The focus on COVID-19 has undoubtedly shifted priorities for many businesses. For industrial distributors, the impact and reaction to the virus on supply chains and logistics has been substantial. According to a survey by Industrial Distribution, three out of every four respondents reported experiencing some level of impact from the coronavirus pandemic.
As you take the actions necessary to mitigate the virus’s impact on your distribution business, it’s important to ensure you’re conveying the right messaging in your marketing communications as the crisis develops. Below, we provided some industrial distribution marketing ideas to help you stay abreast amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Keep Your Customers Informed
During a crisis, marketing channels, such as email and social media, can be useful means for communicating with your customers. Especially if your distribution business is part of an industry largely impacted by the pandemic, your customers will be expecting a timely, relevant response. At the very least, you’ll want to post your COVID-19 response on your website in a place that’s easy for your customers to find.
In your response, be sure to communicate the actions you’re taking to support your customers as well as any changes to your operations. If the coronavirus has affected your suppliers’ abilities to provide you with raw materials and products for your industrial distribution business or hindered your abilities to deliver products to your customers, it’s important to make your customers aware. Even if your business has remained unaffected by the crisis, putting the message out that it’s still business as usual can give your customers peace of mind.
Provide Useful Resources
There is a lot of uncertainty around how businesses can best adapt during the coronavirus. On one hand, many distributors are considered “essential business” and continue to operate; although, this may mean learning how to manage teams remotely or creating a rotation pattern for workers’ shifts while maintaining labor productivity. Others may be experiencing difficulties maintaining business expenses with operations temporarily shut down.
Don’t hesitate to share any industry-related information or resources across your marketing channels that may be helpful for your customers to know. Staying on top of the discussion and providing guidance where you can will only validate your business as an industry leader.
Be Empathetic in Your Messaging
Navigating COVID-19 has proven difficult for many. It’s important to remain positive, while being mindful of how the pandemic is affecting your customers. As you craft your COVID-19 messaging for email, social media, advertising, etc., it’s important to be sensitive and aware of the impact this pandemic has on your customers. Be sure to take a serious tone in your marketing communications and stay away from any language that may induce fear.
Beyond your COVID-19-related materials, you’ll also want to review any of your existing marketing campaigns. Pause or update any existing language and/or imagery that is either irrelevant or might come across as insensitive during this time. You don’t want to come off as blind or ignorant to the crisis.
Share Your Good News
While COVID-19 is undoubtedly an ongoing topic of discussion, your customers may not want to be reminded of the crisis every time they come across your brand. If it’s appropriate, don’t be afraid to use this time to spread some positivity where you can.
For distributors who are truly making a difference to help combat the pandemic or support those who are, be sure to share the good work you’re doing. Especially in these troubling times, a little positivity can go a long way, and your customers will appreciate your efforts.
Remember: The Pandemic Won’t Last Forever
We won’t speculate as to when the pandemic will end, but it’s important to remember that this won’t last forever. While there may be some changes to your business operations along the way as we adapt to the “new normal,” eventually everything will get back to a regular schedule.
During these unprecedented times, it’s important for industrial distributors to stay connected with their customers as we weather the crisis. Having a strong support team will help ensure that we all come out of this stronger in the end.
Tribute, Inc. is a provider of ERP business management software for industrial distributors who provide value-add services.
TrulinX software can help businesses streamline operations and eliminate silos of information - an essential need when employees are working remotely. For information on our software, contact us or visit Tribute.com.