Kim Grotto

Kim Grotto: Effective Marketing Strategies in Times of Crisis

Kim Grotto is the Founder and Owner of Grotto Marketing. Grotto Marketing quickly gets to the heart of what’s important, crafts a strategy and builds a system to deliver business growth.

Below, she provides advice and actionable strategies on how to approach your business marketing in the midst of these tough times.

Times-and People-Have Changed

Our current state will last longer than a few weeks. I think it will be at least into the fall, and we should expect about 18 months transition from “before” to “after”. After does not mean back to business as usual. The world is forever changed. Here are a few of my observations:

We are seeing innovation and adoption at a record pace (examples include food delivery,eLearning and performances). This will only continue as businesses are forced to pivot and adapt or close their doors.

The longer the uncertainty remains, the more people will face a reckoning of their values, behaviors and habits. Social chatter reveals a renewed focus on hyper-local community, mental well-being, exercising, supporting small business, education, and the arts… with a willingness to pay for it.

Building an Online Presence

It is more important than ever to have an online presence. This is the way people will discover you and is an efficient way to communicate in times like these. In some instances, your digital delivery will also be your only revenue stream.

Focus on the fundamentals. Are you satisfied with your website? Can it deliver your products and services, today? What eCommerce options do you have and how quickly can you build it? Have you claimed your Google and Bing business listing? Do you own all of your social media handles and is your information up to date? How regularly are you communicating? When was the last time you sent an email to your audience?

A DISRUPTION OF THIS MAGNITUDE OPENS UP MANY OPPORTUNITIES

With so much of us stuck behind closed doors, computers and phones are the gateway to the outside world. If you’re not interacting online, you’re at risk of being forgotten.

The Power of Communication

If your tactic is to outshout everyone else, stop it. There’s always someone willing to yell louder. And if you’re using social media as a billboard, you’ll go unnoticed. With 24/7 news cycle captivating our feeds, you must take a hard look at your communications strategy and adjust it according to today’s conditions:

Focus on communicating and connecting over your values, not your product. Now more than ever, people are seeking a genuine connection, and they’ll pay attention to those who create it.

Do not assume people know anything. Do not expect them to connect the dots.

Deliver digestible chunks of information. In the reactive state we are in, the average person- more than ever- doesn’t have the attention span or capacity to process a long-winded message with multiple takeaway points. Bullet points and 2-3 sentence paragraphs are your friend.

Concentrate on frequency and repetition. In this environment, it may take 3-5 exposures to your message for someone to take notice and for it to sink-in.

I will note that audiences seeking thought leadership and evergreen content will have a higher tolerance for well-thought, more in-depth pieces.

Create a Marketing Strategy

There’s a reason marketers have one strategy for prospects (acquisition) and one strategy for customers (retention, cross-sell, upsells, referrals). Zero in on your audiences and strategize for them individually.

Remember: a disruption of this magnitude opens up many opportunities.

Covid-19 is a pretty big interruption to the usual thought patterns and routines. People’s everyday lives are completely different. Their habits and routines have been turned upside down. They’re searching for answers and sharing information like crazy. And their values and character are being pressure tested.

Collectively, this opens the door to discovering new solutions and exploring new ways of doing things. There’s an opportunity for awareness and, if the meaning, value, and relevance are there, there’s a willingness to try it out. Think about your prospects and customers as individuals and meet them where they are.

Lean into Marketing

Do not cut your marketing budget to zero! I know it’s the go-to expense to pull back on but there are much wider implications to this than simply advertising dollars. Effective marketing encompasses both strategic and tactical execution to drive awareness, consideration, and conversion. If you eliminate it, you’ll not only lower expenses, you’ll simultaneously reduce the opportunity for revenue, growth, and innovation. Now is the time to lean into your marketing. Just make sure you invest in it wisely.

The following are just a few of the many strategies you can implement into your business to continue to advantage and grow your business. Thank you to Kim Grotto for sharing her insights.

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