Update from ICON regarding COVID-19
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The Ps of marketing are as old as marketing itself. Whether you are in the 4 P camp or 7 P camp, the Ps (product, package, price, place, promotion, people, and placement) are the arrows in your marketing quiver and your marketing strategy is the bow. When executed well, together they solve all sorts of business problems.

Yet when things get tough the immediate reflex is to take a carving knife to the marketing budget. Is this because marketing has no relevance in a crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic? Or is it because we have simplified and reduced marketing from four (or seven) Ps to merely one P: promotion (also known as advertising)?

 

Look beyond promotion

Advertising may consume the lion’s share of costs in your marketing plan, but it is only one of many arrows in your marketing quiver. Keep promoting your business across other channels considering all your options to stay connected with your customers.

As COVID-19 upends society and business, what are the key things you can do that will ensure that your marketing does its number one job of helping to connect you with the people who want to buy and use your product or service?

Here are a few examples of actions to consider under the other Ps of marketing that will help you navigate COVID-19.

 

#1: People

Do you know why your customers choose to do business with you? Do you know what they are truly buying from you? They are not just buying a product or service; they are buying a specific solution to a specific problem.

Now is a great time to better understand your customers. Drill down into the root cause of their problem and get to the true reason for why they buy from you.

It may help to survey your customers. Hearing their thoughts, such as why they chose you over your competition, will help you to better target your product or service to them and also to new customers. It will also help you to better understand your value. Do you offer better service? Is your product better? Are you the most cost-competitive?

I have found the following question (and survey answers) really helpful when seeking information about our customers:

Why do you buy from my company?

     1. You help solve problems.

     2. You make me feel special.

     3. You are convenient.

     4. There is no one else.

     5. Your service answers all my queries.

     6. Easy to deal with.

     7. Your quality is fantastic.

     8. Other [please specify].

Your customers’ answers will help you to better understand your own business from the point of view of your clients. And once you understand that, you will know how to best communicate your value to them and what products and services you should be offering them. You may be surprised – in a good way – by their answers.

 

#2: Positioning

There are many aspects to this point. But let us use this time to better understand our competitive environment.

In today’s digital-first world it is really easy to see what your competitors are doing to reach and engage customers. Make a checklist of the competitors you are up against and then scale them between 1-5 for the following questions (include yourself in this matrix).

     1. How informative is their website in your opinion?

     2. Can you easily view their website on both your mobile and desktop screen?

     3. Can you find what you are looking for?

     4. What is the key message the website is sending?

     5. Does the website have a strong call to action (i.e. helping the client to make contact)?

     6. Are the contact details easy to find?

     7. Do they have a strong social presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram?

     8. Is their website current?

Understanding your competitors will help you to understand how you are positioned in the market. And once you understand that, you will know what activities you need to undertake to ensure that you are clearly and consistently communicating your difference – or your unique value proposition – to your customers.

 

Marketing during COVID-19

These are just some of the areas where marketing can assist in ensuring that you not only survive COVID-19 but grow through it and beyond it. If you are still unsure of how best to respond to the current crisis, I invite you to reach out to Icon Visual Marketing for assistance in navigating this road. Let’s do it together!