When things are changing quickly + you’re dealing with a lot of unknowns, it can be difficult to know the best course of action or how to move forward. It’s easy to stall or make snap decisions that may or may not be the best option in the long-term. We’ve been focused on providing the housewares industry with the best digital marketing advice + service for years. We’ve been happily working alongside housewares brands to navigate digital marketing during COVID-19. There have been lots of questions, changes + even mistakes made along the way. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few of the common marketing mistakes we’ve seen in response to this pandemic. Hopefully, they can help you avoid these common pitfalls moving forward + we can all continue to push through this together.
We talk a lot about the importance of buyer personas when it comes to reaching your target audience + aligning marketing strategies. Personas have never been more important than during this fast-paced + ever-changing pandemic.
The virus has impacted all our lives in one way or another. We’re shopping, working + spending our time differently, which means the consumer-focused personas you created or updated even six months ago are probably no longer accurately representing your ideal customer. The same goes for your retail or distributor audiences who have had major changes in the way they do business. Plus, this pandemic may have even opened up a customer group you never even thought to reach before who could now benefit from your housewares products in new ways.
Either way, if you haven’t created personas or given them a fresh look since COVID-19 hit, they could probably use some TLC. Revisiting them could do wonders to help you better align your marketing strategies + reach customers during this difficult time.
2. Not creating timely + specific marketing strategies.
When COVID-19 first hit, a lot of businesses, including some housewares brands, didn’t expect things to change as drastically + quickly as they did. Many thought it would be a week or two — a month at the most — until things would go back to “normal.” Therefore, they didn’t see much need for pivoting + completely revamping marketing strategies. Well, months have now passed + the future is still unclear. If your brand hasn’t already adjusted your message points + marketing strategies, it’s better late than never.
Take some time to figure out how your housewares products add value during this time — then shift your advertising, content + social efforts + optimize accordingly. Maybe you have great organizational products that will help to create a functional space for working or teaching from home. Maybe your beverageware is perfect for a socially-distanced digital coffee date or happy hour. Maybe your housewares product is easy to clean + sanitize. Whatever the case may be, you want to be sure all message points + marketing efforts are reflecting the needs of here + now.
3. Not keeping customers in the loop.
Things are still changing quickly, even months into this new routine. Now, many states + businesses are looking at the possibility of reopening, which means more changes in the coming weeks. What are you doing when it comes to keeping your customers informed? How are your retailers preparing for the next phase?
With retail locations being closed + many customer service departments downsized or working from home, there is no doubt customers are turning to the internet to stay updated + connected with businesses like yours more than ever before. Therefore, your digital marketing efforts + your online presence are key to keeping them in the loop amid changing rules, regulations + health recommendations. Making sure your website, social profiles + digital ads reflect important details — such as changes to customer service hours + shipping updates for manufacturers or updated business hours, no-contact delivery/pick-up options + special promotions for retailers — will help improve the customer experience + build trust during this time.
4. Cutting or downsizing your marketing efforts.
This pandemic has hit all of us hard. Many businesses, including ours, have had to make tough financial decisions. Unfortunately, we’ve seen housewares brands cutting their marketing budgets or completely pausing their marketing efforts for the time being. While we understand making marketing cuts isn’t always avoidable, you can’t ignore the long-term impact they will have on your business.
Minimizing marketing efforts means you’ll lose out on sales, visibility + relationship-building opportunities with your customers — all while many of your competitors are pushing forward. Those losses can be hard to recoup + have a negative impact long after the virus passes. Customers are going to remember + support the housewares brands that helped them navigate these changing times, not the brands that went dark.
If anything, times of change provide opportunities to shift your marketing budget + double down on your digital marketing efforts. Strategies such as pushing your online store while brick + mortar locations are closed or using social media as an alternative to in-person communication + events can be a great way to generate leads, sales + customer loyalty now + in the future.
5. Not planning ahead for our “new normal.”
Even as businesses start to reopen + in-person events are held once again, things are going to be different as a result of this pandemic. It’ll be a long time, if ever, until life is “normal” as we once knew it. Rather, it’s important to plan for a “new normal,” however that may look.
What can you be doing now to set your business up for a brighter future? Maybe it’s investing in more training + technology now so that you can continue safely operating remotely even once restrictions are lifted. Maybe it’s planning a totally digital event in 2021 or working to expand + improve your digital presence in general. Maybe it’s designing an innovative new housewares product that will shake up the market. As always, the housewares brands that can stay one step ahead are going to be the ones that see the most success.
If you need help navigating these crazy times + planning for a “new normal” when it comes to digital marketing, we’ve got your back.