We are living in the most uncertain of times. Health concerns aside, global markets and businesses of all sizes are taking a massive hit. And there could still be some more pain to come.
We can’t shy away from the challenges that exist now, and potentially into the future. But at the same time, business leaders can’t give in to fear and panic either. The survival of your business, your livelihood and those in your sphere of influence depend on you.
So what do you do about your growth marketing strategy?
Here are a few thoughts.
In a time of crisis, don’t get caught with all of your eggs in one basket. Your financial adviser has probably said the same thing about your investments, it is the same for your business.
Diversify your business model.
If the majority of your work comes from one or two channels, practice areas or product lines, seek out alternative revenue streams. Even if you feel ‘safe’ right now, bringing more balance to your business will not only help guard against unprecedented risks, but it will create new growth opportunities that will support you now and into the future.
Diversify your marketing strategy.
As you diversify revenue streams, the same goes for your marketing channels, sources and resources too. If the majority of your work comes from one or two referral sources, you’re exposed.
Identify new marketing opportunities. Think about the marketing ideas that you haven’t had the time or motivation to pursue, perhaps because those one or two sources have provided you with a cushy safety net. The time is now.
Any form of marketing with a person-to-person element, from business development meetings through to large events, are being impacted. Even old faithful ‘word of mouth’ referrals are drying up — everyone is talking about the virus and nothing else (including your business).
So you need to double-down on digital.
If you’re not investing in content, you should be. In a time of crisis, people are looking for people, resources and brands they can trust. Quality content builds trust, it is an investment in your brand and also an investment in your community. Think about blogs, video and podcasts. All are easy and affordable to quickly set up and execute.
Google Ads are essential. When set up effectively, this is the only channel that generates leads from people who are specifically looking for your product or service.
Facebook Ads are an effective way build and maintain your brand, and very affordable compared to other marketing channels.
Both Google and Facebook Ads can be set up and running in a day or so.
And don’t forget, people will be spending more time online than ever before.
Be a brand that takes a stand.
People are looking for leadership. So whether it is your personal brand or your corporate brand, stand up, share your insights and offer solutions. You’ll find it surprisingly easy to rise above the noise.
Ask for help. And help other businesses.
I saw this Facebook post from a local butcher in South Australia, who put the call out after being stuck with a huge amount of extra stock. At the time of writing, the post has now been re-shared 6,416 times with countless comments offering generous help.
So if you need a hand, don’t be afraid to ask.
Also, reach out to your professional network, colleagues and partners. How can you unite and support each other?
Where is the opportunity?
There is always opportunity in crisis. As you may have read on social media, Isaac Newton discovered calculus while in quarantine. Shakespeare wrote King Lear in quarantine. What will you do in the midst of this crisis that sets the foundations for the future of your business?
For your clients.
How can you and your business add value to your clients, right now? How can you offer solutions that provide security and stability in uncertain times?
I work with a number of clients in professional services, including investment and finance. Good advice is more important right now than ever before.
I work with others who have been talking about the development of online programs, training and courses. There’s a huge, growing need in this space as more people become housebound.
There are likely tonnes of opportunities that you’re sitting on, if you’ll just take a breath and look around.
For the way you do business.
Many businesses rely on outdated practices and systems, because there hasn’t been an urgent need to change. But now that change has been forced upon you, there is an amazing opportunity to introduce technology, automation and optimise the way you work.
Focus on the right clients.
You may experience a purge. You may have a few clients who have made life difficult for you, but you’ve hung on because you wanted or needed the cash. In a time of crisis, it is critical to avoid being bogged down and increase your focus on the clients that matter.
Now is not the time to stop. The time is to adapt.
While there is risk and uncertainty, you have an opportunity to make critical decisions that will change your business growth trajectory well beyond the end of this crisis. Because the crisis will end. And you have the chance to come out the other side leaner, stronger and more profitable than ever before.
Andrew Montesi, Managing Director at Apiro Consulting, is a full-stack marketer, media producer and entrepreneur specializing in building and growing brands. For over 13 years he has worked across many industries, providing growth marketing and media services to sporting organizations, early stage technology startups, property advisers and developers, professional service firms across accounting, finance, medical and law, media companies and agencies, and more.
Connect with him at Apiro Consulting