Your Old Plan is Not Useless, But it Must be Re-examined
If you have not already developed a new marketing plan due to COVID-19 then now is the time. All points of marketing have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and being sensitive to your customers and their budget is essential. There are several marketing tips to help maximize a budget and connect with customers. Here are a few that may assist with your marketing strategy.
While Marketing During COVID-19 – Share What Your Company is Doing to Handle the Pandemic
It is important that your customers know how you are managing your business during COVID-19. They need to know that you are available and are still providing the services or products they need to maintain their business. While businesses may not be functioning as usual, many are working remotely and are focusing more on their online communications. Let your customers know how to reach you and advise them of the services or products that may have changed due to the complications of the pandemic.
Stay Connected with Your Customers Online
It is important that your customers know how you are handling marketing during COVID-19 and to see how they are managing their businesses during the pandemic. Now is a great time to help your customer in ways you may have never have before. Now is a great time to support your customers by reaching out with resources that can help their marketing and sales. Staying connected online is of the upmost importance for businesses that have been closed during the pandemic. Check in with your customers frequently to answer any questions and help them navigate through the daily changes and challenges.
Incorporate Empathy in Your Marketing Communications
The key to communicating while you are marketing during COVID-19 is to make sure you are empathetic to your customer’s business situation and budget. Many business owners have to make tough choices and budgets are tighter than usual. While you are marketing during COVID-19 do your research and be as cost effective as possible to ensure that your customer’s budget is maximized. Put a plan in place that meets your customer’s expectations with ROI producing results. Additionally, ensure that all marketing messaging is empathetic to the current world circumstances. Understand your audience and research the problems that need to be resolved. Be the solution.
Refresh Online Content and Revisit Campaign Strategies
A new way of marketing has developed since COVID-19 arrived. Due to these circumstances, it is important to make sure your keywords and content are up to date with a current message, especially on the homepage or blog. Ensure your content provides a value to your customer; examples of this are resources for their business, ways to help them operate more efficiently, cost-saving products and services or tips to help grow or retain their customer base.
It is also a time to revisit a Pay Per Click (PPC) strategy. Generally the focus has changed during this time and budgets may be better spent on brand identity and value versus sales. Many business owners are tempted to stop or pause their campaigns, however, not getting in front of your customers may make them forget your brand. Out of sight is out of mind. Instead of pausing a campaign, consider a reduced budget with focus on brand identity and value to your customer.
Update Marketing Plans with Long-Term Goals in Mind
No one knew the world would shut down, and something like COVID 19 was not likely prepared for in a marketing plan. So, if your business has not developed a short or long-term COVID-19 marketing plan, then now is the time. No one knows how long COVID-19 is going to be around, so it is good idea to plan and organize what your business is going to do financially to survive it. Some of your original long-term marketing plans may remain, with some changes, and this, may be the main focus of your marketing during COVID-19. However, your plan on reaching those goals in the short term will likely change and should be revisited in your marketing plan.
Let Marketing Communication Tools Guide Sales Teams
There are many marketing tools such as marketing automation and customer relationship management systems that are beneficial while you are marketing through COVID 19. Use these tools to your advantage to help guide your sales team on your customers new behavior. You may discover customers who were normally behaving one way are working on a different marketing strategies that are making them behave differently now. Your marketing and sales teams should be aware of these new behaviors to know how to strategize your own marketing and sales plans.
Be Sensitive to Your Audience on Social Media
Social media is a great way to connect with your audience during COVID 19, but it is especially important to be aware of your message so it does not come off as insensitive. Social listening during these sensitive times allows you to be aware of what topics, hashtags and other engagement your audience is partaking in. Social listening helps you craft the right message, engage responsibly and post your message at the appropriate times. A 2020 social marketing strategy is necessary.
Marketing during COVID 19 is an ongoing process as everything continues to evolve. Being actively involved in communication with your customers, audience and staff is essential to developing the right strategy. At Strategic Marketing we can assist you with your marketing during COVID 19. You can reach us at 561 688-8155.
To celebrate Women’s History month in 2019, we are dedicating a space in our blog to share some interesting stories from the female professionals at Strategic Marketing. Discover why we are so fortunate to have such an amazing group of women as part of our advertising agency.
Vice President and Founder Mary Murphy grew up in Texas and worked her way up in the radio business before founding Strategic Marketing in 1992 with her husband Terry Murphy.
How did you get to the position you have today? Can you share your professional story?
My first job was when I was in fifth grade. My father was an insurance agent in central Texas, and he paid me 25 cents an hour to clean out boxes and boxes of expired insurance policies in a dusty storeroom over the course of about three weeks. I worked there through high school and summers, so I learned a lot about insurance. While I was in college, my father bought several radio stations, and I dove right in after graduation. Several years later, he started a bi-weekly newspaper, and I served as assistant editor. I also worked a short time at a small ad agency and worked for one of my cousins in our family’s real estate business. When I moved to Palm Beach County, I landed a position at a radio station here and eventually moved to the corporate office. All of this experience gave me a broad base of knowledge to do what I do today.
How hard was it to get in the job market when you first started?
I was pretty lucky since my dad always had a place for me in his companies, I was able to gain a lot of skills that were in high demand.
Was working in the Advertising and Marketing industry always on your radar?
My degree is a BBA in Management, but I took the required marketing courses as well as some marketing electives, so I was already quite interested in this field before I went to work in radio.
What are some characteristics of a great leader in your perspective?
Vision, the ability to build a great team, and to deeply care about the members of the team. I don’t know who originally said this, but it’s true, “people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Any life lessons that you learned in your career that you believe helped you to make it where you are today?
My father-in-law always said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” There were some really crazy times early on when Terry and I were working days, nights and weekends, while also raising a family. Some days, it was complete chaos. But we worked through it, and it’s paid off. When opportunity comes knocking, be ready to open the door!
Do you believe in the power of diversity?
Absolutely. One of the most interesting things about living in South Florida is that almost everyone is from somewhere else–including me–and we all bring unique perspectives, experiences and skill sets to the table. As marketing people, we have to tailor our messaging to diverse groups of people. What resonates with one segment of the population may completely miss the mark with another segment. Having a diverse team at Strategic Marketing helps us to do our best work for our clients.
Do you think that women in leadership make any difference in your organization?
Well, as the Vice President, I like to think so! I hope that our team knows that my door is always open to anyone who wants to pop in with a question or to discuss an issue or even a personal problem. The only stupid question is the one that doesn’t get asked!
In this fast-paced market, people are always trying to do things better, faster and smarter. Can you share how you made a project more efficient and less expensive?
About 10 years ago, we migrated to a new accounting program, which has not only saved us many hours of time and maybe hundreds of cartons of paper, but has allowed us to increase our volume without adding staff. Also, our payment process to vendors is much more efficient than before.
What’s your superpower?
Proofreading…. I often catch mistakes that other people miss. The superpower I would love to have would be to meet someone and instantly know their story, what their life has been like, what makes them tick, their passions and their challenges. This would be extremely helpful when interviewing candidates for positions at Strategic Marketing!
Any advice for entrepreneurs that want to partner with Strategic Marketing?
Learn from our experience. Over these 27 years we have accumulated a lot of knowledge and have a very good sense about what works and what does not.
How has your career background contributed to your good work at Strategic Marketing today?
Pretty much all of my experience prior to founding Strategic Marketing has funneled into what I do today to some extent.
How would you describe your working style?
Multi-tasking…I can jump from developing a TV script to reviewing financial reports to writing a legal contract to screening resumes and much more in any single day. I prefer to try to focus on one thing at a time, start to finish, but life doesn’t happen that way. I’m also a night owl, and do a lot of things after dinner when it’s quiet and I can concentrate better. Like right now–it’s 10:52!
Are there any companies run or founded by women that you would like to have as a client?
As a Texas girl, I am very fond of Southern cuisine, and one of my favorite local restaurants is The Regional. I think Lindsay Autry would be a fun client to have.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a common tactic for just about every business, as it is a surefire way to reach the top of the search engine results page. This can increase website traffic, which ideally drives more sales. Oftentimes, Google AdWords, now called Google Ads, is considered the king of PPC advertising. It promotes itself as an easy-to-use, DIY way to break into search engine marketing. While this can be a powerful and effective method for your business, there are some limitations to keep in mind. If not managed properly, your AdWords campaign could turn into a money pit. However, there are other ways to run a successful PPC campaign. Here are a few reasons why AdWords might not be enough for your business.
Although at first glance Google AdWords seems like an intuitive and straightforward tool, it is quite the contrary. AdWords is a game you have to master through experience, testing, and diligence. For those with limited time and small budgets, this isn’t always an option. Failing to select the right keywords and optimize your bids correctly could be a costly mistake.
Potential to Lose Money
Without the tested knowledge and familiarity of Google AdWords, your campaigns could be spending more money than they make. If your PPC ads neglect to meet Google’s evolving guidelines, your quality score will decrease. The lower your quality score, the more you have to pay for the keywords you want. Keyword selection can be a challenging task that requires the proper experience, especially when you’re competing against large companies for particular search terms.
Beware of Google’s Recommendations
It’s good to remember that Google is a business. This means that their goal is to make money off your AdWords campaign and maximize their profits. They’re likely to recommend that you pay more and opt for popular (and expensive) keywords to rank the highest on their results page. These recommendations are good, but you have to be smart about your strategies. This requires testing the results to see what price you actually end up paying per click. You can then adjust your settings based on your business needs, rather than checking the box on everything Google wants.
Requires a Lot of Manpower
While setting up a Google AdWords campaign is easy, setting up a cost-effective campaign is a bit more demanding. The details matter, so setting up everything just right will take time and effort. Not to mention maintaining your campaign is a whole other story. This can include optimizing keywords regularly, analyzing success as measured by your specific parameters and editing ad copy among other tasks. It’s an ongoing process that calls for committed manpower.
SmartClick – a Powerful PPC Solution from Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing offers a fully automated pay-per-click platform called SmartClick. This effective tool can manage your paid search campaigns across all major search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo. SmartClick can track your campaign’s phone calls, emails, form fills and other web events back to the keywords that generated them. Rather than setting up an AdWords campaign yourself, use SmartClick to maximize profits while saving you time. To learn more about our PPC advertising platform, contact us today by visiting our contact page or calling (561) 688-8155.