Digital Marketing Agencies will tell you that the marketing strategy that we put in place at the beginning of the year is no longer relevant in the current uncertain environment. Thing have really changed indeed. You might have questions; what do clients and employees need today? What is the best way to reach and serve them? How do we adapt our marketing strategy to ensure that we are meeting those needs?
At Instant SEO (a digital marketing agency in South Africa), we have encouraged our clients to rethink their business and put more emphasis on key priorities to help balance operational efficiency with employee and client needs. These priorities include talent agility, customer care, products and services, cost containment and resiliency. We are doing the same thing within our own marketing organization. For each of these priorities, I have learned key lessons about how marketing can help employees, clients and our company get through a crisis. Approximately 4 months of crisis marketing, organizations have learned a lot about how to speak to their audiences during this time, and, just as importantly, how not to communicate with them. In many ways, nonprofits had a jumpstart on this moment, as their marketing already centers around the empathy, storytelling, and collaboration that have only become more important.
Lesson number 1:
The impact on Human beings takes precedence over all
It is a difficult pill to swallow for those who are focused on the bottom line at the expense of human beings but a lesson had to be learnt. We had to concentrate on safety and wellbeing of our teams. We also had to ensure that the “new” office environment was ideal for remote workers and did not conflict with home responsibilities.We encouraged our teams to embrace the concept of working from home. Because of this, we saw people sharing photos, videos and engaging at a level that we have never seen while making sure that our clients are fully serviced. It was truly a marvel, something to consider even after the pandemic.
The spirit of Ubuntu could be felt; the authenticity of communication was fabulous; we knew the bigger picture, we knew the required standards of performance but we were all human beings.
Lesson number 2:
Communication with our clients had to be on-point
Remember we were working remotely, therefore we had to communicate effectively with our clients; we had to show empathy in tackling clients’ challenges. How can we help you? Was the order of the day. In addition to asking our clients and prospects what they are looking for at this time, we have also used intent data, search engine data, and website and social media analytics.
The resulting insights, together with existing investments, have enabled us to deliver more personalised, relevant content to our clients – quickly, efficiently, at scale and across multiple channels.
Remember some of our clients’ businesses we not operating during some of the levels as determined by the South African government.It was tough but we had to continue with our SEO efforts. Our monthly SEO packages had to cater for our clients’ needs.
Lesson number 3:
The products and services that clients needed before, were different to what they need now
Helping clients respond quickly and offering guidance on how to reset and renew their businesses are essential elements of our client communications.
To ensure we were responding to those new needs, we shifted our efforts to focus on solutions like remote working, cloud migration, field service remote assistance and contact less commerce.We had clients who never had websites before, even after we advised otherwise; all we did for them before was to create Google Ads to drive traffic to their physical addresses.
These clients had to change their way of trading by developing ecommerce websites. We developed ecommerce websites for them and now their business strategy had changed.
Lesson number 4:
The ability to adapt, stop complaining, look for new opportunities and take advantage of them
If Charles Darwin was alive, he would have said “Adapt or die”. We have been using agile marketing principles for the past few years and they were central to helping our company be resilient over the past few months.
Cross-functional agile teams, including marketing, IT, HR, crisis comms, market units and others, came together to respond to new client needs and communicate key information internally across the company.
More information on Marketing lessons learnt in South Africa during Covid 19 pandemic here: https://www.instantseo.co.za/
Author: John Miller
0871520374 / 0813514655
Website Address: https://www.instantseo.co.za/