By now, many business leaders have recognized that their customers need to make difficult decisions about budgets and which projects they’ll invest in. Because of this, many of the HubSpot customers we surveyed are adjusting their brand’s messaging to relate more to what their customers are going through right now.
“We’re embracing moral leadership by acknowledging the world is different, people are hurting and ensuring we’re being of service to our clients, their customers, and the front line workers helping to keep us safe and well,” Raj says. “We’re shifting our investment from advertising to empathy, philanthropy, facilitating community connection, and inspirational content.”
Meanwhile, Pereira explains, “In terms of our messaging, we’ve shifted focus to emphasize more of the WHY — not just our own WHY as a business, but the bigger WHY for our audience.”
“As a business that provides professional education programs and information products for writers, part of our job is to remind our audience that what they are doing matters,” Pereira shares. “It’s easy for writers to feel discouraged by current events, but stories matter. Art matters.”
“Yes, we’re all focused on survival right now — and rightly so — but books, stories, poetry, these are things that make us want to survive. Right now, part of our job at DIY MFA is to keep reminding writers that their work is important,” Pereira concludes.
Aside from pivoting marketing tactics, the business leaders we spoke to are hyper-focused on improving the customer experience in order to retain the clients.
To boost the customer experience and adapt to the current landscape, those we spoke to are using tactics such as bringing company events online, discounted products or services, and investing in general customer experience improvements.
“We’re tweaking some of our product priorities and building offerings that coalesce with solving for the business fallout in front of our customers,” says Patrick Campbell, ProfitWell‘s Founder and CEO.
Campbell adds, “The positioning of our product from pure revenue growth or churn mitigation is shifting slightly to a more defensive posture to focus on helping businesses curtail losses and retain customers longer. We’re being more nuanced in our targeting within the market at large.”
As companies determine which services are too expensive for their budgets right now, some of our business leaders say their brands are offering discounts to lessen potential financial burdens and please their customers.
“Our revenue comes mostly from online programs and our team has always worked remotely, so in terms of our day-to-day operations and overall strategy, not much has changed,” Pereira explains. “At the same time, we are also very aware that for many people in our audience circumstances have turned upside down and that they will likely have to cut back on their spending. We’re shifting our focus to offer more options at lower price points to accommodate people’s tighter budgets.”
Aside from offering discounts, some companies are also tweaking services or products they offer to be more valuable to clients impacted by the global pandemic.
“Our strategies reflect the ways in which we can add value in the current environment,” says Srinivasan. “We’re providing resources in the form of survey templates organizations can copy and deploy, regularly refreshed consumer sentiment research across several countries and discounts for educators and nonprofits.”
“We’re also reaching out to our enterprise customers more frequently, providing transparency and links to resources as well as finding out how we can support them,” Srinivasan adds.
When it comes to marketing, sales, and service, HubSpot customers say their companies are trying to embrace empathy more than ever.
For example, sales or service reps might call clients to check in on how they’re doing rather than upselling them.
In some cases, showing empathy could even involve choosing not to pursue a lead that might be struggling at this time.
“We had to be more thoughtful when we were reaching out to prospects and opportunities,” Horner says. “We separated each industry and created an outline of the new challenges they might be facing and the solutions they might be looking for. In some industries, we quickly realized that we no longer offered solutions they need right now and we decided to send them a quick and thoughtful message but did not follow up on any sales opportunities.”
Horner adds, “In other industries, we realized their needs have likely shifted so we repositioned our approach when reaching out to them. Most importantly, we opened up most of our conversations by acknowledging the current crisis.”
Here’s an example of an email that Horner’s team might send to follow up with a customer or prospect at this time:
When it comes to empathizing with customers, Raj explains that “this is a time to be our best selves.”
“Our families, neighbors, and customers need more from us,” Raj says. “They don’t need to be sold to, they need to be heard and supported.”
“We’re all in customer support. We’re all in service to others. We always have been, but the world needs more from us now. They need us to put humanity above profitability.” Raj concludes.
Overall, companies are spending less time and money on audience growth, while investing more in boosting the customer experience, providing value to their target audience, and empathizing with clients and prospects that might be making incredibly difficult decisions.
To help our own customers and audiences, we’re creating and regularly updating a number of posts and resources — including this piece — to better inform businesses in this uncertain time.
For further information related to the global pandemic and its resulting economic landscape, here’s a quick list of recently published blog posts and online resources:
Disclaimer: This blog post is meant as a basic resource and not a comprehensive guide. We will regularly update it to add more information as it becomes available.
Originally published Apr 23, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated April 23 2020