During periods of economic turbulence, an increased need for strong communication creates a lot of potential to leverage integrated marketing techniques. A real opportunity presents itself for a company that increases its focus on communication and marketing during any kind of a downturn or period of difficulty.
Whether you are forging new communication channels with other companies B2B or sharing the industry latest with individuals B2C, leveraging integrated marketing in your communication strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic is an invaluable investment for your company going forward.
Any time a business is going through a rough patch, it will either retract—“hunkering down to weather the storm” so to speak—or it will seize the opportunity to accelerate growth. When it comes to the products or services that your firm provides, who better to provide that product and that knowledge during this time than you?
People as consumers tend to react similarly, either coordinating a defensive maneuver or going on offense. It is important to make this distinction when leveraging integrated marketing, responding appropriately to the needs of your markets.
Both businesses and individuals share the need to understand. There is a real craving for knowledge amidst both business and consumer populations that is always prevalent and especially now. There is a comparative advantage to be had in understanding the landscape better than others, and therefore the need for this knowledge becomes essential.
When you reach out and proactively communicate with your customer base during these uncertain times, you are positioning yourself as a trusted advisor that can be reached out to for information and support. If you are active in this role, there is a high potential to become a key source of motivation and guidance for your clientele during the crisis and what follows. This translates into a huge opportunity to leverage integrated marketing in your targeted communication channels.
So . . . how do you go about that?
Here are a few great examples of ways others have successfully leveraged integrated marketing in their pandemic communication strategies.
We have a Client-Partner that, during this economic downturn, reached out to one of their largest customers and secured a standing 30-minute meeting with them every Wednesday morning.
The client of theirs happens to be in staffing, and one of the client’s key buyers needs to be on top of changes in this fluid industry. Our Client-Partner was hired to entertain a standing weekly meeting to discuss just that.
Suddenly this Client-Partner is in a very powerful position to directly influence decision making based on regarded expertise. Interestingly enough, this expertise is derived from leveraging integrated marketing in a simple follow-up communication.
Experts are able to directly influence consumer behavior. Those that can become regarded as experts in their field are then able to position themselves to be sought out for advice. Those with the tools to communicate key ideas effectively and in simple terms have become invaluable to those eagerly seeking reassurance and guidance during this time.
Think of how powerful that is: You become the trusted advisor to your client, you become the expert.
We have several Client-Partners in the insurance industry, but one I’ll point out is Spectrum Insurance in Wisconsin. During this crisis, Spectrum opted to go on offense. Spectrum actually continued to put out their magazine as they normally would but modified the most recent issue to focus primarily on the challenging times that businesses—their current and potential clients—are facing.
Spectrum’s target audience is businesses around the state. Because of this small but dedicated gesture to support them, Spectrum has positioned itself as a leading provider of key information to those it caters to.
This dedication to nurturing client relationships and maintaining communication channels through turbulent times has fostered an immense loyalty to Spectrum. It has also aided brand-building initiatives and positioned Spectrum in a better light to present tactical solutions and leverage integrated marketing in its communications approach. In most cases, their services are also tailored to these solutions, so, guess what? Spectrum Insurance is simultaneously providing essential information and selling their services.
The content that Spectrum produced in support of its clients during the COVID-19 crisis has been further integrated into an online setting, expanding conversion potential to new audiences.
A third example is another Client-Partner of ours, Landlord Life, down in Central Los Angeles. Landlord Life provides services to residential landlords in the area. Their newsletter during the recent economic crisis was dedicated to providing market guidance for clients navigating ongoing changes to residential tenancy legislation and fluctuating real estate markets.
Landlord Life reached out to its audience by presenting targeted solutions to common problems that all residential landlords are facing. They provided solutions, shared stories about what others have done, and provided guidance for businesses stuck navigating the pandemic storm. As such, they became a trusted expert in their field.
By the way, one of the recommended solutions is to call Landlord Life to engage their services.
So, it becomes a sales tactic, but also a value-added tactic and a branding tactic. Businesses in times of economic downturn are all either freezing or fighting. However, all are united in the craving for knowledge, for new and relevant information.
It is important to communicate with your markets on a regular basis. It becomes substantially more important in times of an economic downturn. So, in these turbulent and uncertain times, double down on your communication efforts.
Market not in a pushy sales way, but in a value-added, informational-service way and your company will reap dividends from that many times over. Be that value-added information provider. Be that trusted advisor for your clients and customers and you will not go wrong.