If the Coronavirus has taught businesses anything it’s that shifting your digital strategy during a time of crisis is imperative. What you had planned prior or scheduled to post via social media no longer applies. Your sales strategies? You can kiss those out the window. While we can never plan for a national crisis or emergency, we can find the right ways to maneuver our strategies to align with a more empathetic mood than one of promoting a product for sale etc.
Know your audience
When creating a digital strategy knowing who your audience is imperative to creating your message and sales pitches. It’s also imperative to know who they are in a time of crisis. If you’re an NFL team and your audience is the middle working class who have just lost everything in the stock market as well as their jobs, why would you continue to push for them to buy your upcoming season ticket package? They’re worried about how to pay the bills or where their next meal will come from and you want to sell them a four game package? Shift your strategy from aggressively selling to one of understanding. Reassure them that when everything gets back to normal and they’re back on their feet, you’ll be there waiting for them.
Don’t sell false hope
The Coronavirus hit the travel industry hard, especially the cruising industry. Yet I get emails from cruise lines saying they’ll be back and better than ever. Or that cruising is safe etc. The reality is that the cruise industry may never recover. No longer will these cruise companies operate at their normal capacity, they may even have to cancel the building of these new mammoth ships. You can put on a smiling face, but your customers can read between the lines. Selling hope and optimism during a crisis isn’t reassuring your customers that you’ll rebound let alone survive.
People remember how they were treated during a crisis. They remember who helped first and who helped themselves out. Don’t be the latter. Your digital strategy and messaging needs to be one of empathy. Let your customers know that you understand what they’re going through and that you’re there for them. Ease up on marketing campaigns and emailing them your latest and greatest sales. They have more important things to worry about now that an 25% off offer. Send an email letting them the next steps you plan to take. Inform them that you’ll be stepping away from promoting and that if they need you, that you’ll be there for them. Empathy always wins more customers than being aggressive during a crisis.
It’s not easy shifting your digital strategy on a dime when a crisis hits. It takes a lot of work from a lot of people to halt everything and switch gears. In the end, your clients and customers will remember who tried to take advantage of them and who was there for them. Be there for them. Show them you’re not all about sales and profits and that you care about them more than your bottom line.