3 Tips for Creating a Crisis Marketing Comeback Plan

By Emily Paulsen / April 27, 2020 / Digital Marketing Blog Archives

The majority of us are looking forward to the day when we can eat at a restaurant, hug our friends and family, attend a concert, and just run to the grocery store with a healthy peace of mind.

There’s no doubt we’re all very much looking forward to just living life normally again.

Due to social distancing and public health restrictions, sales are down drastically for a number of industries and some unlucky businesses already have had to close their doors entirely.

But that doesn’t mean all opportunity is lost.

Across the globe, businesses, families, and organizations have had to adapt to a new normal. But what is the world going to look like when it’s time to return to business as usual?

Like any marketing plan or business initiative, preparing your COVID-19 comeback strategy in advance will help your business hit the ground running once restrictions are lifted.

While planning for the next quarter, keep these three business marketing tips in mind so your business can have a successful comeback.

1. Set Up Your Business for Success

For many businesses, right now is a time of waiting.

Take this time to focus on lead generation.

Customers may not be able to buy right now, but interests and searches are still high for some businesses, such as ecommerce sites and health and wellness businesses.

A significant amount of the population is home and spending more time online than usual. The amount of time potential customers have to research products and services has gone through the roof.

Find where your customers are engaging online and make your brand present.

This might be on social platforms, it might be in search, it might be somewhere else — or it could be all of the above.

Use this time of uncertainty to collect email addresses, cookies, page followers, and whatever you can to fill the funnel for the third and fourth quarter.

Collecting this information sooner rather than later is ideal. Letting the funnel run dry is anything but ideal.

Take this time to stay in front of your prospects.

If you can afford it, don’t give up on your marketing campaigns just yet. Now is the time to engage!

Leverage things like remarketing campaigns and email marketing toremain top-of-mind for when prospects are ready to make a purchase.

Use this time to remind customers why they are interested in the product or service they were searching for, and why your business is the best option for them.

Incentive-based marketing is an effective method.

When restrictions are lifted, the last thing you want is to start over with your business. Try not to lose momentum.

Now is the time to streamline how leads are managed, as lead follow-through is going to be crucial in the coming months.

If you don’t have a CRM platform, or even an internal process for managing leads, get one.

Map out your lead funnel, categorize contacts and what stage they’re in, then standardize the communication that goes out to each stage.

Qualifying the leads will help you focus on those individuals when marketing your comeback plan. A shift in focus can help your efforts to be more efficient and more effective.

2. Create & Execute Your COVID-19 Comeback Strategy

Once you have a plan for collecting leads for Q3, what are you going to do with those leads once business restrictions are lifted? How are you going to show them your value compared to the competition?

Businesses are going to try making a comeback at the same time — so, standing out from the crowd will be essential.

Millions of individuals are losing jobs, getting furloughed, having hours cut, or their workplace closed entirely. Thus, available spending money in the market in upcoming months will be limited.

Keep this in mind and plan your financial incentives accordingly.

Finding a way to lower the barrier to a customer will not only make your business competitive, but it will open the business to even more potential consumers.

A variety of companies are already instituting competitive incentives like zero percent financing, safety nets, longer-term loans, discounts, and more.

How is your company staying competitive?

Take stock of your competition and what you can afford to offer. If you aren’t promoting the offer in anticipation of reopening — the time to start is now!

But don’t forget about the emotional side of the pandemic.

Yes, finances will be tight for consumers. So, financial incentives will be important.

Keep in mind, your audience has been in isolation, restructured their routine, and faced hardships for months. Do something to make them feel good.

Show how your business can offer a sense of normalcy, make people feel connected and happy.   Be mindful of appearing insensitive to the situation or as though your company is attempting to capitalize on the situation. Simply remind them what your business has to offer and that you care about their wellbeing.

3. Plan for the Future

There is an upside to all of this, even though it doesn’t feel like it right now. And amid it all, there are lessons for each of us.

Take these lessons and the changes you made to your marketing efforts and apply them to future obstacles. The future is unknown right now, but you can learn from this and plan for the unexpected.

Reflect on what made you vulnerable. Take stock of the adaptations you made and how you can keep using them.

Whether it was an outdated website, lack of ecommerce, lacking social media presence, disorganized CRM, or something else, most of us had a moment of regret during this crisis.

Use this as motivation to cover your bases; put processes and structures in place that can help, rather than hinder, through potential future issues.

Businesses have shown an unprecedented ability to adapt and overcome in the last several weeks. Don’t let those lessons go to the wayside once the crisis is over.

Are there elements of your quarantine operations that can be incorporated in your marketing plans throughout the year? Or better yet, help prepare the business for a future crisis?

Pinpoint the good things that have come out of this and hold onto them – if not for the good times, then for the inevitable bad ones.

Plan for the Unexpected & Adapt to Changes

A well-thought-out marketing plan is one of the best ways to help a business succeed — especially when it incorporates crisis marketing processes.

Just like businesses have adapted their service offerings in the short term, marketing teams can adapt their strategies to make the best of the current situation.

The situation we find ourselves in because of COVID-19 is less than ideal, but with some creativity, flexibility, and patience, we’ll get through it together.