Why Marketing Is More Than Just Selling – It’s Brand Survival
At HealthHubble we love helping people – we can’t help ourselves. We are proud to help signpost our users to services and therapies that can bring about better health and well-being choices and in doing so support the businesses and charities we work with. We also appreciate and understand that businesses, whether new or established, can also benefit from helpful guidance – especially during these unprecedented times.
When we think over the past six months, there is not one person who hasn’t had to make rapid changes in the face of adversity, become more agile in order to navigate their various individual challenges and re-evaluate priorities.
Business has been no different. We have seen some giants of industry buckle under the pressure of these demanding times, being unable to swiftly adjust to different market demands. Conversely, we have also seen the rise of the plucky start-up, spotting opportunities and launching head first into unchartered territory and riding the wave. But one consistent element of business remains just as important in the good times as well as the tough; your marketing efforts.
Marketing can be seen by some as an expendable part of their business budget, especially when they navigate through tougher times; and although it can be agreed that paid-for marketing options may need to be scaled down or even paused, that does not mean that your marketing efforts should be mothballed altogether for the foreseeable future. Becoming more creative during these times can demonstrate your brand values to existing clients and can indeed expose your business to new clients by using and experimenting with new techniques and mediums.
Of course, if you are in an enviable position where you can continue to pay for advertising, then this is not the time to stop just because your competitor has. Continuing to invest in advertising during these testing times will help ensure a larger market exposure, leaving you in pole position when markets improve.
Either way, keeping your clients in direct focus and your eyes set on the long term and recovery after Covid-19 will leave you emerging stronger, fitter and ready for brand acceleration when the clouds lift.
So, does marketing solely need to focus on sales and promotions?
Absolutely not! The key to savvy marketing is embracing the human side of your brand and demonstrating what makes you different in a crowded marketplace. By losing the hard sales ‘buy now’ technique and tapping into what makes you different and why your customers choose you is essential. In uncertain times we naturally become more cautious, our customers are therefore no different. Demonstrating how you care for your customer base can be the nurturing link your brand needs in order to survive turbulent times and retain brand loyalty for the calmer days ahead.
Remember, just because times are tough, that doesn’t mean you should stop talking to your client base. Failing to communicate with your customers during the hard times and picking this up at a later date will not only see a fall in customer commitment, it will also leave you trailing behind the curve when markets improve. Never underestimate your customers, they are smart and they know genuine interest and value when they see it.
So, what can you do that won’t break the bank?
Well, communication is key. The fair-weather brand is now a thing of the past - customers expect and deserve much more and voting with their loyalty and investment is something we need to understand and appreciate. Long gone are the days where brand loyalty could survive void of customer care and attention; in today’s connected world, bad news travels fast and via a multitude of platforms. Customers want to know more about who they invest in, their values and their passion – it goes far deeper than just the product or service you are providing.
So those poorly connected and invested in their client base, will see this reflected in their return on efforts over time; leaving them behind the curve and potentially investing more financially in a bid to catch up with the competition when buoyancy returns to the market.
Ensuring that your brand is right in front of the right audience and at the forefront of their mind does not mean you need to hard sell and pressurise them when the time isn’t right – that is a huge turn off and the air of desperation can destroy all your hard work. Desperate times don’t always call for desperate measures; they call for smarter thinking and connecting at a deeper level.
Email campaigns, social media posts and video uploads can be a great way of connecting and ringfencing your existing clients. Adding a human element can bring your brand to life and become far more accessible than the competition. Videos don’t have to be perfectly edited to check in with your customers or talk about what you are doing. People love watching people – we’re intrinsically a nosey bunch, and videos can work really well in terms of engagement. Who doesn’t love to watch a short video over reading a lengthy post? These in turn can be uploaded to your social media channels, and help ensure your clients don’t feel ignored. It can be as simple as saying ‘hi – how are you doing?’ to open up the chain of communication. You may be pleasantly surprised at just how well this is received.
If your values are aligned with your clients at the heart of your business, this shouldn’t be an alien concept and should form common sense tools that help you nourish your customer relationships. Remember, marketing is all about showcasing who you are as a brand, and that goes way beyond just the products or services you sell. It’s the full package, and making this accessible and inclusive will only strengthen your brand and your future.