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How to Engage ‘Consumers on the Couch’ During COVID-19



Tyler Horsley, an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member and board member in Denver, is CEO of Nuclear Networking, a Denver-based digital marketing agency that provides Wall Street capability tailored for Main Street practicality. With consumer habits changing due to the COVID-19 crisis, we asked Tyler what business owners can do now to best position their brand for growth when the economy opens back up. Here’s what he shared:

Business owners leading their companies through crisis are witnessing a collective global behavior change before our very eyes. It’s not just a consumer shift; it is a consumer tsunami. According to a recent survey by Statista, 54 percent of respondents in the United States said that they were staying home more due to COVID-19.

During this pandemic, significant value exists on the web as consumers increasingly shy away from brick-and-mortar, in-person purchases. Large companies aren’t the only entities that stand to benefit from leveraging the considerable power of web-based marketing. Every organization–whether you sell products and services online or not–will benefit from improving their online brand presence and increasing engagement with existing and potential customers during this “time on the couch.”

Here are three tips for competing in a time of crisis with limited resources.

1. Start with a competitor deconstruct

What are your competitors doing to optimize their digital presence? Have they altered their strategy since the pandemic hit? In what ways? Let’s admit: It is hard to focus on someone else’s business in the middle of your own crisis, but if you take the time to study what competitors are doing–or more importantly, not doing–you can make a meaningful leap forward on a limited budget.

A competitor deconstruct is a service that lifts the curtain on your competitors’ online activities by analyzing their digital marketing tactics and SEO performance, then making custom recommendations for how you can improve your company’s strategy in response. With leveraged machine learning and AI competitor monitoring, companies can adapt to the current environment and thrive.

For example, one of our recent competitor deconstructs suggested that an eCommerce alcohol retailer reposition itself to geographically target states where liquor stores were not deemed essential services during the shutdown. The result? A $1,000 investment turned into $11,200 in gross revenue over eight days.

2. Look back to move forward

Where were you spending your marketing dollars before COVID-19 hit? More importantly, why were you spending them there? Is your business still running on autopilot and outdated marketing strategy? Now is the time to analyze every marketing line item and reallocate resources. As you look back at buyer behavior 90 days ago, what has changed as it relates to your market space? Look into the “new normal” for the next 90 days, establish affinity, attract new customers using proven digital marketing strategies, and build momentum to carry forward into the post-COVID-19 era.

3. Don’t under-invest

Savvy investors stay calm and know that the time to buy is when the market is down. This advice also rings true for your marketing spend! If you invest in digital marketing now, you will get more for your money, and you will be strategically positioned in front of customers who are spending more time surfing the web as they increase their rate of online purchases. This enables potential customers to get to know your brand and will help you drive conversions when consumers get back to work and are ready to open their wallets again.

By doing these three things, you will help maintain the health of your own company while simultaneously preparing yourself and your employees for success in the post-COVID-19 future. 

Published on: Apr 17, 2020

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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