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by David Roberts on March 24, 2020 | Digital Marketing Strategy

As Australia heads into lockdown, the gravity of the Coronavirus situation is becoming very real. It can feel very overwhelming and there is no downplaying the seriousness of what is happening. However, as the old adage goes – This too shall pass

There will be light at the end of the tunnel and as we have discussed in our previous communications, strong businesses are presented with a unique opportunity to grow and capture market share at the other end of this calamity.

Most businesses are getting prepared for months of contraction whilst authorities battle to get the virus under control. Last Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged that the U.S. faces months of economic contraction, but on a more positive note, predicted a “gigantic fourth quarter” as Americans release “pent up demand” and return to “a normal world” (Source).

As marketers and individuals, we have to take stock of the situation and look at our own sphere of influence. What can we control and what practical steps can we take now to ensure continuity for our businesses and secure prosperity into the future? 

Paid Search

As digital marketers, many of us have built businesses that rely wholly or at least somewhat on Search Ads for customer acquisition and sales.

As cash flow within the economy quickly tightens, we must ensure that any ad spend is being used effectively and strategically.

There are many industries and sectors which right now have reasons to either ramp-up or cut-back ad spend levels. You need to figure out what demand looks like for your own business, how conversion rates are being affected and if there are opportunities for cheaper ad buys.

WordStream has compiled some interesting data which looks at various sectors in the US and their correlating performance in Search Ads.

As you would expect there are obvious differences across industries.

There are no surprises that travel has been hit hardest, with dramatic week-on-week conversion drops.

Professional services providers in financial industries are presented with a much better picture.

As many businesses seek the help of financial experts to guide them through this period, businesses in the space are seeing impressive improvements in click-through and conversion rates. Interestingly though, cost-per-click has decreased significantly for the sector as some companies pull ad spend. What this means is that there is an opportunity for savvy financial services businesses to seize upon more cost-effective conversions right now.

So, what should you do? Spend this week talking with your agency or in-house team and really investigate if there are any trends, opportunities or weaknesses in your industry that would warrant a data-driven decision to ‘buy, hold or sell’ your current position on paid search.

Opportunities

The job of unearthing business opportunities often falls to the marketing team. What is our messaging? Where is our market now? How are our customers being impacted? We need to consider the many variables facing us and come up with plans to mitigate current challenges and open new opportunities.

Being a first-mover will give your business an advantage in these uncertain times. You need to think about what this may look like for you.

There are many examples of businesses already doing this. With the prevalence of working from home and self-isolation and corresponding time being spent on Facebook for news and socialising, lots of companies are ramping up ads on the platform.

 Where do the opportunities exist for your business?

  • Are there wins in high impression channels like Facebook as per the examples above?
  • Can you offer services into new territories? With the Aussie dollar at an all-time low, is there an opportunity to export your goods, services or IP?
  • Can you reconfigure your entire business? Shane Warne’s ZeroSevenEight Gin distillery, recently announced it will switch its gin manufacturing into alcohol wipes for use in hospitals. 
  • Do you have a home-improvement product or service? With so many people staying home, people are beginning to tackle all those built-up jobs around the house.

Have a think about all the possible angles and see what makes sense with your team. 

Supporting Customers

A key factor in beating this pandemic is pulling together as a community to help look after each other. This notion extends to businesses as well.

It has been reassuring to see the worldwide business community pulling its weight in helping to ease the burden of Coronavirus by assisting customers as much as possible.

Whether it’s the big banks offering mortgage relief to customers or Facebook giving small businesses cash and ad grants, there are thousands of examples everyday of businesses working together to ease the fallout.

Whether you are a large multinational or small local business, it makes sense to prepare a plan on how you can support your customers.

Acts of kindness and support are always well received and will help drive loyalty well passed the time that this all finished up.

Has your team devised a plan on how to support your customers?

Planning Forward

One of the best opportunities this virus has afforded us as marketers is the time to really think about and execute on some of the bigger picture or long-term projects we’ve likely been procrastinating on. Many of us get bogged down in busy work during normal times that a lot of the harder things to do on our list often get parked.

We mentioned in our last email that at Rocket we aim to deliver 200% over our base requirement for lead generation. This allows us to pick the very best clients that we want to work with. It is certainly an enviable position to be in. However, to get to that point was no easy task. We are our own biggest client and we dedicate a lot of time into marketing ourselves. This was particularly true for the duration of 2019, where solidifying our marketing was a key priority for the business. We worked on building a complete Inbound Strategy across Search, Social, Email and Automation, Video, Public Speaking, PR and everything else! Getting this done right was at least a 12-month project and continues on to this day.

With some people being rich in time at the moment, is now the opportune moment for you to also consider a big picture marketing play like Inbound Marketing?

Building an Inbound funnel can encompass many things, but to highlight a few:

  •   Developing high-quality content for your website and for amplification
  •   Building out bespoke landing pages
  •   Setting up a CRM
  •   Creating marketing automation workflows and sequences
  •   Producing high-quality video content
  •   Producing lead magnets like eBooks, whitepapers and other downloadables
  •   Working on CRO and finally fixing any ongoing website issues you may have had

 

By investing time across these areas and focusing on your organic marketing, when the eventual pent up economic demand does get released, you will be giving your business a huge head-start when compared to those who reduced their marketing efforts during the same period. You’ll also stand a very good chance of reducing any historic reliance on paid channels you might have.

We’ve done this ourselves as a business and can attest to how effective it has been. There will likely not be a better time in your career to have such a window to knock over a task like this uninterrupted, so make the most of it!

Finally, ensure you take the time to look after yourselves, your family and your community. These are tough times, but we humans have an innate capacity for endurance and perseverance. Look out for each other, control what’s in your sphere of influence and spend your time wisely!

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