Don't Let Your Marketing Go Dark
The Airborne Toxic Event is one of my favorite bands that I’ve seen three times in concert in intimate Chicago venues. Songs like “Sometime Around Midnight”, “Wishing Well”, and “All at Once” expose the tired “There’s no more good music” complaint as utter bollocks. They were rising meteorically--performing at Lollapalooza, Coachella, Leeds Festivals, all the late night shows, and more--and then in 2017 they vanished.
For a full year The Airborne Toxic Event disappeared as though submitting to its namesake. Neither the band’s website nor its social media platforms had updates. There were only rumors. What we didn’t know is that they were quietly reinventing themselves, dealing with some key bandmate departures, but also recording music. Finally, at the end of 2019, they announced that their new studio album would be released in 2020.
As a fan and consumer of theirs, I figured they closed up shop because they were not communicating and educating about their goingson. They went dark, and I was ready to move on.
What does this have to do with marketing?
The pandemic has wrought exponential challenges for businesses, which is why marketing is more important now than ever. Disconnecting from your audience is a dangerous game that can send a bad message at the worst time and cause your customers and prospects to wonder the following:
Are You Still in Business?
After a while of hearing nothing, I wondered if The Airborne Toxic Event was still a band. They were, but they were a band on the couch, not on the run. You may still be in business, but if you cease your messaging, your audience might assume you’ve shuttered, and they will be quick to do so as COVID-19 continues to devastate our economy.
What Happened to the Great Content You’ve Been Sending?
Everyday, I receive emails from Old Navy promoting a “Today Only!” fill-in-the-blank discount that’s followed the next day by a “Today Only!” discount greater than yesterday’s. Their “Today Only!” idle threat aside, I appreciate the daily contact and content. More importantly, it works, because eventually, I buy. Email marketing works on a macro level. According to HubSpot:
“On average, email generates $38 for every dollar spent, which is a 3,800% return on investment.”
“Two thirds of customers have made a purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message.”
If you use data to make business decisions, which I hope you do, you can’t ignore these statistics.
Do You Care Anymore?
Marketing is caring. Direct mail addressed to your name versus “Current Resident”, social media updates, blog posts that educate, newsletters announcing special offers, and other touchpoints tell your audience that they are important. With no light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, people are craving connection. Stopping your blog, for example, will make them feel lonelier and force disengagement.
The last thing I want to do is sound flippant about the hardships that businesses are experiencing. So many of us have had to take a long, hard look at our budgets and make tough decisions on where to cut back and reallocate. But don’t let marketing fall by the wayside. You don’t have to choose between full-throttle marketing or none at all. You can be judicious and creative about your marketing spend and still make it work. Above all, you’ll keep your customers and prospects engaged.
Lastly, given the times, The Airborne Toxic Event may want to consider changing its name to The Vaccine.