It can be easy for brand owners to lose focus on the fundamental of brand communication in the midst of a global pandemic. That’s understandable, as companies around the globe are fighting for their survival and doing everything they can just to keep the lights on.
But, as the world starts to emerge from under the shadow of Covid-19 and economic activity resumes at a meaningful level, a few things will set the companies apart that survive and go on to thrive from those that don’t. One of the biggest factors will be how they communicate with their customers during the crisis and in its immediate aftermath.
Speaking on this development, brands and marketing analyst, Gbenga Maxwell said; “even when economic conditions are good, the companies who communicate best with their customers are the ones which perform best. After all, communication drives customer engagement. And engaged customers come with serious benefits. They are six times more likely to try a new product or service from their preferred brand; four times more likely to have referred a brand to their friends, family and connections; and twice as likely to make a purchase with their preferred brand, even when a competitor has a better product or price.”
According to him, by building engagement and trust, companies also build loyalty and returning customers routinely spend more money on brands they’re loyal to. Research also shows that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 per cent. By contrast, the probability of selling to a new potential customer is just five to 20 per cent. Even more significantly, 80 per cent of a business’ future profits will come from just 20 per cent of its existing customers.”
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“In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis and the economic turmoil surrounding it, loyalty is only going to become more important. Finding new customers right now (unless you’re Zoom or Netflix) is next to impossible”, he added.
Also speaking, a marketing analyst, Pwano Fred pointed out that, “as money generally becomes tighter, people will inevitably look to cut back on spending. The last brands they’ll cut back on are those that have engendered their trust and loyalty. These will also be the brands that have communicated with them consistently and effectively throughout the crisis.”
For him, “and in order for customer communication to be effective, it cannot simply exist for its own sake. Now, more than ever, companies need to ensure that any communication they send their customers is relevant and hyper-personalised.”
“With people spending more time at home, with more time to read anything sent to them, they’re far less likely to be forgiving of any communication that doesn’t appeal to them. The wrong communication to the wrong person, on a wrong day, may end up costing you a customer. That’s something no company can afford at a time when every customer is vital.”
“But it’s also important that companies focus on communicating with their customers where they are. Now, more than ever, that means communicating with them on their mobile phones. As things were prior to the pandemic, 98 per cent of all SMSes are opened and, on average, it takes someone 90 seconds to respond to an SMS versus 20 per cent and 90 minutes for email. With more people at home now, spending more time on their mobile devices, any communication you send out on that medium is likely to receive more attention than it would otherwise”, he added.
By Godwin Anyebe, Daily Times