The current pandemic accompanied by economic slowdown and global lockdowns, are impacting business across the globe massively.
No matter how big the business is or how old a company they are, all are re-working on their marketing and growth strategies to suit the current times.
Small agencies and services companies are taking a major hit off the lot. Owing to the global economic fall and the COVID impact it has had on people’s mindsets, it’s becoming a challenge for agencies and services companies to keep their sales and financial wheels up and running.
Maryna Burushkina, founder and CEO of Growthchannel joined us for a webinar session to discuss the growth strategies for agencies and services companies to be followed in these times. Growthchannel is a SaaS solution building AI for personalized marketing planning.
Maryna is also the Co-founder and CMO at 7MARKETZ which is a digital agency building digital products, designing creative campaigns, creating unique experiences to help take your brand to the next level.
Maryna has more than a decade of experience in digital marketing. Adding another feather to her hat, she is also a consultant and trainer for different brands, some of which are fortune 500 companies. A mom, a travel enthusiast and a dog lover Maryna shares her thoughts and ideas with us.
Let's dive into the Q&A session right away.
Q. What are some of the trends you’ve been observing as a growth marketer on ad platforms like google and Facebook and if you could share some insights on consumer buying patterns especially during the COVID times?
Maryna acknowledges that performance of different industries has changed dramatically on different platforms. E.g. The CPC (cost per click) rates of the food industry and NGOs are going down and CTC (click to conversion) are going up when it comes to PPC (pay per click) ads across these platforms.
However, financial services, legal corporate services, consulting services etc are facing low CTR (click through rate) despite getting a strong foot on the SERPs( Search Engine Results Page).
WordStream recently published their research which showed that the CTR of the travel industry are going up. This however doesn’t imply that there is an increase in the purchase. It just goes to show that the search has increased due to many other factors but people are not purchasing tickets right away.
Q. As people are spending more time on these platforms, the ad inventory is rising, costs associated with ads are going down and the cost of acquisition is still the same or maybe even higher. What are your thoughts on this?
Maryna makes an interesting observation. She states that it all depends on the industry that one is operating in. For example food and restaurant business, FMCG etc are seeing CPA going down as the competition is low and most of the advertisers are pulling back leading to a falling CPA.
She believes that the market performance is completely dependent on the brand and the sector they belong to.
For instance take the hospitality and the apparel industry. Their CPC is improving as people while at home are surfing and exploring searches for their future purchases.
She further mentions that it also depends on how optimized the customer decision making journey is. How quickly and easily can the customer reach the checkout page? How incentivised are checkout pages for customers to make the purchase? Are there any special COVID offers and discounts available?
Simplifying and incentivising the customer decision making process will get more attention from people.
Q. What would be your top 3 pieces of advice from a growth marketer’s perspective for a professional service agency in such times?
- Focus on retaining clients- Work on retaining the clients. Ensure that nobody leaves you. Offer them incentives like free consultation, complimentary sessions etc to retain the existing clients as it’s hard to close new deals and get new clients.
- Push for online events - Conduct webinars and online events with clients and prospective clients. People are consuming a lot of online content while being locked down at their homes so try to concentrate on creating more of online content.
- Keep employees engaged - While you do everything to retain your clients, also work on keeping your employees engaged. They are working remotely even in these difficult times. Have daily video meets, video coffee breaks etc to keep their team spirits high.
Push employee advocacy on social media platforms, allowing employees to talk about their experiences of working from home not only impacting the employers branding as a company but also gives more credibility to existing and potential clients.
Growthchannel recently published a blog Working from home: 50 Best practices of remote teams (Part 1) explaining the best practices for teams working remotely. Gridle contributed a piece of code in it briefly explaining how they are new to remote working and what should be done to keep the tempo going.
Q. What change / adaptations would you recommend to an agency and services company in terms of marketing process and what new channels would you recommend to explore for acquiring new clients?
Maryna feels that exploring new channels is not necessarily the only way forward for acquiring new clients.The key is to understand which of your channels has been performing the best for customer acquisition and put more efforts and resources there.
If an agency is having budgets for paid ads then now is the time to run those campaigns. Currently as competition and CPCs are low, it's the right time to run some ads.
Try not be pushy and all sales oriented when running these campaigns. Try to be more soft and subtle with the content and approach.
Explore the option of offering discounts and special deals to companies who are signing up with you in these times. A lot of SaaS businesses have lowered their offerings to adapt to the current working model.
Maryna agrees that now is the time to focus on widening the top of the sales funnel while also trying softly and subtly to convert those leads into clients.
The key is not to be pushy and be out on the clients face trying to sell them. The trick lies in the subtle art of pursuing the clients.
Always remember to delight your existing clients and keep them happy.
With regards to all the things mentioned above Gridle has also taken a step to help our target audience in these trying times.
Check out Gridle's COVID Response.
Do you have your suggestion on what can be done for growth during COVID? Let us know in the comments and we will share them on our social media pages 😊