The past year has brought unprecedented changes. This led to the emergence of new processes and protocols as well as the repeal of the established norms for marketing communication and customer loyalty. The good thing is that the communication strategies have already evolved. Digital marketing had a global impact, and even before the pandemic, companies had started spending millions of dollars from their marketing budgets on online channels. Hence, the pandemic has essentially brought the alternative into focus as conventional outdoor and mass marketing services have been disrupted around the world.
The times have changed
The post-contagion shift towards digital communications was multi-faceted and became an important factor in business operations and expansion. The need of the hour is to review the way processes have been followed and consider the shift in a forward-looking manner. All communication strategies aimed at the new normal must be consistent and flexible.
The convention of a fixed postponement of office has faltered. Although businesses have resumed and work-from-office activities are picking up in most of the world, the rigidity of labor standards has changed permanently. The new work styles such as social distancing, rotational shifts, work-from-home and the use of digital technology for communication define the agility and resilience required in the post-pandemic era. These changes have created a cascading effect on workplace dynamics. The use of time has changed, as has in some cases the priorities.
How to stay in the game
The revised playing conditions have not gone unnoticed by the managers and stakeholders. Executives are taking a broad initiative to transform communication methods while reaching out to both internal and external audiences. Unlike before, when internal communication was a formal and external communication with customers that focused on sales and revenue, now is the time to make connections. The good old-fashioned practice of companies connecting with customers on an individual level is now well worth the effort. Companies go ahead and ask their customers about their concerns, challenges and needs.
“We stand by you!” is the mantra of the day.
The idea is not to push for the sale, but rather to make sure that the business stays relevant in the changed circumstances. It doesn’t matter if your product was the best seller in 2019, but if it doesn’t meet 2021 concerns, it can get irrelevant. It’s not the biggest problem if customers aren’t currently buying the product. It must be ensured that the product is still relevant for the current time. If a consumer decides to purchase this product or service, there must be brand awareness. For example, when the lockdown was imposed globally, companies like aviation, hospitality and travel, etc. were suspended and the brands operating in these industries kept their marketing communications open. We could see the notices, such as public health notices telling their patrons to stay safe, and how they waited to serve them again. The underlying thought is that whenever the customer decides to buy a product or service that is similar to that offered by your company, you should be on their mind.
To achieve such brand connectivity and impact, companies need to look not just outside, but inside as well. Regardless of where employees are based, you need to stay in touch and keep the communication flowing. Employers need to give their teams the same amount of attention they give to customers and regularly share all relevant and important information.
Employees are important
Employees are a huge part of your brand equity today, and happy employees are great brand ambassadors. There is an unprecedented need to be dynamic and ready to deal with any eventuality related to changes in operating conditions, employee attitudes, issues, as well as media attention or the changing mood of the communities in which they operate . This requires the creation of effective annual, long-term and short-term contingency plans.
Why Cutting Your Marketing Budget Is A Bad Idea
As a result of the pandemic, revenue streams have been impacted and many brands have cut their marketing communications budgets. However, this is more of a penny wise pound fool approach as the flow of communication needs to be greater now to prevent the loss of brand value. Customers are looking for security and brand support. Brands that stay out of the market or are low on communication are actually hurting their future prospects. Nonetheless, if you are facing a financial crisis and are forced to cut corners, instead of stopping the flow, look for low cost, high ROI options. The new normal calls for personalized marketing and communication, and any money spent on it is a strategic investment.
If your brand has been around for years, the pandemic is a great opportunity to demonstrate your line of thought and ability to foster critical conversations that people want to read about and share. Share your expertise with others, especially young companies and entrepreneurs who are struggling to stay afloat in the current scenario. This is not the time to just promote your brand or sell more. While this always remains the focus of any business dealings, this is the time to show that you are sincere, caring, confident, and positive about a great future for the brand and customers!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are exclusively those of the author and in no way reflect the views of exchange4media.com
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