Entrepreneur Advice

In times of crisis, survival strategies move to the forefront and triumph over any marketing efforts for most startups. However, startups should not ignore marketing efforts that will help maintain market share and aid in growth, if done correctly.

Here are tips for startups on how to market their companies, in light of the ongoing crisis.

Firstly, create specific target audiences and personas

Few businesses have actually formalized their target audience database, let alone, built one. Now is the time to start building and refining the target audiences, as well as target personas. Explore what your target audiences are interested in and what are they thinking and feeling in this current situation. Then segment them based on common interests and adapt your messaging accordingly. If you can offer free advice, expertise or health tips, then do it. If you are aware that a target segment is in dire need for your services, but is unaware how to get started, promote it.

Potential clients want more information

Clients are on the prowl for more information and will conduct extensive research before making any purchase. This is even more prevalent, during the tough economic situation in Lebanon and across the region. Transactions, especially in Lebanon may be at a minimum now. However, this should not deter your efforts to share your story with your target markets and be present online.

Be very, very present

We all know that saying, ‘out of sight, is out of mind.’ Now is the time to work on your visibility and ensure that your customers know you are still here – or a competitor will. Enhancing customer relationship management becomes vital. A simple quick hello, a message / email asking how they are, or even a complementary gift with every order could go a long way.

In addition, gather insights and data from the analytics on your social media pages and website. With the data you compile, tailor your marketing strategy to answer their specific needs. Acquiring new customers in such difficult times is already a challenge. But retaining them should be your focal point now.

Become indispensable, by building habits

While people have shifted to buying only necessities, if they perceive an added value in your brand, they will most likely make the purchase. Therefore, entrepreneurs need to showcase the value of their brand, specifically in tough times. This translates into designing and influencing the habits of your target markets. The companies in the market that are succeeding in this sphere are in the food delivery business (adapting and adding services to facilitate every possible need for clients), workout Apps (offering their services for free and encouraging people to become healthier), as well as digital payment solutions (creating the habit of steering away from cash-dominant societies).

Think about what kind of behavior you would like your audiences to adopt and how can you turn it into a habit?

If you find it challenging to tap into the mindset of your customers, take a step back and reflect… if I were in their shoes, what would I want to know about? What would entice me to make a purchase?

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