Rose and thorne, bra donation, essential workers, Covid19, Lockdown marketing,

Brand repositioning post-Covid19

Are you trying to understand how your marketing needs to change?

This article sets out the themes which you can use in your own firm to help discern the new rules, the new landscape and the new markets we are now trading in.

The new marketing reality

Nothing is clear.  This is obvious.

But that’s hardly helpful for us marketing people who need to keep on creating campaigns, keep on filling funnels and keep on pushing our recovery efforts after lockdown.

Signs are emerging about what consumers are interested in and where they will look favourably on brands.

I am regularly scanning the world looking for examples and inspiration of what can be done and how you can do it for your brand.

What consumers value

Top home-stay business Look After Me surveyed their audiences and found a distinct shift in sentiment.

Instead of favouring flying on holiday, most now prefer car travel; most prefer to book with local companies to “keep money in the NZ economy”, and most now prioritise accommodation “cleanliness” over price, comfort and wifi provision.

Financial and economic news website, Interest.co.nz asked its readers what they value.  The answers were clear from the start – every single segment of reader who was surveyed came back with similar views.  Two quotes suffice

Your people have a better understanding of fringe issues, more reliably, than any other NZ news outlet. Your reporting on these peripheral matters shows incredible strength. And that makes the world better.

With the woeful quality of NZ journalism it’s my only trusted source of financial news.

ACTION: do a survey now

Understand the new priorities

Clues about the new priorities can be found from a range of commentators.  Some have been “banging this drum” for a while, others are interpreting new data.

I look to global trends as well as industry-specific experts when trying to find a pattern worth following.

Mark Carney, Central Banker, says the “The economy must yield to human values“.  By this I interpret that people matter over profit and that the capitalist model of pursuing profit over all other goals is being challenged.

Retail specialist Mary Portas calls it the “Kindness Economy”.

She realised that kindness isn’t weak but strong: a foundation from which to grow a business that has truth, integrity, longevity and commerciality. As we move away from a time of rabid consumerism and ‘peak stuff,’ Mary believes we are entering a new type of economy. One built on kindness and a Triple Bottom Line: people, planet and profit – in that order. And business who organise themselves around this kinder way of behaving, will be the ones that win.

And Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, interprets apparently polarising reactions to the same situation in terms of “moral intuitions and values”. In this way, relaxing lockdown provokes both protests against restriction of liberty from social distancing and protests about growing exposure to harm by going back to work. Both can be understood from underlying moral values.

In the context of Brexit and the lockdown, he found

Remainers placed more emphasis on the value of care and the need to minimise harm, whereas leavers placed more emphasis on the value of personal liberty. When evaluating an action or a policy, remainers would ask “will this cause harm?”, whereas leavers would be inclined to ask “will something restrict our freedom?”.

The moral values of your brand now matter.  The alignment and prioritisation of your internal teams across departments will be different now. Your emphasis on the planetary community needs to be interpreted into both the bottom line and operational mores.

ACTION: Review your CRM and sales / marketing alignment

What will “value” mean?

This is tough and will definitely evolve as fear of infection subsides and rises with waves of the pandemic.  In New Zealand now we are feeling relatively safe – lockdown is in Level 2 and we are back at school and work.  Compare our situation to Brazil or New York and value will be very different.

Here are some themes which may emerge – to what extent does your brand and business subscribe to these?

  • Local resilience > global efficiency
  • High corporate debt > riskiness of underlying equity
  • Will the state continue to be engaged within private commerce?
  • Is resilience > risk now?
  • How are tail risks managed?
  • We all understand the fear of unemployment now.
  • The price of everything = the value of everything, including global heating.
  • Economic dynamism and efficiency ≠ solidarity, fairness, responsibility and compassion
What is the new Maslow hierarchy?

Values and needs are realigning.

Now that we fully realise the deep inter-dependency of our global community, will this change our prioritisation about health, wellbeing, global supply chains and personal independence (doing what I want) compared to communal dependence (doing what WE need)?

Can we learn to trust experts again?

Will our approach to climate change (surely the biggest existential threat to our way of life) be adjusted to reflect these new values and to form a new consensus on priorities compared to risks?

What did your company do during Covid-19?

Writing the history of this period can wait for now.

Yet I am certain that the judgements will fall on brands and the public perception of where they were before and after the emergency passes will be based on “people” outcomes not “profit” outcomes.

I bet Greg Foran wishes he was still at Walmart and hiring thousands of new workers rather than at Air New Zealand and laying them off.

This will have the resonance of “what did you do in the War?” and whether you judge the outcome to be “good” or “bad” will depend to a large part on the consumer’s view of whether you were a hoarder or a generous giver; whether you laid off staff, furloughed or retained staff; whether you hoarded resources or paid over the odds to acquire over others or whether you generously supported others.

Adjust brand positioning

Once you know what values your consumers now have you can start customisation to respond to this new priority.

Rose and thorne, bra donation, essential workers, Covid19, Lockdown marketing,

Rose and Thorne donate bras to essential workers

Some of these will be short-term and related to Covid19 and Lockdown – like Rose and Thorne’s Gift-a-Bra to an essential worker.

How important are these people? Very.  How much do we value them?  A lot.  And how many do we know? Lots.

This is great marketing because it is a classic member-get-member programme aligned to the issue of the day.

theme holiday, covid19, marketing in lockdown,

Brand repositioning post-Covid19

 

Look After Me have taken a lead by redesigning holidays into packages that theme around hobbies and interests, that are local and have quality marks for locally owned businesses with high cleanliness scores.

Smart.  Easy to understand.  Aligned.

There’s a Recession too

And of course the recession is already creating new winners and losers.  Take a browse through the Emergency Business Forum questions business owners are asking and their own perceptions of “need” and the consistent themes emerge

  • growth of online ecommerce or at a minimum a website
  • how do we reach our customers
  • fresh marketing ideas
  • finding distributors and stockists
  • learning about digital media
  • how to get customers to switch to online
  • why word of mouth doesn’t cut it any more
  • migrating from in person to online
  • starting a customer database

Part of me groans when reading these; part of me rejoices.

Blending the practical with the strategic is going to be critical in giving quality guidance and up-skilling.  Yet the problem lies as much with medium as small businesses.  Speedy decision making is easy for the owner-operator and will not be so easy to apply to enterprise.

 

Marketing after lockdown ends

Post-lockdown marketing is not going to be anything like we did before.  There are new constraints and new opportunities – it’s up to us to start to find what these are new.

Start preparing for Level 3 marketing

  • One accounting firm offered to open their ‘little black book’ to source helpful contacts among their clients
  • Neil Patel has written a Global SEO technical article 
  • Find helpful topics using AnswerThePublic.com
  • Check for early signs about consumer sentiment post-lockdown.  The new normal will not be the same, must as we might have liked to move back to what went before.

 

Marketing funnel improvements

Continuing my lockdown series of mini videos for marketers.

How can we improve funnels to get more revenue per customer?

  • Thank you page should include an upsell
  • Offer a phone call to discover more and suggest solutions. This works particularly well if you are selling services.  For products you could use text chat on the site.
lockdown customer survey

Customer survey during lockdown

Continuing our series on lockdown marketing tips – how about doing a survey of your customers?

  • One goal
  • Few questions
  • Allow freeform answers as well as picklists
  • Make a valuable offer at the end.

 

Rush into eCommerce during Lockdown

Today’s first quick marketing tip is about Competitor analysis – find out what your competitors are doing to market at this time

Open a search window and type your brand name vs.

Wait and see what auto complete suggests.

Then do it again for the suggested name. I did the Warehouse vs and it suggested Kmart. Then I did Kmart vs…

Set up your online shop

Getting online for ecommerce is happening for many brands due to the lockdown.

Ensure that your proposal suits your current need, the speed you need to roll it out and the ability of your marketing team to execute.

The video explains why.

 

Digital Strategy and your Website

For all in-house marketing managers, I’m running some training hosted by CCH Learning during February.  I first ran this course three years ago and it remains the most popular I’ve ever done with them.  Digital Strategy and Your Website.

Update your professional website

Business websites cannot be static “set-and-forget” marketing assets. Recent changes to search and social algorithms affect your business. Learn how to work your website hard so that it pays back the investment to the business, brings in new enquiries and showcases the firm’s expertise and key staff.

This is a practical training webinar which will show you how to test your website’s effectiveness and give you a checklist of what you can do to improve key metrics.

Further, a business website MUST be the central hub for all your marketing activity.  It needs close integration with other key marketing technologies which I’ll be teaching on this course.

Invest in your marketing skills

Get yourself onto this course – the investment is a modest NZ$215 + GST and I know you’ll be glad you came.

My reviews from all the courses I have given reflect the client testimonials I get from direct clients.

Rebecca Caroe B2B marketing speaker

Is B2B marketing yielding good returns?

Is the marketing you are doing giving you the yield you seek?

I am asking this question a LOT at the moment.  I  ask it to myself, for my own businesses, I ask clients, I ask prospects.

One answer came from a professional services marketer.  It serves as a good example for in-house marketers to challenge their thinking, to up-skill and to get insight from beyond the internal team in the business.

This is what she wrote  to answer

Hmmm… It’s hard to tell. I cannot know if a speaking engagement got someone interested enough to ask their consultant to investigate our solutions and eventually get in touch with us and 2 years later… we have a deal signed. It is a complex process to sell our service.

Is a long sales cycle a B2B marketing problem?

Yes, it certainly is.  Tracking and managing a diverse set of marketing tactics and campaigns over time takes discipline and forethought.

But where I felt this marketing manager was failing her business colleagues was around integrating the content creation, the speech-giving with marketing analytics and tracking data.

I challenge the assertion that you “cannot know” if a speaking engagement has any effect.

How to track conference speeches for marketing impact

Let me make some suggestions:

  • Every conference – offer a free download of something valuable. Create a trackable URL. Cookie the browsers visiting that site.
  • ALSO offer the visitor something even more valuable (not a sales pitch) if they sign up to your database

Both of these create trackable events which (even if 2 years passes) can enable you to demonstrate results.

Any pass-on of URLs to second parties like consultants or colleagues is tracked too.

I use Google Campaign URL builder and also short link services like Bit.ly for this.

Upskill your internal marketing team

When did you last go and get training and invest in your internal marketing team?  I fear many in-house teams do not get the attention they deserve.  Hiring an agency or consultant is not necessarily going to improve the team skills – it delegates marketing activity to outsiders.

What could you do to invest better, to improve your team’s ability to run the strategy as well as the execution, to better understand what the agency / consultant is doing for you, so that they can brief better, to guide the marketing plan better, to adapt and adjust the marketing budget for new tech, for new market conditions (recession?) and above all, to stay in front of the competition?

So challenge yourself, is the marketing you are doing giving you the yield you seek?

How retailers can differentiate customers

This photo was shared by the famous author, Susan Cain.  She noted “There’s an introvert on the customer services team.”

Her world view is all focused on explaining to the majority of the population who are extroverts how the minority (introverts) prefer to be treated.

Treat different customers differently by Sephora retail

Skilful marketers treat different customers differently

Face to face retail is different from online retail.  Online, the customer wanders where she wants, unhindered except by popups and tracking cookies – she’s unaware of one of these most of the time.

But in shops, it’s different.  Many sales assistants are paid on commission – this drives their behaviours.  And without a customer to speak to they risk not getting a commission payment.

When I worked the shop floor [Harrods, Burberrys] and now when I go to Trade Shows, I developed a technique which was successful for me.

I would make eye contact with the customer prospect, smile, and then look away first.  Sometimes I also said ‘Hi’.

Why did this method customer engagement work?

Firstly, I made the customer aware that I was there and could help if needed.

Secondly, by looking away first I left them in control of any future re-engagement.  They could choose to ignore me and I had signalled that this was fine, that they had no obligation to respond or engage with me.

Back to Sephora

A comment under Susan Cain’s post said

While I understand that we are not all extroverts, is it really that hard to say no thanks when asked if you require help? Perhaps it is? Perhaps one solution would be to changes the words. Red”Happy to be approached for you to assist me” Black “Thanks for not approaching me, I would love your assistance when I ask for it”

And this was my reply

It’s not the “hard” aspect that matters, Debbie. It is the quiet lack of interruption in the shopping experience and the energy it takes to interact when you’d prefer not to.

I am married to an introvert and I have had to do a lot of learning.

Plus, enabling ways for brands to “treat different customers differently” is not just about Susan Cain‘s introverts versus extroverts angle.  There are many ways.

I did a website design for a real estate agent.  2 buttons on the home page – I’m Buying – I’m Selling.  They go to separate customer journeys…. with different messaging.

Retail customer segmentation challenge

If you run a retail business, where can you enable simple ways to allow customers to self-identify into different groups who want / need to be treated differently?