Marketing in times of crisis can be a difficult thing for business owners. On the one hand, you have the urge to retreat and cut nonessential spending to protect your bottom line. But those cuts can end up hurting your business in the long run, which is why it's crucial to learn how to mitigate your risks in the marketing pillar during times of uncertainty.
Here are some of the tips I have been sharing with our business coaching clients the past few months.
1. Get Better at Tracking
This is not the time to be spending money on marketing that doesn't work. But you don't know what works and what doesn't work without good tracking in place. This is a time to double down on the strategic investment of good tracking so you can put more into the things that are working for you.
When was the last time you took a good hard look at your Google analytics? Your marketing funnels? Are you up to speed on your conversion rates and other key performance indicators? If the answer is no, now is the time to educate yourself and dive into the statistics surrounding your marketing campaigns.
2. Negotiate or Exit Contracts With Vendors That Aren't Fruitful
Cover your risk and reduce your exposure by reviewing your marketing vendors and renegotiating or even exiting contracts that aren't producing the desired results. Many vendors are open to contract changes right now, so it's the perfect time to get clear on what's working and what isn't.
If you have an outside firm handling your pay-per-click or SEO work, review the progress and see if changes need to be made.
3. Cut the Fluff
This goes for all pillars. Many times without realizing it, over time, you've accumulated all these phantom deliverables--things you think your clients have asked for or that they've come to expect from you that you never promised and you've never originally priced into what you're doing. This is the time to fight scope creep.
This is the time to circle back and have some sensible controls put into place in the sales process so you're educating customers in your marketplace about what you will and what you won't be producing as part of your product or service offering, so you're not producing things that drain you: that cost you time, effort, energy, and money but don't produce a lot of value to your customers.
4. Double Down on Cross Training
This is a perfect time to double down on training and cross training your team. You may have realized recently how vulnerable you would be if you lost somebody for health challenges or if you had to cut someone because you couldn't afford them anymore.
This is the time to make sure you're cross training your team on the internal systems and processes and procedures you have. Multiple people in your company should know how to handle your social media accounts, for example, or run your next email campaign.
Take a good hard look at your marketing pillar right now and pay attention to what's working and what isn't. Feed your winners and starve your losers, and focus on tasks and projects that will help strengthen your place in the market.