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Going Digital, Business Support, Marketing Strategy

Prospecting Through COVID-19

Tony Eades

According to some media buyers and marketers, COVID-19 will have a bigger impact on advertising than the global financial crisis (GFC). To say it’s a unique time in the world is an understatement, and we have no playbook for these uncharted times. 

A crisis can also bring with it clarity and in some cases, even an opportunity for growth.

Google released this week ‘Inside Google Marketing: 5 principles guiding our media teams in the wake of the COVID-19’ from their global marketing VP for media, Joshua Spanier who shares how his teams are navigating Google’s campaigns through the COVID-19 outbreak. 

HubSpot wanted to help businesses of all types and sizes with a bunch of free tools including their Meetings functionality, Quotes, E-Sign, and 1:1 Video creation tools. They also released their guide for ‘Prospecting Through Covid-19’ (and yes we may have borrowed the title for this post).

With all these great insights and resources there are probably a couple of things to consider as you re-define your marketing strategy in the midst of Covid-19.

Think Context First

The pandemic is global for sure, but its impact is felt locally. Your marketing strategy should always underpin the fundamentals of Inbound Marketing, more so in these uncertain times. As HubSpot describes it; ‘By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.’

There’s never been a better time than right now to ‘solve for the customer’ instead of ‘selling for the business’. 

We need to help prospects and customers navigate through uncertainty more confidently. Help them assess the impact that COVID-19 is having on their business, how do they set clear expectations and what steps should they follow and do their organisational stakeholders share the same vision that will carry their organisation through?

People are looking for short term solutions not long term strategies, so think in terms of small, snackable engagements instead of long form, costly deep dives.

Get Creative like never before

Google suggests reassessing every campaign, scrutinising everything from tone and visual imagery to copy and keywords. Every dollar you invest in marketing today no matter the channel or size of spend behind it needs to perform. That being said, there’s never been a better time to spend more if you can.

In the aftermath of the last recession in 2008, ad spending dropped by 13%. With the outbreak  of Covid-19, approximately 70% of buyers have already adjusted or paused their planned ad spend, with another 16% still determining what actions to take. Yet studies going back nearly one century point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterwards.

In many cases, we’ve discovered that the “noise level” in a brand’s product category has dropped, as competitors cut back on their ad spend, allowing advertisers to reposition a brand or introduce a new product. 

Now is the time to get creative - try channels you haven’t before, play with ad copy and mix-up your product offerings. It’s a new world out there where the playing field has changed and the old rule book is gone. It’s time to try, test and measure a new marketing approach. 

Salted Stone’s 90 minute intensive ‘Springboard Workshop’ could get you started with four key disciplines uncovered; Quick Wins, Fill-ins, Major Projects and Thankless Tasks.


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