For obvious reasons, 2020 and 2021 have been some of the most difficult times for small businesses in New Zealand. With lockdowns and all the restrictions associated with them, the new conditions created many challenges for small businesses. The enforced hiatus of the pandemic offers small businesses an opportunity to review and overhaul their marketing strategy to bounce back stronger when normal trading resumes. Below we outline a mix of tips and tricks that could put your business ahead of your competitors when business returns to normality.
Think carefully about cost-cutting
Most businesses will have had to make cuts over the last year in order to help stay in the game. However, it’s important to think about where you make cuts. You might think that marketing is something you can do without for the time being, but this c kind of decision could be very damaging to your business. Keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds could help to ensure that when they do return to the market, you will be one of the first ports of call.
Look out for bargains
It’s easy to forget, if you’re struggling to keep your business afloat, that many businesses are in the same boat. Advertising and media companies have been struggling to get business as customers reduce their budgets. This means that there are many good deals out there to be had. Think about your advertising strategy, choose the right market for your business advertising and find out who’s offering the best deals.
Brand versus product promotion
When you’re designing your marketing strategy, think about how much you are going to spend on short-term advertising of products, and how much you want to spend on building a brand for the longer term.
Current demand, a.k.a. activation, marketing looks at the short-term sales available. For example promoting a new product or service, or offering discounts for customers. Long-term marketing focuses on building your brand, attracting new customers by telling them the story of your business and what your brand stands for in the marketplace. This can be achieved in a number of ways,like building a following on social media, which can be done at a low-cost or even free!
Finding the right balance between promoting products and promoting your brand often depends on what is going on in the market at the present time. There is no point in promoting specific products or services if customers are not buying.
If this is the case, try devoting more of your marketing budget to building your brand, so that you are the name on people’s lips when you can start operating a full schedule again. Brand building can be an t effective form of marketing in which you can invest, and not devoting sufficient resources to it could mean you are missing out on a powerful tool.
It goes without saying that in the modern era, online advertising is a powerful way way to go reach customers. This is even more true in the pandemic age, when you may not be able to operate your customer facing activities in normal ways.
Think about what part of the customer experience you can still offer online to fill the gaps created by regulatory restrictions, and market them. For example, some restaurants that have been unable to open have been offering their customers online meal kits, providing the ingredients for some of their most sought-after dishes and putting video online to show how to recreate the restaurant experience at home.
Not only will this sort of business help to maintain your turnover in difficult times, but it may keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds so that when they can return to face-to-face interactions you will be where they go.
Work with your community
Community ties can be a powerful marketing tools A small investment in community endeavours can create enormous goodwill, particularly if it is also promoted in the press or on social media. In the current climate, people are becoming more community focussed, meaning that those who are prepared to lend a helping hand in the community may be remembered and rewarded for what they have done. Think about how your business can become involved with local sports clubs, social groups, or efforts to help others get through difficult times – the goodwill you may receive from lending a helping hand makes it the perfect win-win marketing opportunity.
Look at ROI
It’s no good simply throwing money at marketing and hoping that some of it sticks. It is wise to properly analyse the effect of your marketing initiatives to check that your money is being well spent.
There are many free and relatively easy ways of assessing marketing effectiveness; for example, if you have invested in Google advertising, use their analytical tools to check how many clickthrough’s you are getting from it.
If you have an enquiry form your website, ask customers if they can let you know where they saw your advertising. A few hours spent on checking which form of marketing works best may help guide your your future marketing strategies and increase it’s effectiveness.
Be a storyteller
Now more than ever, people like to feel involved with their favourite brands. They like to feel they are buying into more than just a product, but an idea and an ideal as well. Think about your brand’s story, where you came from and where you intend to go. Take your potential customers with you on that journey through your marketing to make them feel involved with your business personally and invested in its future.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful to you as you search for ways to market your business in challenging times. Alongside an effective marketing strategy, having robust business insurance coverages in place will give you the peace of mind if an unexpected challenge were to occur.
Ay BizCover we provide multiple quotes from some of New Zealand’s most trusted insurers in the click of a button. visit bizcover.co.nz for more information on how you can start protecting your business today.
* This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.