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May’s Economic Gains Provide Positive Marketing Momentum

We could all use some good news about now, and as the month of May came to a close, we got it.

After an already strong week of trading, stock markets rallied to a surprisingly favorable jobs report. Unemployment claims were lower than anticipated at 13.3% and appeared to be leveling off, with notable employment gains in the hard-hit leisure and hospitality, education, construction and retail sectors. Home sales are on the rise, oil is rebounding and economists are praising the aggressive stimulus-response of countries around the globe. If stock gains continue through June, experts say American consumers should be receiving healthy quarterly statements in July.

Each week, HubSpot tracks and publishes core business metrics aggregated from its customer base, including website traffic, email send and open rates, sales engagements and close rates. It reported a 24% increase in the number of deals closed, with greatest gains in computer software, consumer goods and manufacturing. Data also showed construction outperforming pre-COVID numbers.

As businesses try to figure out where consumers will prioritize spending and how to keep their brands top of mind, this is a good time to reposition marketing and keep up the positive momentum.

Tapping the Positive Vibe

In a stay-at-home world, digital communication is king. HubSpot says that open rates for email marketing is trending 15% above pre-COVID levels. Customers are spending more time on websites, initiating online conversations and embracing live chat.

Love the One You’re With

This is a golden opportunity to cultivate relationships with existing customers. A study by Bain & Company revealed that 60-80% of customers who say they were satisfied do not return to the company that initially satisfied them. The reason? Lost connection. They may have loved your product or service, but they may not remember later where they got it or who rendered it. If you’re not reaching out, you’re losing business to competitors who are.

According to invespcro.com, it costs five times more to keep an existing customer than to attract a new one, and the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new one is only 5-20%.

What you can do:

  • Engage with your existing customers and contacts. Offer something of value: a discount, membership in a loyalty program or useful information.
  • Energize your web presence with new looks and fresh content so you can hold customers’ attention when they get there.
  • If you don’t already have a live chat feature on your site, get one so your customers can tell you what they need.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

While it may be tempting to limit or eliminate spending on advertising, smart companies think long-term. Maintaining Share of Voice (SOV) is good in the short-term since more consumers are online while sheltering in place. Staying in front of consumers conveys strength over brands whose voices fade from the scene. Data from both the Great Depression and Great Recession show that companies that maintained or increased SOV consistently saw increased revenues in the short- and long-term, and greater Share of Market (SOM) when the recession was over.

The good news is that less advertising spend in response to the pandemic means there is an opportunity for companies to advertise at cheaper rates. Consider beginning, maintaining or expanding your SOV through multiple digital channels, including social media, paid search, native or display advertising.

What you can do:

  • Unpause existing ad campaigns.
  • If possible, increase SOV.
  • Look for opportunities to lock in lower advertising rates.

Communicate With Compassion

Whether companies are engaging in conversation with consumers or employees, it is important to remember that people are in crisis. Not only are they grappling with a pandemic and employment uncertainty, now they are coping with escalating violence and racial injustice.

Take time to evaluate your company’s branding and advertising. Is your message sympathetic to the mood of consumers? Does it demonstrate humanity, warmth and authenticity?

Likewise, temperature check company culture. A HubSpot Research survey asked more than 1,000 consumers to evaluate their company’s response to COVID-19 and found that 33% were “likely” or “very likely” to look for a new job in the next six months. A majority of respondents rated work-life balance as “important” or “very important.” These are the people who make your product and serve your customers. Is your culture sending the right vibe and setting you up for long-term growth?

What you can do:

  • Review current advertising to make sure it is appropriate. Adapt, if needed.
  • Ask employees how they feel about their workplace. HubSpot offers this free 9-question survey: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/employee-satisfaction-survey.
  • Learn about good things your employees are doing, or take some positive actions together. Tell your customers about it.

There is good news out there to be found. Harness that positivity and let it carry your business into the future.

Big Chief Creative Media is a full-service creative agency dedicated to helping businesses from start-ups to global firms strategically position their brands utilizing leading-edge technologies and marketing automation tools.