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The Digital Marketing Tool Kit for Survival

Some companies are falling short on sales right now because of how Coronavirus is impacting either their production or consumer purchase behavior, including Microsoft, United Airlines, Apple, and Rolls Royce China.

So when it comes to Coronavirus, you might be wondering how you can adapt your marketing. The short answer is: don’t.

Unless you work for Corona. Searches for “corona beer virus” are increasing as seen on Google Trends. And, a recent survey of a very small sample size of 737 Americans found that 38% of respondents “would not buy Corona under any circumstances now.”

For Corona, this is probably the time to attempt to rebuild some global brand equity rather than launch new products. Companies such as Microsoft and Kering for example, have already donated millions of dollars to the Chinese Red Cross. Corona should consider doing the same or providing entertaining content online, such as a new game, because people are confined to their homes in China.

Let me be clear though: I’m not making light of Coronavirus. I think it’s important we talk about it to spread awareness, so that we all take the steps to ensure as few lives are lost as possible.

If you’re feeling as though your sales are taking a dip at any time, here are the tools you need for your digital marketing survival kit. Basically, this is a kit of essentials that you can use to triage your marketing back into high performance in a variety of scenarios, including when you’re going to miss a revenue number or retention rates aren’t holding up or your lead number is looking weak or if you feel Coronavirus is impacting your sales.

So let’s jump right into what those critical tools are. And, don’t worry, I’ve provided a free solution for each tool, as well as my personal recommendation, so you can actually easily build your digital marketing tool kit.

Make your digital marketing tool kit:

A survival kit needs to be small enough to always be on-hand, yet large enough to be somewhat flexible for a range of situations: a recession, a lack of additional funding, changes in consumer trends, etc. So here are just five essentials to form your marketing kit. If you only do these five things, you’ll keep driving marketing results forever.

1. A keyword data tool

OK a good keyword data tool is like the antibiotic ointment in your kit. It’s the first thing you apply, and it has the largest impact from the smallest bit of goop. It prevents rapid spread of terrible marketing disease. If you can’t engage with your customers in a relevant and contextual manner, you’ll lose their trust and interest.

Using a keyword tool such as SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs will help you define what your customers care about and discover their shared interests. This information ensures you create a clear understanding of the personas you’re targeting. With an accurate understanding you’ll be able to:

Knowing your customers’ pain points is the most important thing you can do as a marketer, as this will make an impact across all channels.

Get the free tool solution for your kit: Google Keyword Planner.

Get the recommended tool: Honest to gosh, nothing beats your own eyes when it comes to understanding your consumer. So, in this case, I recommend using the free sleuthing tools here, plus Google Keyword Planner.

2. A brand guidelines tool

Up next we’ve got our medical tape. In the same way that the tape holds everything together and in place, a brand guidelines tool will help your marketing be strategically and specifically different, holding everything from your television spot to your customer service response templates together. When a brand’s identity is cohesive, it increases the brand’s perceived value.

You can create a brand identity using a tool such as Frontify, a Wiki tool such as Zoho, or even a powerpoint tool as simple as Beautiful.ai.

The point is you need to bring a unique perspective through in your marketing, which you’ll be able to do through a proper SWOT and a sprinkle of creativity.

Go as specific as you can with your branding and niche by thinking about what three to four words you need everyone internally and externally knowing when they see your brand. For Chewy for example it would be something like “fastest pet supplies delivery” or for SnapChat it would be “friend phone calls redefined”.

Include these elements in your brand guidelines:

  1. An overview of your brand’s history, vision and values
  2. You brand’s message or mission statement
  3. How to use your brand’s logo including minimum sizes, spacing and what not to do with it
  4. Show your primary and secondary color palettes with color breakdowns for print, screen and web
  5. Show the specific font that you use and details of the font family and default fonts for web use
  6. Include image style and photographs that are ideal
  7. Mention copywriting style including tone of voice and examples of how the voice translates across different channels

When you provide a consistently unique experience, consumers will share your marketing for you across social, word of mouth, and more.

Get the free tool solution for your kit: Google Slides.

Get the recommended tool: I prefer Frontify because it’s super easy to set up, fast to update as the brand evolves, can be shared internally and externally in a click, and it shows that you’re making a serious investment in brand. It is a clear “one place” to turn to, that won’t get lost among stacks of Powerpoints.

3. A lead capture tool

Up next we’ve got the bandages. Bandages ensure the good stuff doesn’t get out. Over 70% of your visitors leave and never return according to OptinMonster. And cart abandonment rates on mobile are 77.8%. What’s going to stop leads from escaping your website pages – especially your cart page or final purchase page – into oblivion? Great design including an attention grabbing way to capture leads. That’s why a lead capture device has to be in your digital marketing tool kit.

Over 70% of your website’s visitors leave and never return. But a quiz-like lead capture form can help capture 300% more leads. Click To Tweet

Depending where your funnel is hurting the most, you can use a lead capture tool such as HelloBar, an exit intent pop-up from OptinMonster, something that works with your CRM like Hubspot Leadin, an after purchase upgrader such as Cart Hook, or even a messenger bot such as Drift.

By providing folks who were going to leave one final, strong offer using a quiz-like lead capture form, you can increase your conversion rates by nearly 300%.

Get the free tool solution for your kit: IceGram.

Get the recommended tool: My recommendation here is that you get the tool that’s easiest to install and customize based on your website and tech stack. I really dislike welcome pop-ups, so go for an exit intent pop-up or create a stronger on-page form (such as WP Forms). Make sure you’re following form conversion best practices.

4. A reviews tool

In the same way your first-aid tweezers remove bad things like glass and dirt, your customer satisfaction tool will remove doubt from consumers’ minds in critical places. 94% of online customers read reviews before making any purchasing decisions according to Fan & Fuel.

94% of online customers read reviews before making any purchasing decisions. Click To Tweet

Tools such as WP Customer reviews, Trustpilot, Google reviews, and Yelp, can help display your reviews.

Reviews, ratings, customers testimonials, and peer pressure such as the number of customers you already work with today will all help move buyers further down the funnel. And, in the age of voice search, they may become the new link equity search engines use when they decide which answer to surface, which you can learn more about in my growth hacking marketing tips article.

Get the free tool solution for your kit: Google My Business reviews or Facebook reviews.

Get the recommended tool: As voice search takes off, links may become less of an indicator of the value of a website, and as a result, reviews could become the new “currency.” For example, reviews of your company on Facebook and LinkedIn, are most likely to be taken into account (analyzed by AI for their sentiment), because those pages appear high in search results today. Consider investing in soliciting incredible reviews over the next year using Facebook reviews or LinkedIn reviews.

5. A pricing tool

And finally, your aspirin-based pain reliever. A tool that helps make everything feel better. A pricing tool ensures you’re maximizing revenue through one of the biggest levers you have as a marketer: pricing.

Tools such as ProfitWell and PerfectPrice can help you set the best prices, or you can use pricing data tools such as Import.IO or Kissmetrics, and Tableau.

Smart pricing doesn’t have to be complicated. There is one thing that almost universally holds true: the demand curve slopes downward. Higher prices mean less demand. Lower prices mean more demand.

Mathematically, you want to find the price that maximizes profit where profit = revenue (price x quantity) – cost (quantity x marginal cost + fixed cost) subject to the demand constraint (i.e. quantity demanded is some function of price). The are a few common types of pricing you can use:

  1. Cost-plus pricing: calculate your costs and add a mark-up
  2. Competitive pricing: set a price based on what the competition charges
  3. Reference pricing: set a price based on what everybody else is charging for a similar product
  4. Value-based pricing: set a price based on how much the customer believes what you’re selling is worth
  5. Price skimming: set a high price and lower it as the market evolves
  6. Penetration pricing: set a low price to enter a competitive market and raise it later

Besides researching your products’ feature set across the relative offerings from competitors, and trying to identify what the value added (lost) for each of the different respective features is as customer usage and perceived value for each feature, you can also survey your existing customers and leads. Here’s a quick survey you can run to get a better feel for where you could price:

  • At what price would you consider {product name} to be so expensive that you would not consider buying it? 
  • At what price would you consider {product name} to be priced so low that you would feel the quality couldn’t be very good?
  • At what price would you consider {product name} starting to get expensive, so that it is not out of the question, but you would have to give some thought to buying it?
  • At what price would you consider {product name} to be a bargain—a great buy for the money?

Once you have your final results from all of the research above, there are a few pricing psychology tricks you can use to better convince consumers to purchase:

  • Make your price end in an odd number (ex. $4.95 not $5.00)
  • The price should be displayed in a smaller font than the rest of the text on page
  • One offer should be featured most prominently (if you’re presenting multiple offers)
  • Show no more than 4 offers at once because too much choice is overwhelming

Get the free solution for your toolkit: Qualtrics pricing survey template plus Google surveys.

Get the recommended tool: Again, nothing beats your own eyes here. Do the competitor research manually in a Google spreadsheet. Export your sales data into a Google spreadsheet to manipulate it (and be sure to not just look at the average but also the median – learn more about that here). Survey leads and customers using Google surveys and the four simple questions listed above.

That’s the simple digital marketing tool kit you need to survive any situation

Now you’re prepared for all sorts of marketing disasters. But remember that a tool is only useful if its operator knows how to use it, so build up the skills to shine in each of these areas. By the way, you can learn more about Coronavirus here and here’s a shopping list to prepare.

Up next, learn about what made Beanie Babies’ marketing so successful that they were able to have $1.3 billion in sales one year.

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The tools you need in your marketing survival kit include: a keyword tool, reviews tool, lead capture tool & find out what else! Click To Tweet

By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.