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The Bridge over troubled water

by | Jun 15, 2020

When JFK said: “In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognise the opportunity,” he could have been talking about right now. These last few months have put incredible strain on the economy, upended society as we knew it, and brought tragedy to more people’s doorsteps than any of us could ever imagine.

As you read this, businesses throughout the world are attempting to adopt new workplace practices and reach for solutions that will enable them to survive. However, survival will only get you so far. With the right approach, and the right people on your side, it is possible to not just survive this current crisis, but to come out of it stronger and more successful.

Believe me, my team at the Bridge Marketing have also been learning to adapt, all while steering our local and national clients through these choppy and murky waters. We have gone from strategic marketing professionals to crisis management experts overnight.

We have implemented robust internal and external communications strategies, re-focussed marketing campaigns and worked hard to ensure we (and our clients) are primed for the inevitable bounce back.

It is not easy, but we believe effective marketing strategies are a vital tool in the armoury for any business that wishes to stay strong and reach further during this pandemic.

Engineering resilience for a national-scale construction consultancy

One of our key clients, a civil and structural engineering business, were ramping up their marketing effort for a large push at the back end of 2019. At that point, we were leading them towards maintaining a solid marketing presence that would cement their rep and build their brand recognition.

As Covid swept in, we adapted to the sudden shift by focussing on internal comms. We created a campaign focussed on protecting and informing the team, with an empathetic and understanding approach to the restrictions and strains that working from home would bring to staff.

This included:

  • A Mailchimp campaign designed to share new policies and wellbeing advice to home-based staff.
  • A mid-term goal of creating an intranet for employees to access vital daily updates. This also kept furloughed staff in the loop, so they could stay updated as the situation changed. Which it did, regularly.
  • Guideline copy, advice packs and a training plan focussed on professional development for furloughed staff to upgrade their skills.

We delivered this at speed, in weeks from crisis meeting to roll out, which included presentations and practical exercises via MS Teams.

All the strands were woven together to motivate, inspire and improve our client’s progress. And we even managed to create a weekly social group for colleagues to catch up over a drink!

Cutting to the chase with a local hairdresser

Our local award-winning boutique hairdresser client has been contending with the reality of a long-term shutdown, and the uncertainty of how social distancing will affect their business moving forwards.

An early (remote) crisis meeting at the start of lockdown looked at our current digital marketing plan and revised it to emphasise the promotion of the health and wellbeing of their clients during the lockdown.

From there, we delivered articles and blogs on health & wellbeing, hair care, DIY beauty treatments, and professional tips for covering up those pesky grey hairs!

Together we created a national campaign ‘We are back, but not in black’, encouraging hairdressers and beauty workers across the UK to come back to work wearing bright colours, celebrating the end of lockdown.  This campaign has been picked up by TV, alongside national, local and trade press. The campaign continues to go from strength to strength, with many salons across the UK signing up to the initiative.

Putting the right client in the right place at the right time

One of the clients we have whose products were perfectly designed for a lockdown is a local business telephony and communications provider.

As lockdown arrived, we wasted no time creating a marketing strategy to react to the demand for increased bandwidth and VoIP technology.

We swiftly launched a digital marketing campaign to promote VoIP technology as a benefit for remote workers during Covid-19, reaching out the many businesses who suddenly needed this technology to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

We also created a PR campaign, with support from local press, promoting a reduction in rates for new and current clients during the crisis.

Gearing up for the big comeback

As we tentatively come out of lockdown, every business will need to adjust forecasts for 2020. We have advised our clients throughout that they should gear themselves to come back smarter and stronger.

For every business, marketing strategies will need to be revised, but they should not be reduced. Now is the time to work with your marketing partner to explore ways to take advantage of this situation and look for opportunities and weaknesses. And the best way to do this is with a strategic marketing plan, and a team of marketers ready to adapt to a changing situation.

Are you ready to plan for more than survival? Take a look at our website or call us today.