The post-pandemic world offers some hope to individuals and businesses on a global scale as we shift from crisis mode to recovery mode. Consumer mindsets and habits may have shifted long term as they carefully consider what products to buy and what services truly provide them with value.
In response to the way consumers have changed, how will you evolve your marketing strategy to meet the needs of your consumers?
The answer to that question will be different for every brand and business type as they begin to bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s review how you can change your marketing strategy for growth.
The 3 Parts of Any Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy is a single comprehensive plan that includes all of a business’ marketing goals and objectives. Marketing executives generally draw information for their marketing strategies based on data collected from market research.
People often use the terms marketing tactics and marketing strategies interchangeably, but there is a difference – marketing tactics are the actions a business or marketing team takes to support a marketing strategy. To put it simply, a marketing strategy is the overall plan, and the tactics help you execute the plan.
Each marketing strategy is comprised of three parts:
Before you begin developing a marketing strategy or plan, you need to understand your company’s obstacles and strategic position. During the diagnosis, you need to consider the environment, your resources, and the expectations of key stakeholders.
2. Course of Action
Based on your findings and evaluation from the diagnosis stage, you should be ready to select the best course of action for your strategy.
3. Strategy Implementation
The last part of developing your marketing strategy requires you to begin implementing your marketing tactics. The implementation of your strategy may take place in several stages as you carefully allocate resources to various marketing projects.
8 Important Marketing Strategy Tips to Consider in a Post-Pandemic World
COVID-19 impacted several businesses around the world and presented them with unique challenges throughout 2020. Business executives had to reorient their operations to keep their customers and employees safe while trying to keep their companies up and running.
The virus exposed the instability of many business models. And throughout the process of recovering, businesses have been forced to evolve their business models to continue operating.
It is possible to change your marketing strategy to grow your business in a post-pandemic world. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you evolve your marketing strategy:
Consider Your Brand’s Position in the Current Environment.
Making smart and strategic marketing decisions involves understanding what position your organization holds in the post-pandemic environment. Each business type has a different position.
Some businesses may have drastically slowed down while others’ growth may have accelerated. This causes each business type to face some strain as they try to position themselves in the market.
Ask yourself these questions to help you understand the position your company is in:
- What role do I play in the ecosystem?
- Who are my main competitors?
- Where am I headed?
- Can I regain the ground I lost during the pandemic?
- Who am I in my market?
Asking these questions helps you to analyze what you’re missing so you can start evolving your strategy for the new conditions you are facing in your business.
Focus on Making Decisions Quickly to Bounce Back.
Making decisions during and after a crisis may be difficult because of the uncertainty presented by the unique challenges that come with each crisis. It takes research and careful analysis to determine which direction you need to go in.
However, decision fatigue can slow your operations down further and be detrimental to your business.
Focus on making the best possible decisions with the information you have been given, and adjust your decisions according to the new information you receive later on.
Your marketing strategy may not be perfect by the time you implement it, but as you see how your consumers respond, you can adapt your marketing messages and materials.
Having a plan and making decisions based on that plan will help you to bounce back from the confusing situation you may be in.
Develop a New Marketing Activity Schedule or Adapt Your Current Schedule.
Are you ready to accomplish the marketing activity and projects you outlined before the pandemic? If you aren’t, then you should develop new marketing activities and schedule them according to your needs and objectives.
You should also check your automated marketing content to make sure the messages are relevant and appropriate. If they are appropriate, you may keep them on the schedule for release. If they aren’t, you may consider removing them and adding new content or messages to release to your target audience.
It is important to stay on track by keeping up with the marketing tactics that help you implement your strategy. To stay on track, prioritize the most important things first, track any changes you make in the schedule, and don’t delete anything.
Make sure to save any good ideas that may not be appropriate for the market following a crisis. As things return to normal, your good ideas are likely to help your consumers at some point.
Determine Where to Use Your Marketing Resources.
Evaluate your existing marketing channels and determine which ones are the most effective for your current marketing messages.
Your resources may be limited in the time following a crisis like a pandemic, and considering where to place your marketing resources is more important than ever.
You must use the most effective platforms that identify and connect with your audience to get them to take desired actions.
Conduct competitor analyses to see which marketing channels work best for your competitors and gather historical data from your past marketing campaigns to see which ones work best. You may also try to survey your current customers to see how they found about your products or services to see if you can identify any trends.
Adapt the Four P’s of Marketing to Your New Reality.
The four P’s of marketing are as follows:
Since crises like the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the way people shop and consume goods, it is likely that their behavior will continue to change in a post-pandemic world.
Consumers are more likely to carefully consider their options than before as they make conscious choices hoping that what they buy will provide them lasting value. This means you must adapt your four P’s of marketing to your customers’ new reality.
Here are some things you may consider to help you adapt your four P’s:
It’s important to continuously reflect on the experience your products or services provide for your customers and to evaluate ways that will change over time.
- Which features and benefits of my products or services are more or less valuable to consumers as they make deliberate choices after this crisis?
- Did the disruptions caused by the pandemic or other crisis permanently cause people to change what they need? For instance, as people become more focused on personal health and buying products with authentic ingredients, will this trend continue?
Social media usage and online shopping have increased during the pandemic as people began to stay home more often. Some brands and retailers also offered consumers a curbside pickup option to allow their customers a quicker way to get what they want.
- Will consumers continue to use social media and online shopping as a primary tool for consumption?
According to a pricing study conducted by Skim, price sensitivity remained about the same during the pandemic. However, there has been a shift toward bulk offerings and lower-tier brands.
- Are shoppers more concerned with the added benefits and efficacy of higher-end products, or are they more cautious when it comes to spending?
Considering this question will help you to decide your price points during and after pandemics and other major global crises as you consider how your target audience has been financially impacted by the crisis.
It is important to consider where your consumers are in the buyer’s journey before you start new promotions.
Depending on where they are in their journey, your advertising and marketing messages my need to trigger action, reinforce brand loyalty, or repeat trial purchases.
The post-pandemic world will likely continue to hold uncertainties for consumers, and their behavior and beliefs may adjust daily. Ensure that your promotions adapt to those changes.
Think About Contribution Instead of Conversion.
Continue to offer value to your customers after the pandemic.
There is likely going to be a recovery period that requires people to think and act differently than they used to when things were normal. Cultivate compassion and reflect that compassion and care in your marketing messages.
Provide your audience with helpful resources that allow them to educate themselves for free. If your business is in the position to help individuals affected adversely by the pandemic, then develop marketing campaigns about your dedication to providing assistance to those people.
Your contribution to society will likely provide you with an increase in revenue and may attract new customers to your brand. When your brand strives to make a difference, prospects and customers strive to want to make a difference with you by supporting your organization.
Inspire Hope, But Don’t Overpromise.
It is important to stay positive and to provide your customers with a hopeful outlook. But it is also important to be realistic and only make promises you can keep.
The best way to do this in a post-pandemic environment is to focus your attention on what you can do rather than what you will do in the future.
Trying to keep up morale with empty promises is sure to backfire on you. This has been an unprecedented situation for everyone, and all you can promise your audience is that you will stay committed to helping them the best you can.
Modify Your Offers.
Adjust your offers to make sure they are relevant to the current market. Ensure that your marketing messages are flexible so you don’t have to continuously update them every time new information is available.
Update your offers to make sure they are socially responsible and reflect the safety measures, trends, and lifestyle changes associated with COVID-19.
Make your calls to action (CTAs) less urgent. For example, instead of “Book now before it’s too late!,” you may highlight affordable services and products, mention how “we are all in this together,” or let consumers know your top priority is their safety.
Ulta, a popular makeup store, adapted their calls to action on their website to display how much they care about their customers’ safety while they shop.
Urgent messages may come off as insensitive and ignorant to your consumers when they may be recovering from some of the devastating consequences of COVID-19 or similar emergency situations.
Some brands have taken the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to reposition their brands and have received favorable responses from consumers.
4 of the Best Marketing Strategy Examples in 2020
Many brands have developed marketing strategies and marketing messages during the uncertain times of 2020 that have made incredible impacts on the customers they serve. Here are some of the best marketing strategies businesses have applied that you can learn from:
Walgreens, one of the most successful pharmacies in the U.S., focused on helping their customers in many ways. They provided resources such as their Ask a Pharmacist series that provides informative videos to answer questions about COVID-19 that users may have.
They also changed their existing email campaign into a video to inform people about free prescription delivery and how to use online services for safety. Additionally, they offered drive-thru COVID-19 testing for first responders to demonstrate their commitment to serving their communities.
Carvana allows people to purchase cars from the comfort of their home. They have a feature called Touchless Delivery that allows customers to have their car delivered without needing to have in-person interaction with the customer advocate who delivers the car to them.
Carvana also developed a payment extension option for those who were financially affected by COVID-19.
The pandemic forced a lot of people to conduct business and schooling from home. In response to this, Google announced that they would allow everyone, including schools and businesses, to take advantage of Google Meet, a video meeting app, for free until September.
Ford evolved their advertising methods and conveyed their commitment to helping fight COVID-19 by starting to manufacture medical equipment that medical professionals needed due to a lack of supplies.
The new ads, “Built to Lend a Hand,” displayed Ford’s care for their current customers by offering payment relief to those who lost jobs during the pandemic.
View the post-pandemic world as an opportunity to improve your marketing strategy to fuel business growth while highlighting your commitment to improving the lives of your customers.
You have the opportunity to position your brand as a socially responsible industry leader that continues to contribute to its customers in a meaningful way.
As you change your marketing strategy using these eight essential tips, you will reap the rewards and continue to delight both your new and existing customers.
3 Ways to Impress a Billion Dollar Copywriter
You’ve heard of Stefan Georgi, right?
A copywriter whose sales letters bossed the first page of Clickbank…
Charges $50-100k per sales letter…
Writes copy set to generate $1bn (yes, bn) for clients this year…
Well, get this…
Recently Stefan ran a competition for budding copy scribes to write sales letters for his clients.
One of them was a sales letter for a one-of-a-kind clay mask.
Stefan offered an upfront fee for the five best applicants, and then a bonus for the winning letter.
After opening up a couple of veins to bleed all over my laptop in order to get a 9,000 word sales letter done in 3 weeks…
Yours truly snagged the prize.
Here are three takeaways on how I did it:
1. Sold him on hiring me like I’d sell customers on buying a client’s products
To be selected, I had to write Stefan a cover letter.
Sure, I could have just written about my past copywriting experience, recent successes and dropped in a few testimonials… like you would applying for any gig.
But I knew with a seasoned pro like Stefan, an average cover letter wasn’t going to cut it.
So I went to TOWN, and turned it into a fully-fledged sales letter.
It opened with a painful event that told me something had to change…
A feverish search for a quest item to help me make a breakthrough…
And then future pacing what life would be like if Stefan picked me as one of the final five.
I also threw in Stefan’s love of White Claw and reading to his daughter to show I’d done my research…
And that this was no cookie cutter letter sent out a cold email bombing run.
2. Loaded up tons of proof early
The skincare market is SUPER saturated.
Women (and increasingly men) have heard every claim in the book on ‘fading wrinkles’ and ‘reversing the signs of aging’.
Sure, I could make BIGGER claims.
And I did… with claims of skin so soft it was ‘porcelain smooth’.
But I also loaded up the first few pages with ALL the proof I could muster.
- Before and after photos immediately after the headline (you can’t beat a good demonstration)
- Brief summary of the TRUE story of our hero going from a face covered in scars to modelling for Macy’s in just 7 weeks
- HIGH STATUS testimonials from beauticians and estheticians
- Trust badges of all the websites the product has featured on
- Endorsement from Dave Asprey, and the fact our hero appeared on Bulletproof Radio to talk about his product
The temptation can be to leave some proof elements until later on… as a nice surprise to tip wavering prospects into buyers.
But in super saturated markets…
You don’t have the luxury of hoping people will follow the trail to get to the good stuff.
You’ve got to sweeten the pot early on to draw in readers like bees to honey.
3. Slotted mini emotional rollercoasters into the discovery story
All five selected writers had the same background story to work from.
So I knew if I wanted the juicy $2,500 bonus…
I had to turn minor details into MAJOR breakthroughs.
This includes the moment our hero collects a friend at the airport and they’re stunned to see the improvement in their skin.
This became my breakthrough moment where our hero realizes they’ve got a super special product on his hands that can change lives.
Another example is when our hero awakes giddy after a car accident…
They’re giddy to be alive.
But then they turn to see the look of horror on their mom’s face…
Due to their ‘patchwork of skin sewn together in the emergency room’.
These sudden shifts in emotion enabled me to slot in mini emotional rollercoasters into the longer story arc.
A letter isn’t finished until it converts
Thanks to these three tactics, this was Stefan’s feedback:
“Matt – great work. We loved your letter and you really just nailed it on so many different levels – from the formatting which was really on point, to the story telling and big ideas.”
While the end client, Andy Hnilo, liked my sales letter too:
“Great work on the lander! Incredible! Thank you!”
It’s always an anxious wait getting feedback.
And now I’m in for another one.
Because making clients happy is one thing…
But it’s how the market responds that ultimately counts.
So I’ve already offered Andy free updates until we hit our conversion goals.
As it’s results that matter.
Not just pretty words on a page.
Birthdays are contagious. No one actually remembers the day they were born, other people remember it for you. And the way we celebrate them is cultural, a shared process that keeps changing.
People keep track of birthdays, and today used to be mine.
Sixty of them.
It doesn’t feel like it’s been that many. Time flies when you’re busy. Lots and lots of projects. Countless friends made, lessons learned and ideas shared. Quite a journey, with lucky breaks and advantages again and again, beginning with my parents, the cultural identity, time and town where I was born… I wouldn’t have been able to go on this journey without you, thank you.
But today’s not my birthday (no need to send an email or a card). I’ve never really liked my birthday (it’s a long story involving a non-existent parrot), and the only reason for this post is to talk about who owns my birthday now.
What happens if we start celebrating our birthdays differently? Today belongs to the 20,000 + people who are on their way to a permanent supply of clean drinking water because readers like you brought their birthday (and mine) to charity:water. Thank you. Now, particularly now, when the world is in pain and when so many people are wrestling with health, the economy and justice, it’s more urgent than ever to think of someone you’ve never met living a life that’s hard to imagine.
And today, because it celebrates a round number, I’m hoping you will join in and help us break charity:water’s birthday record. And maybe donate your birthday too. Better still, if you subscribe as a monthly donor, you become a core supporter of a movement that changes lives with persistence and care.
How it works:
If you have the ability, I’m hoping you’ll click here and donate to charity:water to celebrate what used to be my birthday.
And either way, I’m hoping you’ll also donate your birthday to them. Because when it’s your turn to celebrate a missing parrot or a lost cake, you can ask your friends, and they can do what you just did.
It’s hard to visualize 21,000 people, mostly kids, fighting illness because the water in their village is undrinkable. That’s about three times the population of the town where I live. Thanks to all of you, my projects, including this blog, have already raised nearly a million dollars to build long-term solutions to this problem.
Will you help me double that?
Even one kid who lives the life he or she is capable of is worth this blog post and worth your support.
SEO Negotiation: How to Ace the Business Side of SEO — Best of Whiteboard Friday
Posted by BritneyMuller
SEO has become more important than ever, but it isn’t all meta tags and content. A huge part of the success you’ll see is tied up in the inevitable business negotiations. In this helpful Whiteboard Friday from August of 2018, our resident expert Britney Muller walks us through a bevy of smart tips and considerations that will strengthen your SEO negotiation skills, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the practice.
Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. So today we are going over all things SEO negotiation, so starting to get into some of the business side of SEO. As most of you know, negotiation is all about leverage.
It’s what you have to offer and what the other side is looking to gain and leveraging that throughout the process. So something that you can go in and confidently talk about as SEOs is the fact that SEO has around 20X more opportunity than both mobile and desktop PPC combined.
This is a really, really big deal. It’s something that you can showcase. These are the stats to back it up. We will also link to the research to this down below. Good to kind of have that in your back pocket. Aside from this, you will obviously have your audit. So potential client, you’re looking to get this deal.
Get the most out of the SEO audit
☑ Highlight the opportunities, not the screw-ups
You’re going to do an audit, and something that I have always suggested is that instead of highlighting the things that the potential client is doing wrong, or screwed up, is to really highlight those opportunities. Start to get them excited about what it is that their site is capable of and that you could help them with. I think that sheds a really positive light and moves you in the right direction.
☑ Explain their competitive advantage
I think this is really interesting in many spaces where you can sort of say, “Okay, your competitors are here, and you’re currently here and this is why,”and to show them proof. That makes them feel as though you have a strong understanding of the landscape and can sort of help them get there.
☑ Emphasize quick wins
I almost didn’t put this in here because I think quick wins is sort of a sketchy term. Essentially, you really do want to showcase what it is you can do quickly, but you want to…
☑ Under-promise, over-deliver
You don’t want to lose trust or credibility with a potential client by overpromising something that you can’t deliver. Get off to the right start. Under-promise, over-deliver.
Smart negotiation tactics
☑ Do your research
Know everything you can about this clientPerhaps what deals they’ve done in the past, what agencies they’ve worked with. You can get all sorts of knowledge about that before going into negotiation that will really help you.
☑ Prioritize your terms
So all too often, people go into a negotiation thinking me, me, me, me, when really you also need to be thinking about, “Well, what am I willing to lose?What can I give up to reach a point that we can both agree on?” Really important to think about as you go in.
This is a very old, funny negotiation tactic where when the other side counters, you flinch. You do this like flinch, and you go, “Oh, is that the best you can do?” It’s super silly. It might be used against you, in which case you can just say, “Nice flinch.” But it does tend to help you get better deals.
So take that with a grain of salt. But I look forward to your feedback down below. It’s so funny.
☑ Use the words “fair” and “comfortable”
The words “fair” and “comfortable” do really well in negotiations. These words are inarguable. You can’t argue with fair. “I want to do what is comfortable for us both. I want us both to reach terms that are fair.”
You want to use these terms to put the other side at ease and to also help bridge that gap where you can come out with a win-win situation.
☑ Never be the key decision maker
I see this all too often when people go off on their own, and instantly on their business cards and in their head and email they’re the CEO.
They are this. You don’t have to be that, and you sort of lose leverage when you are. When I owned my agency for six years, I enjoyed not being CEO. I liked having a board of directors that I could reach out to during a negotiation and not being the sole decision maker. Even if you feel that you are the sole decision maker, I know that there are people that care about you and that are looking out for your business that you could contact as sort of a business mentor, and you could use that in negotiation. You can use that to help you. Something to think about.
Tips for negotiation newbies
So for the newbies, a lot of you are probably like, “I can never go on my own. I can never do these things.” I’m from northern Minnesota. I have been super awkward about discussing money my whole life for any sort of business deal. If I could do it, I promise any one of you watching this can do it.
☑ Power pose!
I’m not kidding, promise. Some tips that I learned, when I had my agency, was to power pose before negotiations. So there’s a great TED talk on this that we can link to down below. I do this before most of my big speaking gigs, thanks to Mike Ramsey who told me to do this at SMX Advanced 3 years ago.
Go ahead and power pose. Feel good. Feel confident. Amp yourself up.
☑ Walk the walk
You’ve got to when it comes to some of these things and to just feel comfortable in that space.
☑ Good > perfect
Know that good is better than perfect. A lot of us are perfectionists, and we just have to execute good. Trying to be perfect will kill us all.
☑ Screw imposter syndrome
Many of the speakers that I go on different conference circuits with all struggle with this. It’s totally normal, but it’s good to acknowledge that it’s so silly. So to try to take that silly voice out of your head and start to feel good about the things that you are able to offer.
Take inspiration where you can find it
I highly suggest you check out Brian Tracy’s old-school negotiation podcasts. He has some old videos. They’re so good. But he talks about leverage all the time and has two really great examples that I love so much. One being jade merchants. So these jade merchants that would take out pieces of jade and they would watch people’s reactions piece by piece that they brought out.
So they knew what piece interested this person the most, and that would be the higher price. It was brilliant. Then the time constraints is he has an example of people doing business deals in China. When they landed, the Chinese would greet them and say, “Oh, can I see your return flight ticket? I just want to know when you’re leaving.”
They would not make a deal until that last second. The more you know about some of these leverage tactics, the more you can be aware of them if they were to be used against you or if you were to leverage something like that. Super interesting stuff.
Take the time to get to know their business
☑ Tie in ROI
Lastly, just really take the time to get to know someone’s business. It just shows that you care, and you’re able to prioritize what it is that you can deliver based on where they make the most money off of the products or services that they offer. That helps you tie in the ROI of the things that you can accomplish.
☑ Know the order of products/services that make them the most money
One real quick example was my previous company. We worked with plastic surgeons, and we really worked hard to understand that funnel of how people decide to get any sort of elective procedure. It came down to two things.
It was before and after photos and price. So we knew that we could optimize for those two things and do very well in their space. So showing that you care, going the extra mile, sort of tying all of these things together, I really hope this helps. I look forward to the feedback down below. I know this was a little bit different Whiteboard Friday, but I thought it would be a fun topic to cover.
So thank you so much for joining me on this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I will see you all soon. Bye.
Scoop up more SEO insights at MozCon Virtual this July
Don’t miss exclusive data, tips, workflows, and advice from Britney and our other fantastic speakers at this year’s MozCon Virtual! Chock full of the SEO industry’s top thought leadership, for the first time ever MozCon will be completely remote-friendly. It’s like 20+ of your favorite Whiteboard Fridays on vitamins and doubled in size, plus interactive Q&A, virtual networking, and full access to the video bundle:
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