Guest blog: Kerry Lewis-Stevenson, Lunar Publishing 
I have always believed that marketing must be positive - and that’s more important now than ever. 
While some people have simply stopped marketing during these uncertain times, I’m certain that those who make a commitment to their customers and engage with them positively will be more resilient and go on to achieve great things. 
What are your marketing priorities? 
Mapp carried out a survey about marketing priorities, challenges, industry trends, planned investments, and the way the pandemic has accelerated use of ecommerce. More than 1,000 marketers from the UK, Germany, and Italy were included. 
It’s no surprise that digital channels have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. More than half of the companies that responded to the survey have increased their investment in digital marketing technology. 
However, while everyone is focussing on new channels and how to make them work for their business, it’s also important to think about another lesson that we have learnt recently – how important it is to empathise with our audiences. 
Making it personal 
You can reach out to your audience via your social media business page and, depending on your business, you can sell to them directly from Facebook, for example. Alternatively, you can use the ecommerce functionality of your website
However, more than six out of 10 businesses are struggling to make sense of the information they can collect about their customers online to help them deliver more personal experiences. 
Engaging your customers 
While all things digital will allow you to reach new people when you treat each of them as an individual you will increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. 
With so many people now working from home, our publications – NN Pulse and MK Pulse magazines, Northamptonshire’s Business Times, and Business MK – are being delivered directly to their door. If they are on our subscription list their copy will be addressed directly to them. 
In many cases they will take time out from their busy schedule to relax and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee (or tea), giving you an opportunity to speak directly to them in that quiet moment. 
It’s the ideal time to invite them to a virtual event or to look at a video if you can’t visit them in person. It’s one step closer to them emailing or calling you. 
You can make them a special offer specifically tailored to that moment for new home office furniture or a massage to ease their ‘desk-shaped’ back. Just give them the name and number of the person waiting to take their call. 
Use a quick response (QR) code in your printed advertisement to take them straight to a dedicated promotional page on your website with a unique offer. When they visit the page, you will know exactly why they have responded. 
You can even make simple changes month after month, to see what works best for your audience. 
All these techniques will allow you to quickly build a direct person to person relationship with your customers to complement your digital channels. 
Trusted brands 
Whether you are in retail (B2C) or have a business to business (B2B) company, it’s important to remember that people are looking for brands they can trust. They want to feel that you know and understand them. To convert occasional customers in to loyal long-term ambassadors and referrers you will want to use all your online and offline channels to make them feel like part of your family 
We believe that the years we have spent delivering positive content and building a strong reputation in the local community is a benefit to our readers and advertisers. 
We provide information about the places where people live and work, which are high priorities for them. 
We are passionate about printed content, which is as relevant as it has always been. Research shows that people are more likely to trust and remember the things they read in printed media. Importantly, this level of trust rubs off on our readers’ perception of the advertisements they see. 
If you would like to know more about how print advertising can complement your digital marketing, please get in touch. 
About Kerry-Lewis Stevenson – Kerry is Director of Lunar Publishing, which is shortlisted for this year’s MK and Buckinghamshire SME Enterprising Business of the Year Award. Kerry is a qualified graphic designer and marketer and has been running successful local businesses since 2006. 
Tagged as: Guest Blog
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