Marketing Director at Sunshine Group, developing and guiding promotion strategies for the company’s brands.
Looking back at the events of 2020, many would likely agree that it’s been difficult to remain calm and confident. Financial losses due to the pandemic have impacted millions.
Frankly speaking, we’ve all been there.
It was this universally shared experience that helped our team find a new voice in customer communication.
Below, I’ll share three core strategies our team used to adjust our marketing strategy — and eventually, our whole IT product offering — to the rapidly changing reality.
1. Enhancing Informational Support
If you can’t help your customers regain control over their surroundings, do what you can to help them at least navigate your niche-related media space. That’s what we considered to be the right starting point for our crisis support efforts.
Given that our solutions are aimed at streamlining routine website management for entrepreneurs and helping newcomers take their first guided business steps, it is (and has always been) a top priority for us to share transparent and relevant information on both the market trends and our offerings. Therefore, we:
• Emailed our subscribers the selection of all our free educational materials (guides, tutorials, how-to’s, video resources, etc.), along with the platforms designed for personal interaction (help center, forum and social media accounts).
• Created and distributed new, free educational materials: an experience-based guide for those entering the field for the first time and a step-by-step video course for those who have just recently started their business journeys.
• Made a special visitor-oriented comparison page on our website to put together and summarize our product offerings in a convenient form to help a customer make a well-informed decision on our services.
2. Introducing Special Offers
Sale events are a common practice for our company because we’re oriented toward making e-commerce more accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial opportunities.
However, our special April promo was strikingly different from our regular events, as we:
• Launched a massive sale valid for every product and service we offered, allowing users to get up to 35% off regular prices.
• Rewarded all customers making a purchase during the sale period with a gift. For the first time in our history of launching sales, we introduced an extra incentive for buyers and gave out free licenses for two promo tools to every new business owner.
• Prolonged the sale to an unprecedented scale: Its overall duration was increased by 50%, compared to our typical sale periods.
3. Rolling Out New Solutions
In our journey to better the customer experience this year, we also asked ourselves what we could do (apart from offering considerable discounts) to help more users benefit from their e-commerce ventures at a time when every business imaginable was forced to go online to survive.
At that point, we had to rethink our own product strategy and promptly develop a number of brand-new user-oriented tools and services to solve the most urgent needs of business owners and allow more flexibility to users across the globe. This included:
• Region-specific solutions in German, Spanish, French, Dutch and Portuguese, suitable for entrepreneurs who don’t use English as their primary business language or target non-English-speaking audiences.
• A product recommendations subscription allowing entrepreneurs to rely on our digital marketers’ efforts and invest zero of their own money into product trends research and promotional materials testing.
• E-commerce tools aimed at improving online shoppers’ purchasing experience and letting business owners create special offers to reward their own customers.
What To Take Away From This Experience
From the innovations we’ve implemented during this pandemic so far, here’s what we’ve found is essential for a crisis-influenced marketing strategy:
• Invest in educating your audience, especially if your product is technologically complex or can influence a customer’s quality of life in challenging times. It is crucial to have a sufficient number of employees responsible for personal interaction with customers (support members, community managers, call center agents, etc.).
• Make sure your offers are transparent and easily understandable, even to a completely new potential customer. Most people are still processing and adapting to the new reality and economy right now, so they can’t dedicate much time and energy to evaluating and comparing your offers.
• Check whether your pricing strategy still makes it possible for customers to access your offers in the new financial reality of 2020, and implement incentives to encourage and support first-time buyers along with repeat customers.
As excited as I am to share our practical advice on adjusting these areas of your marketing activities, I sincerely hope you will never face the necessity to go through the same experience to put our strategy into action. I would recommend following these steps at any moment you feel you could give your customer relations a boost!
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