This has been a year of change for all companies and all industries. Marketers have had to be quick on their feet—with even faster fingers on their keyboards—to keep up. And if you’ve been among those who have even slightly managed to keep it together during this time, then you deserve a big congratulations!
However, we have to point out that there’s another big shift on the horizon. That might sound like bad news, but it’s actually best to start talking about it now. That’s because the people who are best prepared for it are going to come out on top.
Once the massive changes to business caused by the coronavirus pandemic end, or if they’re permanently addressed and successfully integrated into the way we do work, then we’re going to have to change our marketing strategies all over again. Temporary, reactive, and emergency messaging is all going to have to switch to more standardized language, or return to whatever it used to be: For example, safety procedures for visiting an in-person location, how to return a product that was ordered online, or updates about organizational changes.
Have you been tracking all of the changes that you’ve made to your internal and external workflows, messaging, projects, and protocols during this time? Many people haven’t. And that means that backtracking and making timely corrections is going to get increasingly difficult.
The more changes that occur as we adapt to the fluctuating business landscape, the more complicated this might be. And we all know that effective communication can be hard enough without potentially introducing contradictory language on various platforms.
Right now is a good enough time to begin tracking changes to your marketing, content, and comms if those changes were influenced by the pandemic. Even a simple spreadsheet is good enough to get started.
Usually, we don’t focus a lot on change management in marketing. But there is an art to effective change management, as well. It involves getting ahead of yourself to save time and avoid mistakes later. And while this year has made it impossible to get ahead of anything, because it’s been way too atypical for anyone to predict, that doesn’t mean you can’t start now.
Because there’s one thing we know to be true: Consistency with branding and voice is always key. But accuracy with facts and logic is also important for maintaining customer and client trust.
Here are a few ideas to get started: Make a list of the emails you’ve sent out with notifications about the pandemic and business operations. Are any of these emails automated responses? Did they replace previous messaging that might need to switch back (and was the former language preserved)? Has anything else been placed on pause that might need to be reactivated? Now, what social media posts have you created with pandemic-related updates? Have you created any collateral with quarantine-related language (even if it’s something vague, like “in these uncertain times”)? Where is this type of language present on your website—the blog, the homepage, the footer? Anywhere else?
Get this list going and you’ll soon have a grasp on the way that the novel coronavirus has impacted your outbound messaging, and the legwork that might be involved to remove it or change it back expediently in the future, when it’s appropriate.
For marketing-style change management tips, and savvy strategies to track your changes going forward, simply get in touch with the team at Mad 4 Marketing.