The opening session of this year’s CEO Education Series, titled “Revving Up Your Business After COVID-19,” featured Pierpont CEO Phil Morabito, along with host Joseph Tung and panelists Ralph D’Onfrio, Austin Tenette and Mark Miller, who discussed the topic of customer acquisition from four angles: thinking, modeling, marketing and sales.
Morabito mapped out recommended marketing activities in 10 digestible steps:
- Reevaluate your business – find out what your customers need right now, what is selling well for you, and which products or services have the biggest margins with the shortest sales cycle.
- Reshape your messaging – when everybody says the same thing, nobody says anything. Appeal to your customers’ needs, strike a chord and be bold, and give customers what they want; they are hungry for answers, guidance and solutions. By reshaping your message, you can better focus on what your customers really need.
- Narrow your targets – don’t try to market to everybody because you won’t have the resources. Break your targets down into categories (geographic, industry or a specialty that you provide), and focus your time, money and effort towards that area.
- Develop a tight marketing plan – look at everything you’ve done and consolidate it into a short-term plan that will get you through the current situation. For example, plan for the next 90 to 120 days.
- Utilize hard hitting, immediate resulting tactics – you must be visible while others are invisible. Use these in abundance: webinars, media, social media, email marketing, database touching, website, SEO and pay-per-click.
- Work with your existing (and past) customers – people are receptive to being reached out to and touched right now because many of them have been working from home. Identify niches of potential customers that you could pursue and ask current customers who else you can meet (contacts they know inside and outside their company).
- Spend money (as hard as it is) – again, you want to be visible when everyone else is invisible. If your margins are between 20-40 percent, you should normally be spending 2-8 percent of gross sales. Consider spending more if you can because every dollar will get you more during a recession, and your competitors likely won’t be doing so.
- Stay the course – it will benefit you in the long run. Many people start valuable activities but end up dropping them; you need to give your actions a long enough time to work out.
- Evaluate what’s working and double down – if you’re getting good results on the web, then spend more money on the web, etc.
- Know that things will get better…they always do! – companies who spend time, money and effort in a focused way will greatly benefit during these periods as the economy comes back.
About the Author: Jack Holmes is an intern at Pierpont Communications, who provides PR and marketing solutions to clients in energy, healthcare, retail and more. Since joining the Pierpont team in January 2020, he has supported the firm and our clients with efforts in public relations, public affairs, marketing and social media, digital content creation, and crisis management.