Supporting Customers, Keeping Trust Are Critical Now, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
COVID-19 is turning our lives upside down. With the marketplace and economy changing so rapidly, businesses must adapt their marketing strategy to these uncertain times. Marketing plans now need to be sensitive to customer’s changing sentiments and put supporting customers and maintaining their trust above short-term profits, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Check-in With Customer Sentiment, Says Jeff Nock of Iowa
Since the pandemic began, consumers have become distrustful of government and other institutions, including top brands. Savvy marketers listen to their customers so that their messaging and delivery don’t come across as tone-deaf in this new environment. They will cull social media to understand consumer concerns and how they relate to the brand. They will listen to Voice of the Customer programs to understand the sentiment shifts. They will use this information to develop a plan that emphasizes helping customers more than blatantly promoting their product, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Offer Flexibility, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
One way to sell while helping consumers is to partner with Paypal, Affinity, Afterpay, or similar organizations to allow customers who may be facing temporary financial challenges to pay over time. Service companies can consider extending payments over 12 months or longer. Companies can redo policies to allow more flexibility for returns, exchanges, or cancellations.
Deliver on Promises, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Above all, companies should be careful to promise only what they can deliver now. Closed factories and warehouses have disrupted supply chains and likely have affected the company’s operations. To maintain consumer trust, companies should be realistic about delivery times and pull ad campaigns for products they can no longer deliver promptly.
Use Virtual Channels, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
A Google survey shows that people are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented rates during the pandemic. People are viewing informational content on a variety of topics from exercise, to recipes, to entertainment. Consumers also are doing more shopping online. If possible, companies should develop ways to deliver the product virtually. For example, Viking Cruise Lines has developed Viking TV, which allows individuals to virtually explore the world now that they cannot do so physically, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Develop Alternatives to Event Marketing, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Restrictions and safety are limiting events that draw large crowds. Many organizations are switching to virtual conferences or other virtual events that support their brand. Some of these virtual conferences also offer opportunities for other organizations to buy sponsorships.
Show Compassion, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Ensuring content is compassionate and empathetic across all media, including one-on-one interactions, is critical now. Consumers are suffering and need to know that their favorite brand understands and suffers with them. The words companies use in their marketing messages are crucial now.
Give Back, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Companies will offer whatever help they can to the community. They will donate products, where appropriate, and encourage employees to volunteer in their local communities on company time. By being positive, contributing community citizens, companies gain the goodwill of both consumers and staff, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa is CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting LLC, which helps funded early-stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Master of Science in Management from Regis University. He is an experienced executive, consultant, and leader with a demonstrated history of growing established companies, startups, and nonprofits.