Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to talk to customers when times have changed

Here's a good article from HBR on how to talk to customers (when you don't know what to say). It equates talking with clients in the current economic downturn filled with layoffs and belt tightening to a personal situation when a friend has lost a loved one. Sometimes you just don't know what to say.

I've been telling my clients for months now that the things their clients cared about just a short time ago are not the same today. The message still comes from your brand's core strength but it needs to be communicated in a new way that takes into account the new behaviors and attitudes as well as the changing strength of various touchpoints/media. I also have been chanting as my mantra that this is not the time to stop or greatly reduce your marketing. It's time to make it more efficient, yes. But to just take the tact of cutting the marketing budget without a strategy to make it more efficient (and effective) by honing your communications by taking the steps outline above is just increasing the speed of your downward spiral.

Be responsible, but be responsible in an intelligent way.

Stay focused.