As I’m sure you can imagine, over the last few weeks we’ve had a lot of customers reaching out to us at Tech Pro Marketing to ask some variation of the same basic question: “… what do we do now?” Which is a fair question to ask right now.
The current pandemic has impacted businesses of all types, often in ways few of us could have ever predicted. People are worried about keeping their organizations operational and finding ways to keep the lights on — things like “marketing” are naturally falling further down the list of priorities.
I’ve had more than a few customers take that next step and ask me whether they should even be marketing at all right now. People are concerned that it might be insensitive, or that it might come off as too “salesy.”
After taking some time to try to really wrap my head around the situation, I DO have an answer to that last question in particular. In my opinion, the answer is a firm “yes.”
You should keep marketing your business right now — just not necessarily in the way you’ve always done it. Navigating the rough waters of the current pandemic (or any other major event, for that matter) requires a unique approach — one that is certainly worth further exploration.
Red light marketing tactics: physical events
Obviously, there are certain types of marketing tactics that just aren’t in the cards right now… mostly because you are legally prohibited from doing them. Trade shows are pretty much off the table for the foreseeable future. With so many cancellations having taken place in the last few weeks, even when the current situation is over, there’s no telling how long it will take the season’s schedule to get “back to normal” in a way you can depend on.
Likewise, any type of physical event like a “Lunch and Learn” or participating in a local chamber of commerce meeting is not going to happen. Even if these events ARE allowed in certain areas, they’re usually limited to 10 people or less at a time. Finally, for the safety of everyone around you, face-to-face meetings are not a good idea right now — if you were even able to find someone willing to participate.
If your MSP is the type of business that has historically depended on these types of techniques from a marketing POV, the change is going to hit you pretty hard, if it hasn’t already. But that’s okay, because necessity is the mother of invention — meaning that there are replacement techniques that you should be considering to make up for some of those holes in your campaigns.
Yellow light marketing tactics: cold outreach
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re all in this together. Now is the time to reaffirm your customers with outreach-based marketing.
Don’t be afraid to send existing and even new prospects a friendly email message or a LinkedIn connection request — just adjust your messaging while you do it. Now is the time when a “Help First” message truly matters.
Let people know that you empathize with them and that you understand what they’re going through. You’re a business owner, too — so if there is anything you can do to help get them back on their feet, they shouldn’t hesitate to reach out.
You’d be shocked by how much good-will a genuine “don’t worry, I’m here for you” message will be able to buy once all this is over. Not that this is the main reason to do it — actually helping people should be your number one priority.
Green light marketing techniques: full steam ahead
Finally, we arrive at those unobtrusive marketing techniques like SEO, PPC, Google Ads, and others — those that help the people who are literally already searching for you to find you easier than ever. These are the tactics you need to be doubling down on right now.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing these types of tactics — especially now. It’s a great time to gain visibility for people who need you the most. If someone thinks you can help them stay afloat during these difficult times, they need to be able to find you to make a connection as quickly as possible. Search engine optimization and related techniques are the perfect opportunity to help them — and you — accomplish exactly that.
Truth be told, I really think that the lessons we’re all in the process of learning during COVID-19 are going to continue to play a role in our lives for quite a while. Not only are businesses experiencing an almost unprecedented level of disruption, but we’re all going through this experience together. That, in a way, might be the silver lining to all of this – the fact that not only are we collectively going to get through it, but there’s a very real chance we’ll come out all the better for it on the other side.
So the next time something significant happens like this — be it another pandemic, a financial recession, or something that isn’t even on our radar yet — we’ll at the very least have that rock-solid foundation we just created to build from moving forward.
Yes, you may be losing customers — we all are. Some of them might go out of business. But it’s still your responsibility as a business owner to make sure that you keep your organization running (and profitable) as much as possible.
If you’re losing customers, you’ll still need to replace them. Even though it may feel like you want to stop spending on marketing at this time, that isn’t going to help you in the long run. Marketing is ultimately what is going to help us all get through this. It’s also what will help us prosper in the “brave new world” we’re likely to find ourselves in.
We’re open for business
At Tech Pro Marketing we’re committed to helping our clients sustain and grow, and new leads for managed services providers have already started to come in as early as last week. Personally, I’m going to be sharing more content about how our businesses can adapt and how we can become better MSP marketers and do the most important thing of all — help other businesses succeed and thrive.
Every day, we use creative technology to uncover new and innovative ways to get our messages out about the solutions we have available. Regardless of what’s going on in the world, that hasn’t changed. With the right approach, we can all buckle down and make sure that it never will.
If this is a topic you’d like to continue discussing, great — it’s a conversation that needs to be had over the next few months, and I’m sure it’s going to continue to evolve with the the current situation. Reach out and send me a connection request on LinkedIn because at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.
Photo: Mike Flippo / Shutterstock