2020 is half over. Remember that plan you had back in January?

July 15, 2020By Andy Johns

Remember that plan you had back in January?Yes, 2020 started off with Post Malone doing the New Year’s Eve show, and it’s somehow found a way to go downhill even from that.

But a pandemic, a recession, riots, murder hornets, and a Saharan dust storm are not reasons that you can’t make some major strides toward your marketing goals in 2020. 

While it’s likely that most or all of the events you had planned for this year have been canceled, we’ve also seen huge numbers of upgrades for broadband packages as people were forced home from work and school. It’s possible then that while some goals for campaigns have been wiped out, sales or average revenue per user (ARPU) goals may have already been met or exceeded. 

Always an optimist, I’ve been working on how we can refocus, renew, or repair our goals for the back half of 2020. Maybe if the pandemic is driving customers to upgrade and marketing departments are spending less time chasing numbers, there is time to work on these: 

Refine the Customer Journey

Go through and look at your customer journey. We will soon have a tool on the WordSouth site to help you do this, but go back and really look at the journey a customer takes from awareness of you through the decision making and sign-up process. Whether it’s an inaccurate Google business listing, outdated information on your website, clunky sign-up processes or trouble with service appointments, odds are good there is something you can improve. What are you doing after the install to keep in touch with that customer and continue a pleasant customer journey? Our September 10 webinar also focuses on this. 

Develop Customer Satisfaction Surveys

One thing that the pandemic slowdown has given me a chance to do is finally implement customer satisfaction survey emails for WordSouth clients. If you haven’t gotten one yet, chances are you’ll get one on the next project we work on together. 

Are you reaching out to customers after your installations to get their opinion on the process? Are you checking in at 90 days or one year? If you do contracts, checking in with surveys just before the contract is up gives you a chance to fight churn. 

Depending on your situation, now might be the perfect time to implement these crucial check-ins. 

Identify New Markets or Market Segments

If you have a suite of marketing tools like Calix Marketing Cloud, CrowdFiber, or others, now might be the time to dig in, get some extra training and see how you can put that data to work to help you segment your markets. Doing so can generate significant results while saving you expense. As we discussed in our marketing segmentation webinar, there are plenty of ways to carve up your market whether or not you have the latest bits of marketing technology. 

Focus on the Digital Experience

One thing that 2020 has done for certain is push us to reimagine how we interact with friends, co-workers, and the companies we do business with. One recent webinar I attended suggested that in the last 3 to 5 months, our demand for virtual interaction online has increased to where experts expected we would be in 3-5 years. Whether it’s live customer service chat, new social media action, soliciting positive reviews online, or a full website redesign, 2020 is a great time to step up your digital game. As with the customer journey item above, evaluate how a customer moves through the stages of interacting with you digitally before and after signing up for service. 

(WordSouth offers a Website Report Card tool to help you evaluate your current site — you’ll receive a custom video website evaluation at no charge). 

Collect Stories About Your Company in the Pandemic

There’s an old political axiom that says “Never let a crisis go to waste.” And while that certainly sounds callous, don’t let stories of the great things your company is doing during this crisis go untold. Make an effort to log the stories you hear about employees going above and beyond to make sure someone gets the connection they need. Collect contact information for people you hear of who were helped by the service you provide. Take photos of your outside plant crews wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE) to document this unusual time in your company’s history. Whether those photos and stories go in your magazine pages, your annual report, or into other projects, now is the time to collect them.

Take Advantage of Media Buys

In general, media buys aren’t always at the top of my list for advertising, but in some markets, they make sense. If print, radio or TV ads are a good option for you, consider reaching out this summer to see if the outlets may have any discount packages. Media outlets are hurting for ad revenue right now and could be wheeling and dealing. By the fall, they’ll be less likely to offer deals since they will be raking in revenue from election ads, but now might be a good time to see if your advertising dollars would stretch farther.

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