During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have decided their best course of action is to suspend their ad spending and limit their PR expenditures. This could wind up being a big mistake.
The purpose of marketing and PR
Sales aren’t what they were pre-pandemic, but that only means marketing and PR work is more important than ever. After all, marketing and PR are what got customers to businesses in the first place. They grew familiar with the brand, learned to trust the company, and were involved in inbound marketing steps without even knowing it. We must rely on this same process now.
In these times, salesperson availability is few and far between as shopping has moved online. This means there is no person to build rapport with. Turn this downfall into an opportunity to make a relationship with the customer by being there for them directly. Through marketing your brand and using PR to build your reputation, the customer can gain the same sense of relationship they would with a salesperson. But now, even if the salesperson leaves, the customer stays because it was the brand they connected with.
An educated customer is a happy customer
Customers are now more educated than ever with technology at their fingertips to answer and compare their every question. Getting out in front of your customer, especially in a time when the majority of shopping has moved online, is more critical than before. Education builds trust, trust builds relationships, and relationships build long-lasting customers (even in a pandemic).
Turn disadvantages into opportunities
Where marketing drops off, PR picks up. Outside the world of advertisements is the limitless and influential potential of favorable news stories, social interactions, and other third-party validation, all of which make customers more likely to engage with your brand. PR isn’t just selling; it’s brand building. Now is the time to grab the brand recognition you’ve been desiring. Take this opportunity and create innovative ways to connect with your audience. Offer solutions to their problems, express the efforts your company is making during the pandemic, and showcase the ways your company gives back to its customers.
The bottom line is this is the perfect time to build relationships, focus more on your customer, and stress less over the temporary sales numbers. This has always been done best through good marketing and PR.
Virginia Marion Bullard is an intern with Axia Public Relations and a senior at the University of Florida College of Journalism. Virginia is based out of Jacksonville, Florida and has a passion for crafting blogs and short stories for everyone to enjoy.