The huge disruptions over the past 18 months have forced many businesses to shift their focus from long-term plans to deal with the immediate impact of quarantine measures and restrictions to everyday life. Marketing plans and campaigns have been put on hold or pivoted to cover these changes, but now you might be thinking about how to get things back on track.
In this article, we take a look at how you can refocus your marketing efforts on long-term plans post-COVID.
Reevaluate your marketing plan
The COVID pandemic forced a lot of day-to-day activities to move online. People are working, shopping, and socializing virtually more than ever. And even as things are getting back to normal, it’s unlikely that things will return to how they were before—online alternatives are often more convenient.
So to get your marketing plans back on track, you need to re-evaluate them. Conduct new market research to understand how your target audience has been impacted by the pandemic, and the shifts in their behaviors and requirements. You should also look at how your competitors are reacting—what changes have they made to their products, services, delivery, and marketing efforts?
Use your research to set out new goals, and identify changes in demand and the best way to connect and market to your target audience.
Focus on digital marketing and channels
Online and digital marketing should be your primary focus when you’re looking to get your marketing plans back on track. Now is a good time to explore more digital channels and find new ways to reach out to your audience online.
For example, make sure you’re active on all the social platforms that your audience is using. Don’t spread yourself too thin but try to focus on three or four different platforms and post regular content and engage with your followers and the people you’re trying to connect with.
Look at how you can update your website to give visitors a better experience and ensure that your site copy and blog content is SEO optimized to target relevant search terms.
You need to focus on your online presence post-COVID. This will help increase your brand awareness and allow you to reach anyone that would be looking online for the products or services that you offer.
Boost your communication and productivity
The pandemic has also had a big impact on how businesses are operating. If your marketing team is still working remotely then you need to ensure that you’re communicating effectively and working productively to get your plans back on track.
Schedule regular meetings for the whole team, either once a day or once a week, where you can catch up on progress and identify any issues or blockers that they’re coming up against.
It’s also important to keep your team motivated and engaged, so provide them with resources and support to make sure that they’re able to focus on their work. This could cover things such as living a healthy lifestyle — regularly exercising, eating a balanced diet, and looking after their wellbeing.
For example, you could share an exercise program to participate in as a team like Couch to 5K to boost activity levels in remote workers. And provide tips on eating well, getting the right vitamins and minerals, and any supplements that might help, for example, P5P can be used to support healthy cognitive development. This could help improve concentration and focus, which will boost productivity.
If some of your team are struggling, then you could provide access to a meditation app such as Calm that helps them to manage their thoughts. You should also encourage them to take time off if they need to get on top of things.
Making sure that you’re communicating and looking after your team is going to help them understand what they need to be doing and make them feel valued and supported, which will help them to do their job and boost your marketing efforts.
Use the right tools to streamline processes
There are lots of different tools and software that can help streamline and automate your marketing. But it’s important that you’re only using the things that actually help. It’s easy to end up using so many different tools that they end up slowing you and your team down.
To help get your plans back on track, review all the tools you’re using for your marketing to see which ones are helping and identify any areas or processes where you might need to use different tools. The key areas that you should be using tools and software to streamline your marketing:
- Project management
- Time tracking
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Conversion optimization
- Social media scheduling and monitoring
Track your results
It’s also essential that you’re effectively tracking your marketing plans and using the results to optimize and improve your approach. It’s likely that a lot of the key performance indicators that you were monitoring before or during COVID aren’t as relevant, especially if you’ve set new goals and are using new channels. So set up new KPIs that you can report on a regular basis.
To get your marketing plans back on track you need to carefully review your current situation, adapt your approach, and focus on supporting and motivating your marketing team.