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Plague. War. Economic upheaval. The last few years have been a rollercoaster ride, and it has become abundantly clear that we do not control most of what happens in the world. But we can control our reaction to events. Changing goals can even be a blessing in disguise.
The father of modern management theory, Peter Drucker, famously said, “What gets measured gets improved,” and it stands to reason that if you don’t know what you’re doing, it will be very difficult to know whether your brand is swimming or sinking.
Keep reading to better understand how to measure marketing and changing goals during a crisis, and keep your business thriving.
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Review Pre-Crisis Data
If your brand was humming along before the last crisis, be it a pandemic, inflation, or anything else, you may not have spent a lot of time analyzing your marketing data.
That easy ride is over. Whether your brand makes clay animations or gifts for grandma, a change in world markets does not automatically spell disaster for your business. Look at how online shopping boomed during covid.
To better understand market trends, you must first review your data from before the crisis. Look over sales information and site traffic, and also review other relevant indicators, like engagement and search volume for your keywords. Be sure to go through a minimum of a 90-day segment to get a clearer picture of trends and their impact on your marketing goals.
Compare With Current Data
Once you have solid data on how your sales and marketing campaigns were working before the crisis, you can better decide what to do next. A crisis is not necessarily a reason to toss everything out and start from scratch.
A minor update or a few small changes might be all that is needed to meet your marketing goals. A close examination might even reveal some positives. For example, a jewelry vendor might find that while diamond necklace sales are down, sales of pearl rings are up.
Create an Approach that Matches Updated Changing Goals
Marketing goals can be many things, but they must ultimately produce a positive effect on revenue. Every brand has a bottom line that it must meet. Whatever the crisis, don’t panic.
Instead, look at the event as an opportunity to weigh in on how your brand helps make the world a better place. Rather than taking the approach of “business as usual,” use the special situation to tell customers about another aspect, feature, or product that might not have been as prominent before but is now relevant to current events.
While it can sometimes be tough to see your marketing as anything other than a way to bring in sales, it’s important to remember that good marketing helps customers find something they want or need. By offering clear, helpful information, you are saving them time.
Any marketing plan should include updating keywords on a regular basis, and this step is especially important during a crisis.
By updating your keywords to be relevant to the new situation, you can help your customers make decisions more efficiently, something everyone appreciates. Updating content during a crisis also gives your brand the chance to weigh in on what’s happening in the world.
Use the core values and mission statement of your company to figure out where you stand on the issue. If you don’t have a mission statement, now is a good time to create one.
To maximize return on investment during a crisis, focus your paid ad spend on your highest converters. Eliminate underperformers and redirect that cash into your winners to meet your marketing goals.
Marketing isn’t always only about sales. Sometimes, a brand’s message is all that needs a refresh. For example, just because money is tight right now due to inflation doesn’t mean people don’t enjoy dreaming about their next vacation.
No matter what else you do, SEO needs to be updated regularly, and a crisis is the perfect time to change yours. If any of your site’s pages are more than a year old, they definitely need an update. Also, check on less common reasons your SEO isn’t optimized, such as a slow loading speed. Some ways to fix this problem are to compress your images and embed videos to lower your bounce rate.
Being out of touch with current events, even if the situation is short-lived, can easily be a turn-off to potential customers. When you acknowledge the current crisis, you give customers the sense that there are humans behind the apparatus and that it’s not just a big, impersonal machine. This, in turn, creates more trust in your brand.
If you haven’t tried influencer marketing before, now might be the right time. A voice that embodies your unique message is what you’re looking for, so don’t just follow the crowd. Do your research, and don’t settle for anyone who isn’t right for your brand.
When it comes to the paid portion of your marketing strategy for branding, you definitely want to review and update your ads. If the budget allows, increase spending on those that are working best.
Track Key Performance Indicators for the New Times
Whether the crisis is fleeting or lasting, one thing that is always true is that the world is always in flux. One way to keep tabs on your marketing goals and help ensure you’re hitting them in the new market climate is by using key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs allow you to track your progress internally and compare yourself with other similar businesses.
Every brand is different, but some broad categories you will want to document include organic searches, social media and influencer marketing, click-through rates (CTR) and return on ad spend (ROAS).
As your goals change, so will your metrics. Refining your brand’s KPIs is an ongoing process. As new data emerges, some indicators will become more important and others less so.
Change is inevitable but a crisis does not have to spell doom for your brand.
Marketing may cause changing goals, but by examining data, reviewing practices, and updating plans, you have the power to keep your business strong no matter what the world throws at you.
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