re now going to call this customer profile your “customer audience.” 

Which customer audience are you pitching to? There are several niche populations:

· Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z 

·  Women or men

·  Middle class or upper-class customers

·  Businesses or customers

·  Customer profiles who sway more conservative or liberal

·  Etc.

All this matters and all of this will help you decide where to spend marketing hours and money online or traditionally.

If you’re selling B2C consumer goods to Boomers you’re wasting your time marketing on Instagram. If you’re selling B2B services to lawyers you’re wasting your time on Pinterest. But if you use Facebook, TV ads, and newspaper ads for Boomers you’re going to be more successful because that is where your audience “hangs out.” If you use LinkedIn you will be more successful in converting B2B prospects because that is where businesses “hang out.” 

Once you know your audience and where they hang out online then you can establish where to allocate work hours and marketing spend and develop a tailored strategy with a plan of action to reflect the goals of that strategy. We help businesses do this all the time, often implementing different variations of traditional advertisements, digital ads, and social media marketing. 

3. Prepare and develop a marketing plan for your next business venture.

For businesses planning to expand their product line or offer additional services, this is the perfect time to prepare for a new release and create a marketing strategy for that debut. If your business is looking at diversifying, then a new marketing plan is going to be crucial for your success. People need to be aware of your new offer. You might find that this demands that a completely new brand be developed or perhaps just a strong campaign be launched to raise awareness.

We find that some clients are doing exactly that. They’re taking advantage of this time, when business is slow, to prepare for when the pandemic passes or they’re taking this as an opportunity to advertise new deals and promotions that will benefit their customers.

4. Evaluate your preparedness and develop contingency plans

Lastly, there is no better time than now to run a diagnostic test on your marketing models and weather proof them. It’s important to manage consistency across your marketing plans and maintain flexibility. Businesses need to be one with the tide and up to date on all consumer and marketing trends to stay relevant. You can do this by performing market research, taking risk assessments and performing impact analyses. This is all about predicting the “what if” statements that keep business owners and managers awake at night. If all risks are taken into account, then preventative measures can be implemented to mitigate disaster and allow a contingency plan to take control of a marketing plan when it fails or in the face of a public relations issue. 

 Here at Reeder Media we hope that you will find this information helpful and that it will set you on your way to success. Marketing is complex and sometimes intimidating but we’ve helped many businesses using these same techniques and practices to help them build relationships with their customers and improve conversion rates. In any case, if you should hit a snag, please contact us at (760) 723-7319 or email us at social@reedermedia.com for a consultation.