Episode Summary – Marketing for the Covid Recovery

This episode is an expert interview to address “Marketing for the COVID Recovery”, which applies to either existing or new businesses.

Today we welcome Tracy Weller-McCormack, the founder of C4MG, a tactical strategy and marketing company.

Tracy built an impressive agency in Canada called C4 and has a resume that has seen her in marketing leadership roles for numerous global brands. 

Since late 2018 Tracy has focused on building C4MG based in Sydney. She brings a wealth of knowledge to share with us in this episode.

Links and resources

C4MG – LinkedIn

C4MG – website

Tracy Weller-McCormack- LinkedIn Profile

How should businesses be marketing for the recovery?

The world is slowly emerging from Coronavirus lockdown and the challenge for many business owners is how do they get their business back up and running.

This episode contains practical tips and advice based upon years of experience and wisdom from the marketing expert Tracy Weller-McCormack.

Episode Related Resources Stack

C4MG – LinkedIn

C4MG – website

Tracy Weller-McCormack- LinkedIn Profile

Article : What does business model design mean?

Self Assessment : Business Readiness Test

Blog : 5 Reasons Why Great Ideas Fail

 

What is different about the C4MG approach to marketing?

When marketing is done well, it is effective, but I saw many examples where marketing was getting a bad name because not all marketing companies are effective or transparent.

Many were all theory and no practice.

At C4MG, we are successful because we focus on making a strategy happen through a tactical plan.

What options does a business owner have for Marketing now and post-COVID?

Essentially there are only 2:

  1. Resign yourself to fate
  2. Roll up your sleeves, rethink, and adjust your business for growth 

Weak businesses will not survive, but that also means opportunities to those that do survive.

New opportunities will emerge because of the way COVID will shape our world.

How do you choose between an marketing agency or DIY?

Focus your time on what you are good at. Unless you are very capable in marketing, then you will probably get faster results if an expert helps you.

Guessing is expensive, and it will eat your valuable time.

What does a marketing strategy mean?

A good strategy works out the best ways (channels) to reach your customer and to establish your brand and or products for long-term organic growth.

Organic growth means growth that does not require direct advertising.

A strategy is a long term plan to achieve your aims.

What is a tactical marketing plan?

A tactical plan from C4MG includes the steps that need to be achieved in Month 1, 2, 3 and so on.

It will have 60/90/120 day objectives.

The plan also describes daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly activities that need to happen.

This way, our client knows what is happening and has a realistic understanding of how long things take and how much they need to budget.

Is a website necessary or is a social media presence enough?

This depends a lot on the type of business, but I would say 80% of businesses should start with a website as their customers expect to check them out. Credibility checking is one reason customers use websites.

A website should be functional to make conducting your business easier while actively communicating with customers or potential customers.

An important point to note is that on social platforms, you do not own your customers because you do not own the platform.

Also, personalised customer communication is not possible via social platforms.

What is the difference between paid and organic?

Both cost money, in time and design, planning etc. 

Paid means you pay for advertising campaigns to find customers.

Organic means customers will find you without the need for advertising payment, for example, through Google search ranking or email campaigns.

Organic is not free because it requires assets, time and content production to be effective.

What should a business owner do NOW to prepare for recovery?

  • Understand precisely the problem that you are solving and whom you are solving it for.
  • Make sure this is a real problem that needs solving.
  • Adjust your offering for the impact COVID has made on what your customer needs?
  • Will your offering be relevant and valued?

What are the 7 most common marketing mistakes?

  • Waiting for perfection and not launching minimal viable products.
  • You are not clear about the problem that you are solving.
  • Not clear about whom the customer is and trying to be all things to all people.
  • Doing insufficient research about prices, competitors etc.
  • Using too many channels and probably some wrong ones.
  • DIY marketing that costs more in the long run.
  • You are an expert in your business, but it doesn’t mean you are an expert in everything – surround yourself with good people.

What are C4MG’s Top marketing tips to prepare for recovery?

  • Value customer relationship like it is family

The relationship deserves a high level of respect 

  • Authentic communications

Your communications need to be aligned to your brand, your people and who you are 

  • Know your customer and how to reach them

Everyone goes directly to digital due to cost, but is that the best way? 

  • Get as digital as you can afford

The C-19 pandemic has seen people online like never before, and I think that is level is going to be part of the “new now”. 

The stats will be interesting when they come out.

  • Stay creative; customers do not want to go back.

Creativity shows you value your customers; you think about their needs and want to engage with them.  

  • Listen to what customers want.

Listen, learn & adapt; people evolve, and your business needs to as well.

Has there been a positive outcome from Covid?

We have seen some businesses forced to use creativity as a result of COVID-19. This has been fantastic to see and ideally will continue well and truly after this is over. We have seen how fast we can come together, remove red tape, adjust what we manufacture, and adapt. Now that we know we can get there, why would we want to go back?

The sooner we accept things have changed and will never be the same, the quicker we can move forward.

I think there has been a huge lesson learned by all size companies on the importance of having your customer ” house in-order” as it is the key to surviving.  

What is C4MG’s Marketing Key Points summary?

  • Do not try to be all things to all people, be all things to your customers.
  • Pick your channels; you cannot manage all of them, so be smart and focus hard and win on those you pick.
  • Mix up the way you communicate; a lot is going on in the world, be unique, and change things up – but with a plan.
  • If you re-invented your business to battle your way through C-19, do not shut that down, keep it as an additional service to your core business.
  • You are only as good as the people around you.

Which sectors may struggle or gain through marketing in the recovery?

There will be industries that struggle more than others coming out of the C-19 shutdown. With the right strategy and plan, you do not have to be one of them. I think industries such as commercial real estate and fitness maybe two that have to work harder than most.

Commercial Real Estate because of the realisation the working from home does work; therefore, office space demand will reduce.

Fitness because so many people have set up for home fitness now with access to free training options. We are going into winter here in Australia when people tend to ” hibernate.”

Areas that I believe will thrive are pubs, cafes, restaurants, social activities – however, the parameters for social distancing will change. Aussies are social people, and this is very much missed.

Regional tourism, I think, will also grow due to our inability to travel internationally. 

Ideally, manufacturing will take off. Hopefully, the state and federal governments will see that we need to bring some manufacturing capabilities back home!

How do you choose the right marketing agency?

Your overall goal is to build loyalty with your customers for a long-term sustainable business.

If a marketing agency cannot give you a SIMPLE detailed breakdown, then find someone else.

Make sure they have the capability and experience to help you.

While you need a strategy, the goal to survive COVID-19 and get ready for recovery is more about tactics and not a strategy.

At C4MG, we focus on making things happen, not just a smart strategy.

We know our approach works because we have years of experience behind us.

Thank you, Tracy Weller-McCormack, for sharing your experience and wisdom with us.

 

On our website, www.shouldiownabusiness.com and in the Episode Show notes will put links to C4MG and Tracy’s tips.

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this podcast is general and does not take into account your situation. The content does not constitute legal or financial advice and should not be used as such. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where applicable, seek professional advice from a financial adviser or lawyer in your jurisdiction. To find out more, please go to www.ShouldIOwnABusiness.com.