This guest blog post has been written by Robert Rebholz, the co-founder and Managing Director of optilyz, a leading direct mail software provider.
At optilyz, he works with some of the biggest and most successful companies in Europe.
THERE IS NO “BACK TO NORMAL”
At this point, we all know that what we are experiencing will not end like a bad dream. There will be no waking up and going back to “normal”. From an economic point of view, this crisis will bring many companies to the edge and push some over. We are moving into a global recession and we will all need to adjust to that.
A “wait and see” approach will not work.
The most successful companies after the lockdown will be those that review their marketing channels, tools, processes and logics and assess what they need to change to succeed in the upcoming recession. Next to staying alive right now, companies will need to figure out how they can adapt in a recession and how they can move their business ahead.
At optilyz, we work with over 300 companies ranging from FinTech to traditional retail. The following insights come from our discussions with many decision-makers in marketing, some of whom spent many sleepless nights assessing what all this means for their teams, their companies and, of course, their customers.
Adjust the way you communicate
What is important now is that we adjust to a changing environment. Many amongst us are experiencing fear and even panic. We don’t know how this crisis will evolve and what it means for us professionally and personally.
In marketing, we cannot ignore the world around us and just keep blasting out our usual messaging. The following principles are crucial right now and will remain important for the next few months:
- Take your customers’ worries seriously. “I think they’re exaggerating” is not a viable option. Show them you care.
- Be optimistic. Positive messaging is what customers need and what they are looking for. Give hope.
- Address what is happening. Ignoring what is going on around us will not be appreciated. Your messages should take the current crisis into account.
- Be proactive and honest. Talk to your customers and address any of their worries. If you’re facing interruptions or delays, tell them early!
- Act fast. Everything is evolving rapidly – so should your messaging. What was okay today may not be tomorrow.
- Add value. Communication solely for the sake of commenting on the situation may backfire. Make sure your messages are relevant and matter.
Customers will be watching how you behave even more closely than ever.
REVIEW YOUR FOCUS
A recession will require companies to think even more about cost and immediate impact. This will impact how we assess projects and priorities. As we have to plan for potentially many quarters of low(er) revenue and an overall reduction in demand, companies will need to review their marketing very carefully.