David Barker, managing director of InspireKbb, offers his advice on how to keep marketing through the Covid-19 crisis
Things have changed drastically for many millions of people in recent days, and in some areas things continue to get darker, with further impact on lives.
But you’ve been in through a tunnel before, which means you know that it gets dark before it gets light.
It means our marketing actions over the next month are likely to define where we are when we get out of the other side.
Don’t avoid the ‘S’ words
There are two key ‘S’ words for you to consider ‘sales’ and ‘socially conscious’.
It is not the time to neglect the fact in order to continue running your business long-term, you’ll need to make sales.
Maybe there won’t be too many this month, but by continuing to fill your sales pipeline now, you’ll profit when the money does start moving again.
At the same time, though, it’s vital to be socially conscious.
The way you communicate and present your marketing now can make or break you.
If you’re seen as socially conscious, then you’ll be remembered for good.
But, if you come across as predatory, your reputation will be significantly damaged.
So, remember to weight this up as you communicate.
Sell right solution
A key way to ensure you keep focused on sales while remaining socially conscious is to sell the right thing, which for most KBB retailers right now isn’t a kitchen.
It’s a discussion about kitchen, bedrooms or bathrooms.
Your target market is at home, with time on their hands.
And with their living spaces coming under scrutiny, there will be plenty of people thinking it’s time to plan a renovation.
While they can’t actually get it right now, they will certainly get the ball rolling.
That’s where you come in, pivoting your marketing call-to-action from “Get your ordered placed to secure X for free”…to “Let’s have a chat, get the ball rolling, so you can be at the head of the queue when things start back up.”
Home improvement summer
I’d imagine most of the travel restrictions will have been lifted by mid-Summer.
But the risk still looms of either contracting the virus in a cooped-up airplane or being forced back into lockdown if there’s a further outbreak.
It means millions of people staying in this country; holidaying in the UK and saving money as a result.
Or, they could be staying at home to work on the house instead.
The result could be one of the biggest summers of home improvement this country has ever seen, which means a boom in what you sell.
You need to be ready for it, and that means starting now.
House in order
In order to understand what you should be filling your time with this month, ask and answer this question: “When we’re through this, what will you regret you’ve not done?”
Now is the perfect opportunity to get things sorted that have been stuck on your ‘To-do’ lists for months, or even years:
Get your contacts into a usable database or Client Relationship Management system (CRM), so you can start marketing to them. We recommend Pipedrive and Keap.
Spend time getting more contacts – engaging on social media, email and building a list of them.
Elevate your relationship with customers, suppliers and contacts with regular, useful content.
Attention is up for grabs right now, and it’s cheaper than ever before.
Facebook and Google Ads cost has hit the floor, and local media are crying out for advertisers.
Take this opportunity to get in front of your market and engage with them.
If you do, you’ll be in a much stronger place when we come out of the other side of this.
Stay virtually open
Now’s the time to explore all the different ways you can be ‘open’, that aren’t related to someone coming into your showroom.
Be responsive on email and social.
Undertake video demonstrations and video calls.
Keep customer design decisions progressing with WhatsApp.
Put together design talks for half a dozes interested prospects on Zoom.
The more you do in this period to engage and start conversations, the more you’ll reap the rewards on the other side