Through the last year, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all aspects of our professional and personal lives, affecting global markets and forcing the mass closures of companies the world over. The effects of isolating, distancing, and lockdowns have been catastrophic for many businesses with some simply unable to adapt to the realities of our new normal.
Meanwhile, unemployment has spiked across the world, resulting in consumers having less disposable income and putting even more pressure on already cash-strapped businesses.
Most market experts predict tough times ahead – particularly for smaller businesses with limited cash flow. One thing is for sure, through the coming months (and potentially years), it will be a case of survival of the fittest and companies will need to learn to adapt and find increasingly new ways to drive growth.
The temptation to cut your marketing budget
It’s an unfortunate truth that, in times of trouble, companies look at cutting their unnecessary overheads – and, more often than not, that boils down to reducing their advertising, marketing, and promotion budgets. As the benefits of marketing are often harder to perceive (and frequently don’t bring an immediate, tangible benefit), it can be very tempting for firms to cut the amount they spend on promotion.
Of course, even in normal times, lowering your company’s profile can have hugely detrimental consequences. However, these are far from normal times, and reducing your branding and marketing activity through COVID-19 could have disastrous results, making you far less visible to your clients (potential and existing).
The importance of being online and changing shopping habits
The Internet has fundamentally disrupted the shopping process for the vast majority of consumers. With the rapid rise of e-commerce and a general shift in how customers research products, having a strong online presence is essential in the modern commercial landscape.
However, perhaps of greater importance, is the ability for your customers to find you online. After all, you could have the greatest all-singing, all-dancing website but one fact remains – if your site can’t be found, it will be of zero benefits to your business and generate minimal Return on Investment (ROI).
These days, it’s estimated consumers make their way through 70% of the decision-making process of buying a product by doing research online first. To this end, it’s crucial your site comes top of the search engine listings under keywords or phrases your clients are likely to use.
There are many tricks you can employ to get your site higher up the rankings but one of the most effective is to work with an Inbound Marketing Services company to generate inward links to your site and optimize its content.
Depending on the type of business you run, you will have likely witnessed a reduction in customers because of distancing – and often those customers will have had less money to spend because of unemployment or reduced furlough wages.
Furthermore (and again dependent on your business type) you may also face considerable competition online – and not just locally, but nationally and internationally too. The Internet has made the world a much smaller place these days and it’s now quite common for customers to buy globally.
These factors combined with the ongoing threats posed by coronavirus make it more important than ever to keep your company front and center in the minds of your clients when they are coming to make a purchase. In an economic downturn, every sale takes on considerably greater significance and it’s vital you capitalize on every opportunity presented to you.
Interesting Related Article: “How has the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the eCommerce revolution?“