If this is the new normal, it’s time to pivot not pause

30 March 2020 5 min read
Written by

Adam Tuckwell

With the UK-wide lockdown in full effect, light is beginning to dawn on what is to be – for a while at least – a new normal. The current crisis will have far-reaching consequences for businesses of all shapes and sizes, but how should marketers respond in these challenging times. Adam Tuckwell, Mobas’ Commercial Director, believes now is the time to pivot not pause your marketing approach. 

It’s not an exaggeration to say that we are living through unprecedented times. Still, businesses face challenges and downturns all the time and marketers should respond in the same way at this time as we would to any other. Rather than rushing to pause your marketing activity and go dark on your existing and potential customers and stakeholders, now is the time to pivot your outreach. A brave and agile business can swiftly align its activity to best engage with their audiences who are themselves living in a new form or normal.

With the UK in lockdown, workers countrywide are now remote-working. Now that we’ve all come to terms with working from home, two key trends have appeared. Firstly, it turns out that business can continue to operate with a dispersed team. Secondly, and perhaps surprising to some, many workers are more productive in this enforced lockdown state. Freed from the distractions of the office, disruptions from colleagues and waves of ineffective meetings, people are working in a highly productive way. Both of these realities should be seen as a real opportunity for business and brands with a boldness to change.

With business returning to a new form of normal and workers completing their work more efficiently, there is a larger window opening to reach out to potential customers. Traditional marketing channels of direct mail fails when no-one is in the office; telephone sales or lead generation isn’t possible without personal contact details; outdoor advertising goes unseen when people are staying indoors. But there are plenty of channels available for marketers agile enough to pivot their activity.

Our transformative team have spent the past few weeks helping clients realign their marketing strategies, and our advice focuses on three areas that you might wish to explore now: 

Messaging: While your brand positioning should remain consistent and not change with the tide, your product and service messaging can be adapted to fit the changing times. For many businesses, there is an opportunity here to refresh your messaging to focus on how the services you offer or products you supply are relevant to your customers now, more than ever. If your unique proposition is to save people time, adapt your messaging to highlight what that means to people during this crisis. 

Targeting: In times of difficulty, businesses often shift their focus to acquisition. We look to grow our customer base when we should be looking to sure up the business that we already have. Going dark on your existing customers isn’t going to help them – worse still it may leave you open should your competitors are moving in on your market. No-one wants to read an email from your CEO sharing his or her response to the Coronavirus. Instead, seek alternative channels you’ve not used before to tell a new story. Why not target your customers and clients on LinkedIn, for example, to remind them of the value you offer, the culture you’ve created and how your product, service or offering actually helps them. 

Measurement: Times like these provide a key opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate how you measure success and ensure that your marketing outreach is actually packing a punch. Take time to evaluate how hard your marketing activity has worked for you over the past 12 months. Use this time as an opportunity to use new or previously untapped marketing channels to A/B test how cost-effective, impactful and results-focused your marketing can be. 

It’s a scary time for everyone but burying your head in the sand will simply result in you standing still. Be brave. Be bold. Pivot and see how you can make the most of the hand we’ve all been played.