We’ve been sequestered in our homes, learning how to work in this new way, for a month or longer (depending on where you live). My last post was about the three biggest marketing mistakes to avoid right now. I feel that when I tell you what not to do, it’s important to tell you what you should be doing, too!
Here are three “non-traditional” marketing tips for moving forward. Why do I call them non-traditional? Because they aren’t really what one thinks of as “marketing.” But you’ll see how, in the end, doing the right thing and upholding the best values, personally and as an organization, is the best marketing you can ever do.
Here are my three marketing tips for moving forward in the “new normal” of a COVID-19 world.
- Be sensitive about what your employees are going through, or have just gone through.
If you’re a business owner, these may be the most difficult times you’ve gone through. Remember that this has been just as stressful for your employees, too. While you have different fears and stresses (How long will this go on? Will my business survive? Can I make payroll?), your employees’ fears have been just as severe, as they worry about their paychecks and making ends meet.
Hopefully, you’ve been in constant communication with them, providing them with the leadership they need. “Employees look to their executive teams during times of crisis,” says Henry Albrecht, CEO and founder of Limeade. “Now is the time your people need you the most. Your communication and the actions you take must be swift, clear and supportive.”
One of the most important things you can do is to keep the lines of communication open so that you know how they are doing and they know that you care about what they’re doing through.
Why would I consider this a marketing tip? Because your employees can be great advocates for your brand, whether you’re a local restaurant or a national, enterprise organization. If you treat them as they deserve to be treated, with care and respect, your brand will benefit from the way they think about you and act, both inside the organization and out. But even as a marketer, my advice is not to do it because it’s good for your brand; do it because it’s the right thing to do!
2) Be attuned to suppliers and vendors, also.
As we all weather the process of being closed and then opening up again, we’re facing a very different world than we started with in January 2020. It’s important to recognize that your vendors and suppliers have been going the exact same circumstances.
While you may have had antagonistic dealings or conversations, due to the stresses of COVID-19, your success may depend, somewhat, on the continued cooperation of your suppliers. They can be a critical part of an organization’s success. Whether you’ve had good relationships with them or bad ones so far, take a moment to consider what they’re going through. Sometimes, considering someone else’s positions can be helpful in dealing with difficult situations.
How can being attuned to suppliers be considered marketing? Because they, like your employees and contractors, have experience working with you. If they encounter someone who can use your products and services, they’re in an ideal position to send them your way. Being on good terms with them – helping one another through this difficult time – will end up being good marketing for you, whether you realize this or not.
3) Support nonprofits – and encourage your employees to do the same.
There’s nothing that feels better, as an individual or as an organization, than making a difference (when that’s possible). If you want to feel good – and help your employees to feel good – here are some constructive ways you can honor yourself, and them, and be part of the good that emerges from COVID-19:
- Support a local nonprofit or medical organizations
- Offer your employees the opportunity to volunteer, during company time, at a local nonprofit
- Create a “team event” for a local nonprofit – such as working one day at a Habitat for Humanity
Why do I consider this “marketing?” Because you’re showing your humanity through your good deeds. Showing the best of who you are is always good marketing – especially if it isn’t intended to be that.
We should always be the best we can be as business owners, senior management, employees – whatever our role. And the fact that this reflects well on us – well, it’s good marketing and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just the icing on the cake. Put another way, doing good deeds, with the best of intentions and heart, will always help you to do well, in the end. But don’t just do it because it’s good marketing – do it because it’s the right thing to do!
Wishing you all the best as we travel through this COVID-19 experience and aftermath together. Please reach out to me if I can be helpful.