We are currently living in a world of unprecedented change. More people are working remotely, businesses are fighting for survival. We have witnessed the cancellation of numerous tradeshows and events which can be detrimental for many reasons. Obviously, there is the monetary implication – lost flights, non-refundable hotel fees, stand costs (I could continue but you get the idea) and more importantly the valuable face-to face meetings with suppliers, dealers, partners and customers, old or new. Unfortunately, many companies see marketing departments as an unnecessary overhead and are often the first to take the hit. This could not be further than the truth. This is where marketing comes into its own. Doing it right could successfully navigate your company through the storm and even make it stronger.
Right now, your brand is everything. You need to ensure that you stay at the forefront of your partners, dealers and customers minds. Show you understand their pain points, their needs, give them the support they seek and advise them. Provide them with all the tools they require to make their business work – make yourself indispensable! People buy from people – take the time to build that relationship – it will be rewarding in the long run. Like they say, it’s a marathon not a sprint! Make your brand stand out as the go-to company – everyone remembers good service and support.
With remote working becoming the norm, more webinars, online demonstrations and press conferences are being promoted on a daily basis. Daily back-to-back online meetings are exhausting. Ironically, sitting at home and facing people via a computer is much more draining than real life physical interaction. With this is mind, when hosting an online event (whatever it may be) make sure you keep it short and snappy – people no longer have to attend and chances are they have signed up because they want to, not because they have to. Concentrate on the most important messaging you want to get across, make sure you don’t drown it out with unnecessary chatter; you’ll lose their attention and the message may be missed. Remember, there is nothing stopping you following up at a later date.
With different regions coming out of lockdown and back online at differing times, your partners, dealers and distributors, as well as your customers, will be getting back to work. Your dealers, distributers and partners are your field sales team. They have the ability to reach out to places you cannot. Equip them with the right material now. It’s the perfect time to regionalise and personalise your collateral; get them translated into the appropriate language; make them relevant – cut out the unnecessary. Host online events, write HTMLs in their native language, give them everything they need in a format and language they can understand.
There’s no doubt that how we work has changed – a vast number of industry sectors now all require online communication. Take the time to investigate how your products could fit in and benefit. The home has become the new office, the studio, the heart of many operations. There is a world outside of broadcast, now is the time to embrace it!
Getting your news out there is important, but business continuity is vital. Its about forging those relationships, maintaining those relationships and making yourselves the go-to brand for knowledge, support and of course products. Marketing is key to success – utilise it!