Things have really changed over the past several weeks. We have seen a surprising influx in clients seeking guidance on how to navigate their marketing strategy during COVID-19. Here are 4 things you should be addressing in your outreach at this time:
One responsibility of marketing agents has always been to put ourselves in our prospect’s shoes and this couldn’t be more relevant now. Ask yourself how your prospect’s priorities have changed over the last several weeks. You’re most likely sending out messaging in your email outreach that focuses on your business’ value proposition (more of a sales pitch) which won’t resonate with your prospect today.
Life may have drastically changed for your prospects and your current email outreach messaging should acknowledge that. Be sure to evaluate all your campaigns and discontinue any other messaging that may sound tone-deaf to someone experiencing layoffs or training a team to work from home. Edit existing copies to reflect the situation and the struggles that the prospect may be experiencing.
Also, you can modify email outreach sequences to be less aggressive by adding more time between sequence steps. This is easy and helps you be sure you aren’t bombarding someone when they’re already feeling overwhelmed and uncertain.
Ultimately, having empathy and transparency in your message is most important, particularly at times like these. Keep in mind that some industries, such as travel, hospitality, and emergency medicine, or areas like NYC or Seattle, have been incredibly affected by COVID-19. Consider the area where your prospect is located, the market that they are serving, and their industry before reaching out. Key decision-makers are understandably preoccupied figuring out how to support their own employees and customers. So take the time now to understand your prospects and what they need from you before you continue reaching out to them.
Re-evaluate your target audience
Don’t automatically exclude entire industries from your audience targeting just because you hadn’t considered them before. This is an opportune time to reassess your ideal buyer personas and shift your focus to “Who are the people who need my company’s help in this situation? Who can benefit right now from what I have to offer?” By expanding your ideas about who you can help, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on prospects who are the most likely to benefit from your services based on their current circumstances.
Consider other channels
Email outreach is an incredibly powerful and effective channel for creating relationships with prospects, your future loyal customers. But it isn’t the only way. Many of your buyers are working from home and some may or may not have the ability to receive email messaging right now. So you’ll want to consider expanding to other channels, like social touches using LinkedIn or cold calling. Just re-evaluate the mix of channels you are utilizing. Your strategy should evolve over time so researching different channels or constantly testing is key.
Strategy: Moving Forward
This is an unprecedented period in most of our lifetimes. It is precisely the best time to take a moment to reassess your company’s marketing strategy overall and in detail. Here are some of the mindsets or strategies businesses are considering right now:
1. Stop all Outbound Efforts
Many industries have been forced to cease operations such as hospitality and dining. In this case, perhaps your business may decide to discontinue any old or new outbound prospecting or marketing efforts.
2. Wait and See
Some businesses are considering pausing all new outbound marketing efforts to “wait and see” how their market continues to be affected in the coming days.
Some businesses are simply trying to maintain their efforts and budgets as they are, to focus on keeping their current customers happy, and stay status quo.
4. Grow and Invest
We are seeing a huge response from businesses who recognize this as an opportunity to grow and invest in the future. They are asking “What can I do to position my company to grow in this time?” An enormous opportunity is here for businesses who will step out of the box and expand their ideas about what their teams can do in a time like this.
The mindset or strategy chosen depends in some cases on how your specific industry has been affected. While this is true, a vast majority of companies have an opportunity to make or break their success moving forward. This is a pivotal time to be reassessing your outreach strategy.
If you’re looking to grow and invest in the welfare of other businesses by creating empathetic relationships through outreach, then I encourage you to watch this video by Innovate Mississippi. Jonathan Sellers (CEO/Founder of Spark Outbound) goes in-depth in his presentation to examine these mindsets and how to navigate these challenging times.