To help navigate this time and get the most out of your marketing spend, it’s important to streamline your marketing strategy and make it work for your brand:
■ Understand the numbers
How effective are your digital marketing efforts? Chances are, you wouldn’t be able to answer that right now… but with a very basic understanding of Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager, plus 15 minutes of your time, you could have a fair idea. To see a return on investment for your marketing spend, you need to evaluate what’s working, and where there is room for improvement.
■ Pivot your product or service
Throwing marketing spend at a problem won’t make it go away. So if your offering isn’t relevant right now, consider what you can do to change it, and adapt your marketing strategy to suit this new strategy or product. Make sure you don’t lose sight of your brand values or purpose in the process.
A great example is Sealand, a local brand known for creating stylish and durable bags from upcycled materials. With travel on hold for the foreseeable future, their customers aren’t likely to be buying bags anytime soon; so sealand now also makes masks with a combination of upcycled and eco-cycled materials that are breathable, resistant to water droplets and soft against your skin. What’s more, for every mask they sell, one is donated to the Courage Initiative.
Another example is Cara Saven Wall Design, who has added a more affordable range of wallpaper, sold online by the roll; to pivot from only producing high end, custom wall paper.
■ Create a priority list – not a to do list
A never ending to-do-list isn’t going to motivate you to work smarter, or get the results you’re after. So be clear on what you want to achieve, focus on what needs your attention, and delegate the rest – or scrap it entirely if it’s not serving your business objectives.
In the wise words of Zig Ziglar, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
■ Bring the experts in
Playing to your strengths is more important than ever before – and when budgets are tight, it’s tempting to cut your marketing spend or try to do everything yourself. We recommend the exact opposite; now is the time for your brand to stand out from the crowd. If you don’t have the right skills in-house, bring in a consultant, strategist or marketing agency to help you make the most of your budget. Investing in sound advice upfront can result in long term wins for your business.
Identify like-minded brands to collaborate with, whether it’s an influencer campaign on Instagram, a guest blog post to drive traffic back to your website, or listing complementary products on your online shop. This is a great way to increase your customer base and develop relationships that can be mutually beneficial for years to come.
It comes down to being agile, having a strategic marketing plan and keeping your brand purpose in mind – yes, quick wins are welcome, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of your credibility or business objectives.
Emma Donovan is the Co-founder and New Business Director of Cape Town-based digital agency Yellow Door Collective.