You and your team have probably been relentlessly researching the economic reopening process local governments have put in place. Each state has variations it's reopening strategy, but they are all approaching the “return to normal” in a phased manner. The challenge is… how and where do you sell and market to in the phased scenarios? You can look at the reopening of the economy in different ways, but how you approach your survival and growth planning is completely dependent on your business model and industry.Segmenting your customer and prospect database correctly is critical to surviving the pandemic and growing your company after the crisis subsides. When you look at the database, determine if you have enough information about your customers and partners that you slice it up into the segments. Select the customers and partners you can help first and that are most likely to return to prosperity.
1. Tailor your tactics based on how your customers are dealing with the pandemic psychologically
Understanding if your product or service is an essential, a postponable, or even an expendable, can help you tailor your outreach by developing a personalized marketing and sales approach for your sales team to leverage. Document how your customers' reallocate precious funds based on what they consider to be an essential for their business vs what's an expendable and tailor your approach to show value as they are reassess priorities during a pandemic
- Essentials - What are the essentials for YOUR customers? Start here first. If you provide goods or services to what is considered essential businesses or individuals today, make it as easy as possible for them to find you and communicate with you ... and of course, order from you! This requires investments of time and money but will put you in a strong position for growth. According to HBR, "the essentials are necessary for survival or perceived as central to well-being." Whether it be food services, delivery services, or medical supplies... focus your initial communication strategy on this segment. They need you!
- Treats - A treat is something that your customers really want and need to get through this tough time and are considered a justifiable purchase. A landmark candy store in NYC has changed its business model to provide delivery of mixed candy boxes at various price points and according to the owners, most of the purchases made are for other people like family members that are struggling. Messaging options here are significant. "Don't buy it for yourself, buy it for someone else" is the general theme and is a positive turn that can be leveraged if done correctly.
- Postponables - In this segment, where a customer truly wants or needs something but believe they can wait to acquire it, you may have to rethink your pricing strategy. Look at the auto industry. The manufacturers have begun offering incredible deals and incentives on financing and now offer 100 percent online purchasing and home delivery of cars and trucks. No more waiting for 6 hours at a dealership and all virtual!
- Expendables - These are the things that your customers simply don't need right now. The purchase isn't necessary and here is where the messaging challenge becomes real. In many cases, the best options are to develop leads and fill the future pipeline so you can successfully return to business when the economy is back to normal. Some of the tools we mention in this blog can help you prepare for the future opportunities.
2. Talk to your most important customers & partners
If you are having trouble, a good place to start is with your best and most durable customers in the industries that are allowed to return in Phase One and Phase Two. Begin by talking to the contacts you have the longest relationships with and that you believe have some financial resiliency. They are in the same boat as you.
Start developing a list in your CRM that will help you quickly identify which businesses are in reopening during Phase One and Phase Two. Use this list to help guide you in crafting a playbook composed of phone calls and emails, personalized for each group, so you can demonstrate value to the right contacts at the right time.
3. Leverage personalized advertising combined with geolocation targeting
If you do business with customers and partners across many different states, segment your communication using geography-based segmentation. Personalize your search ads and paid social ads based on the different states. Stay on top of the lates public announcements in the local areas you do business in ahead of time and act quickly.
For example, Google Ads, allows you to easily customize a campaign based on locations. You can optimize any campaign to target only specific areas and also identify any regions you don't want your ads to display to save money. Once you have done the initial segmentation, which could be by industry, region, location or even job titles, it's time to get to the messaging framework!
4. Look beyond your own database
To support your sales outreach, develop a set of simple criteria to define what a good client means to you. You can look for these individuals who match the criteria using research sales enablement technology such as LinkedIn's Sales Navigator and D&B Hoovers. You can then create a target list using tools to unite your marketing and sales efforts, such as Hubspot, Engagio, and many more to choose from.
Also, Never EVER lose sight of what your competitors are doing. Develop a short list of how they are tailoring their messages, offers, resources and channels they are using. These qualitative data points will help you identify patterns and gaps to help guide you in crafting a revised intelligent marketing and sales strategy for the remainder of 2020.
As we like to say… you can’t boil the ocean! The economy will not be great for a while, but planning correctly for a smart and speedy return (according to the budget you have) makes a lot of sense. Right now is a competitively good time to invest in your company’s future. Call Xzito today… because we can help you return and grow!