At Kate Coote, we’ve been in the business of marketing a long time. While we usually like to post about the positive effects of successful marketing, there comes a time when one needs to discuss the flipside. COVID-19 has been a real game-changer in business. It’s affected everyone from the small stay at home businesses right through to large corporates. When trying to navigate sudden and economic shock, it’s easy to make marketing mistakes. So we thought we’d explore a few of those to help you avoid them:
Marketing Mistakes + How to avoid them – COVID-19:
Mistake #1 – Giving things away for free – Sometimes…
When your income stream suddenly dries up, the easy option is to discount your products and services. But that’s rarely the right thing to do. When Kate first started Kate Coote Ltd, she was given a great piece of advice by a good friend and fellow business person. She was told ‘Never to become Queen of Discounts’, and it’s one rule of business to which we’ve always adhered.
That said if you’ve heard Kate speak at an event or workshop you’ll also know we’ve built an entire business on giving away one thing for free… Information and advice. Search this blog, and you will find articles that will arm you with knowledge and know-how. We’re always happy to share tips and tools, we just don’t undervalue our services.
Let’s take our industry as an example: If we suddenly started to build websites for free, it doesn’t just undervalue our services; it undermines our entire industry. It’s not good for business sustainability in any way, shape or form. It would also be unlikely to please clients who we’d built websites for in the past. If we can suddenly offer services for free to new clients, they might wonder why we had charged them.
The same thing can be said for physical products. Unless the goods you produce are perishable and therefore likely to be wasted unless you discount them, hold your nerve and keep your brand’s value secure.
Rather than giving away blanket freebies, think about how you might bundle products to add value to your primary offering.
Customers much prefer to get something extra free to getting something cheaper – The Economist
All that said, there is, of course, a place for ‘The Kindness Economy’, and as a business, it’s undoubtedly essential to offer help to those who need it most. You might consider extending discounts or free services to charities or key workers.
The takeaway: Think about who needs your help the most and help them before undermining your brand’s value with blanket discounts or freebies.
Mistake #2 – Failing to test your market
The COVID-19 pandemic means many businesses have had to adapt their offering. There have been some great success stories where small businesses have recognised opportunities. Still, there will undoubtedly be some businesses that grasp what they think might be a lifeline, only to realise it’s not. So, it’s essential to test the viability of a new concept.
Beachside Nelson Case Study:
We’ve worked with Beachside Nelson, a conference and events venue, based in Nelson, New Zealand since they opened their doors almost two years ago. We designed and built their website, and worked with them on an ongoing content marketing strategy, watching them rise in the search engine rankings for their required search terms. This digital marketing effort translated into bookings, and very soon, conference rooms were full and our client was happy.
At the end of March 2020, the New Zealand Government implemented a nationwide Level 4 lockdown. These circumstances meant that an events venue was no longer in high demand. But our clients also came from a background in catering and hospitality. They recognised an opportunity to develop a range of home-delivered, restaurant-quality meals, producing them from their commercial kitchens.
After discussions with our client, we decided to test the viability of this service. We initially developed a cost-effective solution that included a simple online ordering form. Once we had all established that their offering was what people were looking for we further developed their website to include a full WooCommerce shopping cart facility for extra functionality, flexibility and most importantly to enhance the user experience.
The takeaway: Talk to your digital marketing partner about how you can explore the viability of a product by adapting your current site.
Mistake #3 – Failing to market – Full-stop:
When cash flow is tight we understand that something has to give. But marketing, especially digital marketing, is not the place to cut funds. With a locked-down audience looking for information and distractions now is the time to cement your place online.
People are looking for products and services to help them weather the storm and you need to be the business they find. So, it’s important to produce quality-driven content on your website, not just your social channels.
Be sure that you optimise any content you do produce for search engines. This is where a digital marketing expert can help you. While you might feel confident in the message you wish to convey, it can pay to have a digital marketer review your content to ensure it is discoverable by the audience that is ‘searching’ for your services.
The takeaway: Create ‘search engine optimised’ content, not just content.
If you’re ready to discuss website design or digital marketing services, we’d love to talk.
Contact us HERE.