2020 AMPLIFIED THE NEED FOR MARKETING (AND WE WERE READY)
As the lockdown began and everyone (including us) began working from home and struggling through all the challenges that came with it, we saw a shift that rippled throughout the world. That shift changed the way we interact, do business, create and innovate. The days and weeks and months that followed would continue to show us that marketing couldn’t stop. Instead, it needed to step up to the challenge and work to not only inform but inspire.
Our team amazingly never missed a beat. One day we were all working next to one another and the next day we were all creating our own home office spaces and scheduling Zoom brainstorming sessions.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve stepped up in new ways and learned new lessons along the way. Here are a few we wanted to highlight from 2020:
Stood Beside A Local Health Department As Pandemic Ramped Up
Right before COVID-19 hit the US, we were in the process of building Pennyrile District Health Department’s new website. At the time, we were beginning to hear whispers of the impact this virus could have, but we never imagined the changes we would see in just a few short weeks.
So, as the website launched, so did their initiative to begin reaching 5 counties with accurate pandemic information. We were able to come alongside them to write articles and share state guidelines to help combat the deluge of false information found across the web.
One thing we were impressed with though was that they didn’t forget about the other issues that were important to their community’s overall health. They continued to provide services and information to their county residents. One of the initiatives we were able to focus on was in building a digital campaign around helping people quit tobacco.
Working with them this year reminded us that, even in a pandemic, we can’t neglect the original needs in health or in business. To keep moving forward we may have to shift priorities, but our ultimate ‘why’ must continue driving us.
Message & Campaign Pivoted As Needs Shifted
We’ve worked with Cook Portable Warehouses since 2013 and witnessed them tackle any challenge that comes their way. At first, the lockdown forced them to halt business, but when they were able to open back up, they saw not only an increase in sales, but a boom. In response, they discovered that lead generation wasn’t a priority for them in the short-term, but what they really needed were more employees.
So, we continued lead generation techniques at a smaller scale and focused our attention on a recruitment campaign.
Marketing goals can take many different shapes and we were reminded, yet again, that recruitment is one of the biggest challenges organizations face. Never underestimate the power marketing can play in your whole business.
Creativity Shined From Home
Our team was stuck at home for a short time, but that didn’t stop the creativity. Everyone on the web was talking doom and gloom, and we took it as an opportunity to shift the narrative. We decided since no one could have real Easter egg hunts or even Easter get-togethers, we’d bring a little festive touch to one of our client’s websites and social media presence. We built a digital easter egg hunt for Signet Federal Credit Union.
But, we didn’t stop there. Once they found the egg, they were entered into a drawing. Plus, we took the opportunity to ask a few questions that we funneled into blogs and social media posts for the next few months.
We were challenged to think past the pandemic narrative and focus on giving local customers a moment of reprieve. When we open ourselves up, marketing can become art the world needs.
A New Client, A Pandemic & A New Campaign
The year began by conducting market research for a new client, Stroud Safety. They’re a top drag racing safety company that produces fire systems, seat belts, fire suits, and parachutes for racers around the world.
We used what we learned from research to design a marketing plan that included social media, digital advertising, videography, photography and a brand new website. In just a few months (no matter the pandemic), we’ve been able to connect Stroud with more than 5,000 people via social media and email. This is what can happen when you allow brand/industry research to guide strategy and design. It gives you the tools you need to optimize results and allow the brand to show up strong for their customers.
As a new client we were a little nervous to see just how impactful we could be for them in 2020, but it reinforced for us the importance of research paired with the right creative team. Our digital campaigns and website build help Stroud to not only stand out, but stand with their racing followers.
Inspired Local Businesses To Keep Thinking Forward
In March, we all socially distanced ourselves around the room and discussed the way each of our clients might need to pivot their marketing during this time. Then, we explored our own marketing. What did we have to offer in a time where small businesses faced uncertainty?
It didn’t feel like much at the time, but out of that meeting came a vision for a way to inspire local businesses. We built an entire packet of material to help them not focus solely on the uncertainty of today, but to keep thinking forward. We wrote multiple articles and built a guided worksheet to help them dream in-spite of their current reality of layoffs/furloughs and lockdown regulations.
CEO Todd Duff signed the packet off like this, “Don’t freeze. Instead, dream and think bigger than you have before. Business leader to business leader, I’m here for you if you want to chat.”
As the pandemic rages on, we still encourage business owners and leaders to take a look at our guide and keep thinking forward as 2021 begins. You can find it here.
If you’re nervous about what 2021 will bring for your business, understand that we believe marketing is one piece of the answer. People are doing business in brand new ways and we want to help you see that as an exciting opportunity and not a death sentence for your business. Want to chat about it? Just give us a call!