Samantha Reid Aviña | Gallery Design Studio Editor + Copywriter
During uncertain times, consumers seek services and products that lower their risks and stress, address their social and economic insecurities, or offer a sense of community. "It's not business as usual, but it's still business." This old adage has never been truer.
There are two critical questions B2B businesses must ask themselves:
Finding the right balance of words and intent is always hard and in circumstances like these, the struggle can feel overwhelming.
You don't want to come across as too sales-y or ignore the elephant in the room. You do, however, need to continue marketing and selling your service offering, as your organization has employees to retain, partner contracts to fulfill, stakeholders to answer to.
So, what is the right thing to do?
Be clear and transparent
In a time of uncertainty, it is your job to instill confidence and clarity in your domain. Even when you don’t have all the answers, clearly communicating what you do know and how you intend to help is a great start to reduce anxiety and stress for clients, team members and partners.
Being clear is not only the right thing to do, but it's also good for business as it creates less friction, leading to better experiences for your customers and employees.
Stay up to date
As new developments arise it is vital that you iteratively update your messaging to reflect the most recent changes in your industry. Similar to the design process, your communication plan must be designed to be agile, responsive, and scalable to meet the needs of your organization and clients.
Build a communication framework
Build a communication framework where relevant parties can find the information they need, whether it's a website FAQ for your customers or a digital playbook for your team. You should be able to add information updates in one clear place, bringing peace of mind to your clients and team. Here is an example of what we've done, here is another example from Quickbooks and Zoom.
Communication with prospects & clients
Ask how your clients and prospects are doing and learn what their current biggest pain points are, then update your messaging to address their concerns.
For prospects, ask yourself: why should they begin paying for your service or product now? What added value do you offer to their lives and current situation? You might want to update your automated drip email campaigns since they were written at a different time and situation. Learn more about email marketing during COVID-19 here.
When addressing current clients, your message should reinforce the benefits your offerings bring to them and how it maintains their work at this time and in the future.
Pre-recorded explainer videos and webinars are a great way to deliver your new messaging. Learn more about preparing webinars here.
Communication with your team
It's important to be as clear as possible with your team in terms of deliverables and what is expected. Share short checklists or flyers on your company playbook or slack channel so that everybody has access. Every team member should understand their role in all ongoing projects and be able to easily access important information about the current situation and how it will affect projects and deadlines.
Clarity is not only a requisite for gaining new customers, retaining current ones, and managing your team, it is ultimately the key to creating great experiences both for customers and employees.
No matter the current situation, it’s important to remember the shifting nature of all industries. This too shall pass, so you need to be ready for after the bump, and not engage in short-sighted strategies. Designing a clear communications framework will help your team secure business and grow for years to come.
We help B2B marketing teams, in software, financial services, and healthcare, with their ongoing communication design needs. Conveying complex information clearly, concisely and in a visually engaging way.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Samantha is a copywriter at Gallery Design Studio. Samantha is passionate about using precise and evocative messaging to connect with clients. She has written for journals, online publications, and blogs.