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Lessons the pandemic has taught us

The devastating ripple effect that the pandemic had on business will be felt for years to come. During these challenging times, successful innovation has proved to be the critical ingredient for a brand's survival. The creation of progressive market strategies has proved fundamental in giving a business that competitive edge which is critical if it is to thrive and grow.

Although each lockdown presented increasingly difficult challenges, it allowed progressive businesses to think laterally enabling them to place themselves ahead of the competition. Robust brands were able to achieve substantial profits and impressive growth trajectories. Method reflects positively on what the pandemic taught us about staying relevant in the face of adversity.  Keep your buyer personas current and correct.  Understanding what your consumers want, need, demand and expect will control the narrative of your brand story and enhance its future conduct thorough research into consumer journeys. Also, create a detailed representation of your consumer's purchasing profile, step by step. 

Step 1: Set your targets
Step 2: Create buyer personas
Step 3: Identify motivations and pain points
Step 4: Map out the buyer's journey
Step 5: Maximise your touchpoints
Step 6: Find your moments of truth
Step 7: Revise

Consumers' expectations of the service they expect when executing a purchase is as important as the product itself iron out any creases in the consumer journey that could have a negative impact on the decision to make that purchase. Consumer feedback is vital here. Learn from those who have navigated the purchase funnel to understand what it is that you are doing that is optimal and also to identify what needs improvement. Continually revise and refine your way to success. 

Give back

Another hard-learned lesson the pandemic taught us is that if you stand for nothing, you fall for anything. Demonstrating empathy and philanthropy will positively reflect your professional reputation, conveying evolutionary business values. Many brands are showing support to Ukraine right now. From choosing to display a banner embodying the colours of the Ukrainian national flag on emails or websites, to show support for their just cause, to supporting and contributing to charities funding the survival of Ukrainians; The opportunity to show your support when doing business can be both a privilege and a duty. By embracing it, you demonstrate to your consumer base that you are sympathetic to what life feels like when money is scarce and survival is mentally and physically challenging.

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Try switching to local, independent retailers for products, offer apprenticeships to aspiring young talent, donate a percentage of sales to a cause or have a sponsored bake-off in the office. Whatever way you choose to support others, communicate your charitable activities on your socials to simultaneously get as many people as possible also involved whilst communicating your empathic values to your audience. Consumers have come to expect an authentic tone of voice from brands. Empathy is not an option when it comes to success. Every British brand out there praised the NHS during the pandemic. Those that neglected to do so took the risk of paying a heavy price, potentially appearing regressive and detached from the political and humanitarian climate we are facing today. 

Embrace the shift online

Despite lockdown sanctions lifting, many brands have embraced the opportunity to maximise time efficiency by continuing hybrid working, Zoom meetings and Skype interviews. With fuel prices reaching epic heights, the ability to remain at home to conduct basic working processes is eco-friendly and kinder to employees, bestowing a sense of trust and an enhanced sense of responsibility for the common good.

Invest in your consumer relationships 

When refining your buyer personas, mapping out consumer journeys, innovating your market strategies and publishing your advertising campaigns, make sure your brand communicates its values and standards. Ensure that these are all accurate and consistent. If false promises are made within these foundations, trust will be broken and negative emotions can ensue. Establish a bond with your consumer as you would establish a bond with a friend. Prioritise honesty with consumers and encourage loyalty in return. If your brand focuses on empty and isolated sales, the low hanging fruit of repeat sales opportunities is missed, which is lazy marketing. Trust, integrity and authenticity are key drivers of market momentum.

In addition, consumers' privacy concerning requesting personal data and securing private data is a high priority right now and another key feature of establishing successful consumer relationships. Be sure that transparency about privacy settings and cookie consent is clear and easy to access, so your online audience feels in control and respected by you. Consumers can make more informed choices if they know what it is they are agreeing to share with you and why, this clarity will foster deeper trust. 

Agility redefines business

The pandemic shifted how brand managers aligned their strategies to accommodate the rapidly shifting commercial environment. The propensity to quickly predict and navigate market trends and arrive at timely business decisions is powerful in business. Agility is key to successful digital marketing, helping brands transform their approach to business. When the pandemic was in full force, no brand was safe from the constraining force of extended lockdowns. Gymwear brands switched to online fitness classes. Cinemas relied on screening platforms, and restaurants capitalised on takeout services to survive. This is agility at its best. Although we are leaving the worst of the pandemic behind us and the business climate appears to be becoming more secure, the ability to read and respond to changes in trends and consumer needs should continue to evolve to keep ahead of the curve, demonstrating your leadership status.

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