From the team here at First On Deck Marketing, we wanted to check in to see how you’re doing, and if you’ll allow us, provide some advice and insight on moving forward during difficult times.
These are trying times for every business, but we will get through this together. What’s important for our companies is that we continue working to move our businesses forward despite fear, uncertainty, and temporary setbacks.
First On Deck Marketing works with marine industry companies and nonprofit organizations during the best of times and worst of times. Every success story has ups and downs, and with every difficult situation comes many opportunities. During the Coronavirus pandemic, here are 6 ideas for keeping your marine business moving forward.
- Recognize and Acknowledge Client Changes
When the businesses or our clients experience hardships, this affects our business. We have to be flexible with billing and create new press releases, social media posts, images, and other content centered around current situations that would not usually be necessary. With members of our team experienced in crisis management, we’ve been able to adjust, but we don’t take the changes that our clients have had to make lightly.
By acknowledging changes and making adjustments, you may be able to save or strengthen existing relationships, and form new ones. For shipyards, this may mean offering deals on maintenance since many charters are temporarily out of commission. For event-based companies, this may mean rescheduling events and seeing if vendors are willing to provide discounts for early payment. Opportunities are out there, but you have to be open to finding them.
- Update your network
Have your hours changed? Are you still operating? Have you changed any of your processes or procedures?
Keep your network updated — who knows — it might lead to more business. At the very least, it will show your clients that you’re thinking about them and give them necessary information on your business going forward.
For example, one reason we’re sending this note is to let you know that we are open for business and here for you when and where you need us (however, we’ll stick to phone calls and virtual meetings for now 😊).
- Strengthen Your Brand
This is a great time to strengthen your brand. Have you thought about rebranding your company, rewriting your mission statement, or updating your website content? Now is your chance!
You can also take this time to strengthen your company by increasing your understanding of your competitors. By knowing where your competitors are strong and weak, you can make changes to your brand and strategic plan to decrease your weaknesses and increase your current strengths in order to stand out in your industry. Here’s how to conduct a competitive analysis (VIDEO).
- Start a Blog
Most of us haven’t had a lot of time to write over the past couple of years due to an increase in business. Do you have a little extra time on your hands now? There’s no better time to start a blog and finish those blog post ideas you’ve had brewing in your head for months.
Utilizing a blog for your business is free, and you can use this time to schedule posts for the next few months, allowing you to get ahead and keep posts coming out regularly when business picks back up. We recommend scheduling a post to go live every two weeks. If you can finish 12 blog posts, you’ll have enough content to last 6 months!
- Utilize Digital Advertising
Companies are pulling back, so space is available, and pricing, in many cases, has reduced. Since foot traffic has decreased, you can learn about and utilize Google AdWords and similar programs to attract clients online.
We recommend focusing on short term marketing solutions as well, including:
- Social media advertising
- Search engine ads
- Video ads
- And other types of digital promotion that can be closely monitored and adjusted as needed
- Prepare for What’s to Come!
Have an event coming up later this year? Get your photography done and content completed for your new brochures while boats are docked. There is also no better time to finish boat and dock repairs.
About First On Deck (1onDeck.com) Marketing
First On Deck is a remote marketing agency that specializes in serving marine and recreational boating industry companies and organizations. We serve clients small and large, from local networking events to working with the MIAPBC to promote their fantastic lineup of annual events.
Services we can offer your business or organization include:
- Social media content creation and management
- Email newsletter campaigns
- Press releases
- And more!
If there is anything we can help you with, from a question about social media management to writing a press release that will bring attention to a new service or product, please don’t hesitate to ask. Speaking of asking questions — would you be willing to share this email with someone who may find it helpful?
Nicole Squartino and the First On Deck Marketing Team