26 Mar Revving Research in the Covid-19 Era
In a time of uncertainty and anguish, research is emerging as a valuable tool to help clients deal with the changing landscape of marketing. Most 2020 marketing plans and timelines are now obsolete, and marketers are looking at an uncertain future for the tried and true methods to reach customers. Well, at least within six feet of them, anyway.
This is an unprecedented time when millions are altering their professional lives to work from home; many are losing their jobs, Those that are still working, and doing so remotely, are finding themselves with fewer meetings, less water cooler talk, and more computer time. Time they’re using to look into qualitative and quantitative customer opinions, how they are changing and what needs to be done to reach customers in this new normal. Hopefully this time will be short, but offer profitable insights in trying times.
We’re finding a different, more personal landscape among customers. We’ve enacted three initiatives with our clients in horticulture, agriculture and building products to help gain deeper understanding and perspective from this changing business climate.
- 8-10 question omnibus surveys targeting customers. Time off and the boredom created by lockdowns are dramatically increasing response rates by 50 percent or more, shortening response time and decreasing the cost of response incentives. This is translating to accelerated access to qualitative and quantitative research data.
Action point: Focus on behavioral topics, not opinions. What do they need? What are they trying to solve?
- Reaching out to channel partners and prospects in a more personal way. Forget the flurry of webinar announcements and marketing automation emails. This is a simpler time when six feet of distance can disappear over the phone to create conversation, discussion and creative problem solving.
Action point: Pick up the phone and have a live conversation about what resources your channel partners need. Customers are answering and talking.
- Review the feedback among your company stakeholders. Discuss the impact this new information will have on your business in the near future and long-term.
Action point: Utilize customer and channel-partner feedback to inform your marketing plans, and develop market scenarios for implementation to reach customers in new and more meaningful ways.
Change. It’s not better or worse, just different. Be flexible, be open, be ready to shift your thinking and your approach to meet the needs of your customers in the here-and-now.