Join in the community forum! The thINK blog is a place for community members to share their opinions, best practices, successes, and challenges. Add your comments to the blogs published here or write a blog and we’ll post it for you.
Marketing Through a Crisis
In today’s challenging new world where you and your customers are facing unique challenges, it’s so important it is to send the right marketing messages now, communicating empathy and stressing that your brand will be there for customers today and when the crisis is over.
But this is also a time to rethink your entire value proposition, about what you stand for as a company. In many ways, marketing is based on the values you stand for. In this time of worldwide crisis, you might now reassess your company’s value proposition, to define yourself as a company going forward.
After COVID: What Is your value proposition?
Let’s recap for a moment what a value proposition is. In short, it’s a statement about those benefits you bring to your customers that will help them in ways that are better than what other printers offer. Without such a statement, you’ll won’t be able to form the right messages about your product and service’s values.
But here’s the thing: Your value proposition has be relevant, and directly address why customers care. Relevancy in today’s world has changed immensely. Your revised value proposition must reflect your support, empathy, and a commitment to all parties, now and after the storm subsides.
In the past, your value prop might have been something like, “We help you spread your message compellingly through modern print technology. A recent customer was able to save thousands because of our newest variable ink jet printer capabilities.”
This needs some revision.
Some new thoughts about company values
Now, consider what you’d like your company to be for customers, employees, and your community in an uncertain world. What ultimate impact do you want your brand to have on your community, industry, or world?
Consider some revised value propositions and vision statement in this brave new world:
Company A: Our vision is to serve our community, employees and customers in this time of need with quality products and accommodating terms. We are all in this together.
Company B: Basic needs of shelter, sanitation, food and more are as important to our print family as the quality products we supply to our customers. The measure of these basic needs will be out bottom line.
Company C: Our vision is encouraging strength and resilience together, as we deliver quality products to community, customers, employees and vendors. The result: A better, more resilient community.
Messages that support your value proposition
Here are some additional thoughts that reinforce your new and evolving value proposition:
- Your customer is the hero, you’re just the help. You’re there to assist them to reach their goals in this time of need. This in turn helps you reach your own goals. Stress how you can help them in ways other than print, perhaps in marketing assistance or debt relief.
- Your customers are going through the same travails as you. Work with them. Don’t sent tone-deaf marketing messages, but rather notes of support and advice.
- Show the love to your customers. Do whatever you can to support them in this time of need, including pricing, terms, invoice dues dates, and any other considerations.
- Work with your community, perhaps with in-kind products or volunteer efforts. Yes, you can make sure social media knows about your efforts, and encourage others to join you in a joint effort to make things better for everyone.
Christopher Hosford is editor at large for Target Marketing. Former editor-in-chief of Nielsen’s Sales & Marketing Management magazine, he’s covered all aspects of sales, marketing, and cutting-edge marketing technologies.
Want to learn more? Register for the thINK Academy marketing course.