Marketing in the Next Normal: Four Marketing Strategies for a Post-Pandemic World
The past eighteen months have been complex – a constant flux of ups, downs, and lots of unknowns, both professionally and personally, for many people. If you’re one of the lucky ones who encountered business growth during the pandemic, kudos to you!
However, many business owners, nonprofits, and executives have seen a decline in growth. No matter what category you fall into, we are all thankful that restrictions are lifting, and that people are beginning to gather safely again. Signs of recovery are all around us.
There is no handbook as we enter this “next normal” – but we can align our goals with comprehensive strategies to lift our businesses into high gear in the second half of the year. This post-pandemic climate is rife with opportunity if you are willing to do the work and invest in yourself and your business.
Here are four strategies to improve your marketing and build back your business post-COVID.
[Related: August is a Time for Rest – and Work]
Take stock: Measure your marketing.
As you look forward, it’s important to take a critical glance backwards and visit what worked and what no longer serves your business. AJA Marketing’s tagline, Action + Measurement = Results, addresses this specifically – you must measure the action you take in order to achieve the results you desire.
If you continue to use the same strategy “because we’ve always done it this way,” now is the perfect time to dig into your data and identify what has helped your business succeed in the past. The world has changed, and methods need to be continuously improved upon.
Take time to do a “marketing audit” – pore over your analytics and see what can be gleaned from the data. Are you obtaining referrals from a new source? Is that radio ad no longer bringing in leads? Has your direct mail campaign kicked up business by 20%? It’s crucial to understand your data in order to drive your strategy moving forward. Don’t keep throwing good money at bad marketing – know your numbers.
Network: Reconnect with clients, colleagues, and referral sources.
If you’re comfortable joining people in person again, there are many live events you can now select from – attend something that sparks your interest and provides you with the opportunity to network while enjoying yourself. AJA Marketing is based in central New Jersey (and yes, central NJ does indeed exist!) and there are so many wonderful local networking events, including outdoor functions, such as golf outings and happy hours. Look to your associations and local Chamber of Commerce for some convenient opportunities.
If you’re not ready to participate in a crowd quite yet, ask a colleague or referral source to catch up for a coffee. Unable to meet in person? Not a problem! It’s no secret that virtual networking opportunities are here to stay. This is one positive outcome from the pandemic.
Virtual events are an easy way to expand and engage your network outside of your local geographic region. As an active member of Ellevate Network, I was thrilled to participate in virtual networking meetings held by chapters in other states. Breakout rooms enabled me to network outside of my region and allowed me to build new relationships that would not have been forged at a local in-person event. There are countless virtual networking events to choose from – register for something that resonates and be sure to turn on your camera and fully participate!
Become socially strategic: Leverage LinkedIn for sales and marketing.
Another fantastic way to market your services is via social media, particularly on LinkedIn. Depending upon your business, it may or may not make sense for you to spend hours on Snapchat or Instagram fiddling with filters.
For example, if you run a nonprofit association and need to promote your resources to your membership, it may not make sense for you to utilize Instagram reels. Instead, get strategic and focus your time where your members, clients, or colleagues – and don’t forget the people who refer you business – spend their time.
For many professionals, that platform is LinkedIn. I’ve been writing about LinkedIn since 2014 and remain an advocate of the platform, as it continues to see record engagement. According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales 2021 U.S. & Canada Edition:
Our data indicates that having a complete LinkedIn profile could increase your chances of meeting or exceeding your sales targets by more than 2x, and it can increase InMail acceptance rates by as much as 87%.
Both sellers and buyers are on LinkedIn – do not neglect this platform!
Chart a new path forward.
If we have learned anything over the past eighteen months, it is to embrace resilience and continuously adapt, evolve, and grow. New situations require new plans. Take some time to review your strategic business and marketing plans – get the red pen out, and don’t be afraid to scrap old methods that are no longer working for you.
Plans are not meant to be created and then shoved into a drawer for the next six months (or six years) – they are meant to keep you accountable and on track with your goals. It is important to bring innovative ideas to your marketing campaigns, but make sure they are realistic and attainable. Get on that proverbial surfboard and “ride the wave” as we enter the next normal!
[Related: 21 Tips for Post-COVID-19 Fundraising]
Amy J. Adams is the owner of AJA Marketing, specializing in the unique marketing and management challenges facing non-profits, associations, and law firms. She provides strategic marketing and association management consulting services and other various services including marketing audits, LinkedIn 101 training, and strategic planning. AJA Marketing is certified by the state of NJ as a woman-owned, small business enterprise. Learn more or book a session here.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
AJA Marketing, LLC
Embracing the entrepreneurial spirit from an early age (ask me about my grade school candy sales!), I founded AJA Marketing in 2014 with integrity and accountability as the cornerstones of its foundation. I have worked with several nonprofit associations, businesses, law firms, and executives across the Northeast region and specialize in the unique marketing and management challenges facing non-profits, associations, and law firms. I provide clients with strategic marketing and association management consulting services and... Continue Reading
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