How to re-evaluate your business to be a viable solution for customers during Covid-19
As soon as a business is hit by external factors like market conditions, the first thing considered to be cut is “Marketing”. This knee jerk reaction from business owners is a quick fire way to batten down the hatches. In order to brace for a period of uncertainty, costs need to be reduced and revenue protected. In actuality, the intelligent move would not necessarily be to cut marketing costs. Instead, take a step back and calmly consider what the markets needs.
Taking this approach can allow you to re-evaluate your position as a supplier. Instead, you will be able to consider economic downturns as opportunities to evolve, as opposed to threats that shatter. Working within a B2B SEO agency environment proves to be ideal when reflecting on these points! So it's fair to say, its wise to consider the following points for SEO, PPC or Content Marketing revisions you intend to make.
How much risk you are at of your operations shrinking/ being affected
In a downturn, you have to manage your own business through turbulent times. Considering your own risk profile is key in having confidence in continuing to operate and invest in new customer acquisition. Model your financials and consider the impact against your products and services. Can you continue to operate through the downturn with little to no negative impact? Go through this process and be informed. Embrace it with optimism as best as possible, and use it to inform your direction ahead.
How relevant your products/services are to the current climate
We have found that our PPC services were not a viable solution for many businesses due to its nature. Many clients paused PPC activity as buying habits had diminished at the beginning of Lockdown. Now that we are coming out of the curfew, and shops are opening again, PPC spend is on the rise. During the lockdown, we did not advise on PPC as a viable route for businesses to invest in. Instead, we focused on the benefits of SEO and how this channel will help them to get through the pandemic. When demand returns, they could in fact be ready for new customers. Giving this advice as a specialist B2B SEO Agency meant customers and prospects listened, and were able to take action.
In this scenario, it would be really ideal to evaluate your portfolio. Consider their suitability to your customers and don’t be shy about shelving irrelevant products or services!
How effective you are as a supplier
During a buoyant market, you may be a great supplier that is easy to deal with and provides great customer services. As a B2B SEO agency, we've found our form of communication predominantly lies within Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc. This pandemic has changed the every day norm in one very big way, everyone has had to reside at home and utilise tools such as Zoom to connect with other people. Was your business setup to operate digitally/remotely? Was it a challenge for you to transition your processes and business to work in this new way? Evaluate the effectiveness of your business in this down turn and consider how you can continue to be effective as a suppler going forward.
If your pricing structure is viable
Our learnings from a B2B SEO agency is that your pricing structure in this climate, can be your downturn. Budgets are potentially not what they were for many customer segments. In order to remain effective, you may need to review your pricing structure to ensure its viable. Consider your competitors, if you talk ask what their strategy is. Or simply visit their websites to see what they are doing. Temporary rate card or temporary offers are a simple way to help customers still buy from you, without affecting your long term pricing strategy.
Who your target audience is now
Depending on your business review, you may identify that your target audiences are no longer who they used to be. Consider other markets and other audience profiles and if you can repurpose or repackage your offering to cater for them during a downturn, you may have identified a new segment which can remain when the economy picks back up again. Reviewing your target audience consistently can prove to be really effective, from a B2B SEO agency perspective, this can help distinguish the CTR's from the conversions.
What does customer commitment look like?
Commitment is tough for most businesses, however during a downturn it is even more critical that businesses not be tied into lengthy contracts. Review commitment requests and consider whether they are a significant barrier to dealing with you and if they need to be adapted during a downturn. If you offer annual contracts, switch to rolling contracts and see if this positively impacts your win rate.
Following these ideas will allow you to evaluate your business in a structure that will mean you have a list of productive actions that can help you ensure your business stays viable and relevant during an economic downturn. Our experience within a B2B SEO Agency has shown to be a great way to gain exposure into business' behavioural patterns.
Polaris is an award-winning B2C and B2B SEO agency in London specialising e-commerce, B2B and the healthcare industry.