Marketing Housekeeping During CMCO – 5 Tips for SMEs

So here we are again.

Another lockdown, albeit less restrictive, yet still is a cause for concern for the majority of businesses in the Klang Valley.

The economy is being pummelled with the 3rd wave and quite frankly the numbers are scary. The only positive is that the hotspots are isolated, but only time will tell if they are under control.

It’s strange that less than a year ago we were nonchalantly shaking hands, socialising in packed restaurants and jetting-off on our well-deserved vacations. And now we just sit around wondering if this sore throat was from too much iced water, or something more sinister.

But we shouldn’t wallow in despair. Even in a CMCO, which invariably results in some downtime for most business, it’s important to have a routine – no matter how pointless it seems.

Marketing Housekeeping

If it’s not business-as-usual, perhaps we can take the opportunity to do some marketing housekeeping, especially for cash-strapped SMEs that need to make full use of their resources.

There are countless initiatives that can be undertaken from a marketing perspective to clear the cobwebs, re-direct and refresh. And here are the top 5:

Optimise Your Website
A lot of businesses just build website, launch it, and then forget about it. But serious businesses in the digital age are constantly tweaking and improving, because they know web optimisation is neither an overnight nor finite process. Start a blog, work on backlinks or at least refresh some of the content, lot’s can be done.

Create a Social Content Backlog
In the era of too much content, we often struggle to develop engaging content for our own social media channels amidst chaos of daily demands. Use the downtime to create a stream of relevant content – customer pain points and specific needs are thought starters. And you don’t need to use them right away, it’s a content backlog for future use when things recover

Sync Your Sales & Marketing Teams
If you have a Sales and a Marketing team, then there’s always room to get them working together towards a common goal. The efforts of these two teams need to be aligned; leading to a peaceful, results-oriented coexistence. I have written at length about this in a previous post that you can read here.

Revamp All Business-critical Comms
How often have you received an e-mail – especially in B2B engagements – that felt like it was written by an 8-year old? Audit all your typical outward communications to customers, suppliers and associates and make sure they are all well-written and free of typos. This is important to exude credibility and gain confidence; there are no two ways about it.

Explore an Alternate Customer-base
If your regular leads channel or customer stream seem to have reduced to a trickle, don’t sit around waiting for miracles. No enquiries or orders on your website? Go into social media group and engage in discussions. Walk-ins all but non-existent? Do deliveries, allow to order and pick-up or reactivate dormant customers. Move on, or risk being moved over.

The list above is basic but can get you started right away with little or no outside help. Often it takes just a bit of cleaning-up to help your business de-clutter, envision with clarity and uncover untapped markets.

For now, let’s hope there will not be an extension of this darned CMCO. Happy marketing housekeeping!

 

Why So Emo, Copywriter?

You know, as a copywriter I have always felt that my profession very much resembles our day-to-day, emotion-filled lives.

I mean, the copywriting art of creating intent and thereafter convincing is certainly a skill that is needed in everyday life.

This starts very early in our lives, and right up to our senior years. Some examples:

Asking our parents to let us stay up a little longer
Convincing our siblings that there’s a monster under the bed
Influencing the teacher that it’s the other kid’s fault
Telling your friend that it’s cool to smoke this
Sweet-talk a girl/guy to go out with you
Get an employer to hire you
Persuade the bank that you’re good for it
Warning your kids not to stay up a little longer
Making your kids to get to the bed before the monster does

And these are just broadstrokes. There are countless little acts of convincing that needs to happen every single days of our lives – be it with ourselves or others – to have some semblance of being a functioning human being.

Just like convincing people to purchase, we don’t always get our way. There are failures and rejections to contend with – and most of the time it depends on the emotional connection with other person.

Emotions matter, because we want the recipient to be in a trusting, comfortable and accepting mood if we were to have any success.

Emotional Copywriter
Make the right emotional connection, or it’s eggs on your face!

Think about the last time you willingly agreed to do something.

Let’s say for instance you were asked to dine in a place that you know is average, yet overpriced. But you still agreed.

Did you feel compelled to say yes because you’re such a nice person? Or was it because you were emotionally invested to the person making the request?

Like if my wife asked me to do something I don’t really want to do (don’t get any funny ideas), I’d still probably do it – that’s being emotionally invested, and also so I can earn extra brownie points.

Apparently, being emotionally invested makes you less critical and objectively observant. Love is the greatest emotional investment – think about all the things you did for family, good friends and loved ones… it probably didn’t take too much convincing.

Buying gifts for your nearest and dearest is an emotion-filled task as well, where budget or inconvenience are not prime concerns.

But what if there is no emotional connection, as with life’s other activities? As a copywriter, convincing strangers to purchase a product or service is often devoid of any emotion.

Perhaps chemistry has the answer.

You see, there are a few chemicals we can try to trigger – in our intended targets’ brains – that can alter their emotional state to be more, well, ‘receptive’.

Be it from a copywriter or a salesperson, inducing these chemicals can be the difference between ignoring the message or taking action.

  1. Dopamine
    Improves focus, motivation and memory with an all-round, feel-good factor. Induced by building suspense and leaving things to the imagination with a cliff-hanger. Think teaser ad campaigns and movie trailers as real-world examples. Good e-Mail marketers also use this strategy – where a potent, well-crafted prose leads to a video or landing page. 
  1. Oxytocin
    Builds trust, nurtures generosity and improved bonding. Induced by weaving empathy into the storyline. Those UNICEF, WWF or SPCA campaigns usually take this route, to get you feeling all warm and fuzzy, making you more willing to donate. 
  1. Endorphin
    Makes people laugh and automatically puts them in a good, open and comfortable mood. Think ice-breakers in client presentations or a funny quote to start an e-Mail copy. This funny business is a bit mischievous though, use sparingly or you will end up looking not-so-credible. Great for memes, but not always for marketing communications.

So the next time you encounter a marketing content that spoke to your soul – be it a sponsored post, blog article or video – it’s probably one of the chemicals above at work.

And possibly thanks to a copywriter going all emo to make that soul-warming connection.

The key ideas for this post was based on a TedTalk by David JP Phillips on the science of storytelling. Pretty interesting if you’re into that kind of stuff.