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Market your business like it’s 2022

July 7, 2020 -  By
Jeff Korhan

Jeff Korhan

The uncertainty we face right now because of COVID-19 has everyone off balance. This time is an opportunity for entrepreneurs with vision and courage to show the way, landscaping companies included.

If this isn’t the right time for that dream vacation to Barcelona, it may be the right time for investing in a swimming pool, pergola or outdoor kitchen. That’s how I would be thinking if I were still selling landscaping services.

People’s priorities have changed. This situation means your marketing has to change to reflect them.

Businesses will reopen, but all of us are now changed. That’s OK because the changes we are experiencing were going to happen anyway. The pandemic simply accelerated the future’s arrival, effectively bringing 2022 to us in the present.

This is more than a time for innovation, which is discovering new ways to add greater value. This is disruption. Our response to these unexpected influences will make some current practices obsolete. It’s also disruptive because the changes happened all at once.

People scrambled to catch up, and they did, but many of our new ways are not temporary. They’re going to stick. The challenge is accepting new roles and responsibilities. The first step in doing that is crafting new messaging to steady customer confidence.

Show empathy and set the tone

One of the greatest risks today is tone-deaf marketing. Communicate your message with empathy and show you understand customers’ new problems. This is a reflection of your ability to make things right.

Stay true to your brand voice. We’ve all received marketing from companies telling us they are here for us. That comes off a bit disingenuous if we’ve never heard them speak in that tone before.

Consider the following questions as you evaluate your marketing.

  • Is our messaging still appropriate?
  • What are we not saying that needs to be said?
  • Are we over-explaining anything?

Customers want two things from their relationship with your business: to feel safe and have a sense of control. Marketing that assures them of those things is enough.

Communicate a better way

One of the outcomes of disruption is reranking the winners. If there is anything that will pull companies out of this funk, it will be showing customers you used this downtime to find better ways to serve them.

More important than having a better way is intention. Everyone wants to associate with winners, so it helps to act like one. These are a few examples:

  • Restarting a business, division or product line;
  • Strategically reinventing the business; or
  • Creating new business roles.

You’ll know your ideas have merit if you are excited about them. That will get your team and customers on board with moving those initiatives forward.

Offer a plan to get there

Customers are more cautious nowadays. This makes leaders with a vision and a plan more attractive. Look no further than your customer experience for the seeds of that plan. Revisit every customer touch point to discover the gaps and opportunities to raise the bar.

Marketing like it’s 2022 is a conversation with customers to find ways to serve that will replace the ones that are becoming obsolete. This will likely involve the use of new technologies to fix fresh problems or for becoming a more valuable resource.

ESPN beat the big networks by catering to super fans in the tiniest niches in sports. Each of your customers is a potential niche if you customize it for its super fans. For example, you can use the Loom app to send video emails that are more impactful than standard email, helping to make you the go-to network for their landscaping needs.

Years ago, Steve Jobs had a conversation with an audience member who called him out on the shortcomings of the first-generation iPhone. His response could serve as a template for strategically working through this challenging period:

“You have to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology by asking: What incredible benefits can we give to the customer? If mistakes are made, it means decisions are being made, and that’s good. Support customers and learn from the mistakes. Some will be unhappy, but it’s a proven way of getting there.”

The work you do is needed. Make good decisions and keep going.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in 0620, Business
Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the author of Built-In Social, founder of Landscape Digital Institute, and a Duct Tape Marketing Certified consultant. Jeff works with service companies that want to drive growth and enhance their brand experience with digital platforms. Learn more at www.landscapedigitalinstitute.com

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