In early March of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began to make its way around the world, few people could have predicted what a seismic change we were all about to experience.
Flash forward to today and absolutely nobody is wondering if they actually need digital marketing anymore. Post COVID, literally all businesses are digital whether they like it or not.
Having said that, the pandemic has also illustrated a need to remain flexible and versatility in the way we do business – particularly when it comes to growth and marketing. Those organizations that were fragile and precious about their processes are the ones who weren’t quite able to recover once this “new normal” began to set in. Those who were almost “anti-fragile” were able to see the massive wave of behavioral changes not as a liability, but as an opportunity.
Thankfully, getting to this point isn’t necessarily as difficult as you may think. If you truly want to be ready for anything and everything moving forward, there are three main pillars of the “anti-fragile” approach to growth and marketing that you’ll need to be aware of moving forward.
One of the most important pillars of the anti-fragile approach to growth and marketing has to do with predictability. Given that you’re trying to build a passive growth engine that generates customers from scratch, being able to do so in a consistent and repeatable way is obviously a top priority.
To get to that point, you need to have a deeper understanding of how customers “happen” to your business. That is to say, what event has to happen to get someone to come down off the fence and make a sale? How, specifically, are you taking someone from a distant observer and turning them into one of your loyal, paying customers?
More often than not, the answer to this question rests in whatever your core flagship offer happens to be. Once you know that, you can better understand how you continue to deliver value after that first sale is made.
Ask yourself what must the prospect experience, witness, or believe to be true to make taking the next step a foregone conclusion? A lot of the time this will have less to do with your offer itself and will be more about what the offer represents.
After gaining this level of insight, you’ll be able to see how you can get your prospect to make a micro-commitment. Maybe they’re not necessarily making a massive purchase, but they’re still willing participants in the journey you’ve asked them to go on. That in turn gives you the opportunity to deliver that “ah-ha!” moment they need to follow you wherever you ask them to go.
In terms of actually establishing a deep connection with your prospects, you need to figure out what valuable chunk of content you can offer in exchange for either their contact information or some other type of permission to follow up at a later date.
Remember, people don’t like to be strictly “sold to” any longer. They simply don’t have the time for it – they’re already being bombarded by marketing materials at virtually all hours of the day. That’s not to say that the modern day consumer is unwilling to engage with a brand – far from it. It’s just that you need to re-think the relationship between your business and the people you’ve dedicated yourself to serving. These days, it really is a two-way street – if you give them something of value, they’re more than willing to give you something of value in return.
In an effort to deepen that connection, you’ll also want to start to think about how you can encourage your happy and successful customers to continue to say nice things about your brand online. This could be to friends and family members, sure – but it will also likely play out in the interactions that you’re having on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
This accomplishes a number of important goals, all at the exact same time. Most immediately, it’s another in a long line of ways that you can start to build the social proof that is so critical in the modern era. The more prospects see positive mentions about your brand, or even examples of how you interact and engage with your existing customers, the more likely they are to investigate what you’re offering. Not only that, but it also gives you a chance to continue to maintain the relationships you’re building with people even after they’ve made a purchase – which may very well be the most important benefit of all.
Really, what you’re trying to do is capitalize on chances to turn your best customers into full-fledged marketing partners. Getting to this point isn’t easy, but if you’re able to do so by forging that connection with people you wind up with so much more than just increased sales. You have a loyal army of brand advocates that you can tap into in the future, which is what will ultimately drive that growth as much as possible.
Finally, maybe the longest-lasting pillar of the anti-fragile approach to growth and marketing has to do with building a sense of pivotability into the very DNA of your business. That is to say, you need to put yourself in a position where you’re ready for whatever life happens to throw at you. The still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect illustration for all of us as to why this is so essential.
Businesses that have a true sense of pivotability are not defined by their products. Trends come and go and something that is wildly successful today may not still hold that status six weeks from now. They’re also not defined by how they sell those products, as the digital marketing best practices of today may be woefully inadequate before you know it. If you think about how much digital marketing has changed in even just the last five years, it’s truly exciting to think about what the next five may have in store for us all.
Instead, they’re defined by the people they serve – period, end of story. Provided that you know who your audience is, and you have a deep understanding of what they like and dislike, you’ll remain agile and you’ll have the help of brand partners who are willing to follow you everywhere. At that point, even something as disruptive as a global pandemic won’t actually matter because people don’t just care about your products, they care about your business.
Truly, it doesn’t get much more important than that.