Finding Flowers After the Storm: How to Optimize Your Time and Prepare Your Business for Re-Entry
The coronavirus has impacted businesses in ways that we may have never anticipated. The unexpected economic shutdown may have left your company trying to manage and navigate an entirely new normal. As we all set up offices at home, we are tasked to keep things running smoothly, even though your drug trials may have been halted, supply chain may have been impacted, and business priorities have shifted dramatically.
With the new responsibilities and challenges of working from home — growing your quarantine beard, managing bored kids, and exploring your new love-hate relationship with the leaf-blowing gardeners — it may be tough to look at this moment as an opportunity. But it could very well be! Take this inherently negative situation and look at it as motivation to consider and develop strategies you could put in place now to maximize your company’s re-entry. Here are a few ideas to get you saying, “We used this time to focus on our business!”
Gauge your Brand Health
This unusual pause in the “go, go, go” world we usually live in, may be just the thing your brand needs. Take this time to review your current brand health and make changes to improve or enhance your existing strategy. Your brand health directly affects your ability to sell, attract study participants, hire the best employees, educate prescribing physicians, and grow.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself as you honestly assess your brand’s health:
- Does your brand support your strategy?
- Are your brand look, content, and messaging consistent?
- Does your brand resonate with your intended audience?
Start with a refresh of your brand style guide to reflect updated messages and visual nuances and ensure a consistent story arc and tone across all customer touchpoints. Not sure how your brand is perceived and what updates might need to be made? Consider surveying your customers, or work with patient advocacy groups to develop a plan to gage your brand awareness.
Cultivate Creative Inspiration
How often do you have time and mental space to really think about your brand and what you want to be when you grow up? The latter might have to be reviewed on your own time, but thinking about your brand strategy can happen now! It’s typically tricky to bring multiple members of your team together to ponder the future and apply outside of the box thinking to your brand. An ideation session allows you to do just that. A virtual ideation workshop provides a platform for your business to gather cross-functional insights to cultivate fresh thinking and creative ideas that may have never been considered. At the very least, you will walk away with a new perspective and way of looking at things. Ideation allows you to bucket reoccurring themes and ideas that can then be applied to strategy and creative execution. CG Life has helped clients through the blue-sky brainstorming process, and it always opens up strong new possibilities.
Create a Digital Strategy
Does the idea of a digital marketing strategy leave you scratching your head? Let’s demystify this huge, nebulous concept: It simply means developing a strategy that employs different digital communications tools and tactics to drive people back to your website and take action. Things like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), content (blogging, white papers, case studies, etc.), email campaigns, paid and organic social media, remarketing, programmatic advertising, and public relations can all be used in a digital marketing strategy to raise brand awareness, drive more leads, or nurture your potential customers towards a sale. It may seem like a lot to consider, but now is an excellent time to start the planning and review needed to create an effective strategy. Start with initial research, goal identification, and content calendar development. Then, generate the content, devise deployment strategies, and execute the campaign! The many integrated elements of digital marketing can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. That said, don’t be afraid to find help if you need it. CG Life can help you get prepared now, so you can come out swinging for the stars.
Review your Website
Now that you’ve taken a look at your brand health and thought about how you’re going to execute a killer digital strategy, you may need to refresh your website. A website refresh will ensure that your brand imagery and tone is consistent across all of your domains, subdomains, and microsites. Your site should build trust and credibility with a clear transparent message and engaging visuals. But maybe even more important than look and feel is user experience (UX).
A UX audit is an assessment of the user experience to gather a better understanding of where web site visitors are losing interest, not finding the information they are looking for, bouncing from your site because of technical issues, etc. All this information allows you to make improvements to your site to ensure visitors engage, hang out for a while, download your content, and more. Start with the home page — the home page is your last chance to make a first impression (I think that’s the title of a country song)! Your home page has to be engaging, visually stimulating, personal to your audiences…and should encourage further exploration. Once you evaluate the home page, look at overall navigation, consider opportunities to gate valuable information. A detailed audit will allow you to navigate your site the way a customer would navigate it, and not just how you would assume it is navigated. Those two things may be polar opposites! While you are engaging in a website audit, take time to audit your social media channels. These platforms lead customers to your website — they need to be equally, if not more, engaging, trust-building, informative, and reliable.
Plan Your Public Relations
Today, more than ever, organizations have a huge stage in which to shape, share, and fuel their own story. It’s in the name: Public relations is a mechanism for relationship building with the public! Every brand, no matter size or sector, needs to tell stories that gain and build trust. Those stories might be about how your FDA-approved drug is improving people’s everyday life or how your organization provided meals to the elderly during the pandemic. Regardless of whether the news is product, corporate, or socially-driven, each offers an opportunity to shape public opinion about your work, corporate culture, and brand mission. Take this COVID-induced quarantine to draft a plan that maps out your course. You should consider press release opportunities, identify interesting pitches that tie your organization to the national or trade-focused conversation. You should also determine content opportunities to engage your leadership to share their point of view. Map out a social media calendar that encourages a responsible cadence of original and curated content that builds community and drives people to your web site. These are just a few elements of a larger, integrated PR strategy. Consider your storylines now and make a plan that gets your story out to the right audiences.
I once saw a quote that said, “without rain, there would be no flowers.” These are truly unprecedented, difficult times for many companies and businesses. At CG Life, we have chosen to look at this time as an opportunity to brush up on best practices, refresh strategies, and fine-tune our offerings so that we can continue to put our best foot forward. We encourage you to take this time to consider the potential silver lining, to focus on making improvements and refining strategies. It gives a purpose to what otherwise will go down in history as a devastating time. We hope these tips spark some thinking and bring some flowers after this storm.