Use this temporary downtime to focus on the future and innovate your marketing strategy.
This is not the spring cleaning any of us planned for. According to a recent survey, 47% of U.S. brands expect to see some downside revenue implications due to the novel coronavirus. And an additional 33% responded that it’s too early to say. We have all been affected, and continuing with our old marketing ways may not cut it as things return to a “new normal”.
As consumers continue to shelter in place, companies have new opportunities to connect digitally with customers and reimagine their marketing strategies. Of course, you may need a crisis marketing strategy to navigate the current situation, but quickly businesses need to shift focus to the future.
In a recent webinar with Mark Cuban, he said “I don’t look at is as trying to recover. That’s in the past. It’s about being innovative…” That’s exactly how we see it. How can you innovate your marketing strategy for the next chapter?
This particularly unusual spring is the perfect time to revisit, optimize, and innovate your marketing strategy. A successful marketing strategy is one that is always improving and evolving based on data.
Here are 3 simple steps to clean up, optimize, and innovate your marketing strategy:
- Review your buyer personas – do they need to shift?
A buyer persona, according to the Buyer Persona Institute, “tells you what prospective customers are thinking and doing as they weigh their options to address a problem that your company resolves.” If you need help creating buyer personas for the first time, we wrote a blog post on how to define your buyer personas in 4 steps.
Buyer personas should be constantly evolving as you learn, as your business grows, and as the world changes. As time goes on, knowledge about your ideal audience becomes more accurate. Once you have created buyer personas, continuously study your data for key insights on their situations, thought processes, and activities.
Google Analytics provides a wealth of data to understand general visitors’ browsing patterns and activities. Pardot has great individual-level tracking capabilities to understand lead generation first touchpoints and other data like lead source and page visits. Your sales team might also be able to provide qualitative data from their conversations with buyers.
Are there totally new audiences that you can expand to in the “new normal”? If so, how can you research them now and develop messaging that reaches them?
- Review your buyer’s journey – do you know their new processes?
The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through when purchasing a product or service. Knowing their process, you can better reach buyers throughout their journey with relevant and useful content and touchpoints in place to help guide them towards making a purchase.
The typical buyer’s journey includes 3-6 stages, as outlined below. The buyer’s journey may vary by business.
For a refresher or to get started, read our blog post on creating buyer’s journeys.
As a best practice, along with reviewing and updating your buyer personas, it’s also a good idea to do so with buyer’s journeys. As you learn more about the steps your buyers take to make purchases, you may learn that their journeys are shorter or longer than you imagined, or they may look completely different. The point is, if you consistently study the data to back up your assumptions, you have a better understanding of what makes your buyers buy over time.
What can you begin to learn about the new buyer’s journey past the coronavirus horizon? Can you prepare marketing strategies to address any assumptions about the “new normal”?
- Review your current marketing efforts by calculating your ROAS and ROI
A good formula to use for calculating your ROAS is:
Revenue generated from marketing effort divided by cost of marketing effort equals return on advertising spend
Another good way to gauge the success of your current/past marketing efforts is to calculate your ROI by finding your cost per lead and lead value. We have created an entire workbook that walks you through the process of creating a lead generation strategy, along with finding your cost per lead and lead value.
Once you have a good understanding of what is worth your investment at a high level, this information can serve as a guide for where to focus marketing efforts. Consider how you can optimize your paid ads, emails, and social media messages to resonate with your newly updated buyer personas and journeys with a goal of converting them to leads.
Now is the time to focus on lead generation for future potential sales. While your customers may not be buying now, it’s critical to generate and nurture leads for fruitful relationships in the future. Knowing how much to spend on leads is the first place to start.
Successful marketing is always about testing, analyzing, and innovating the tactics that reach and resonate with your audience. Taking time to review and innovate your marketing strategy is a process that should ideally be conducted annually, especially in times of major change like now.
Now is not the time to slow down or give up! Keep nurturing your leads with the long game in mind, even if the short-term headlines are crazy and the situation feels uncertain. If you need help at any step in your marketing strategy innovation, we are here for you! Tweet us questions or feel free to shoot me an email anytime.