Imagine waking up one morning and it’s the Zombie Apocalypse! Of course, you’re a marketer so that shouldn’t make any difference. You know you just got to keep doing your job and getting more leads for your company. But things are different. People no longer seem interested in what they once were. No one is buying the latest electronics or designer wear. And then there’s this whole new population of zombies that could prove to be a new market. What do you do?
Marketing when change happens
Before you even think of going out there and pitching to the crowd, you need to get your marketing strategy in place. You have your product, but now you need to find the right audience. You decide to check out this new market of zombies that has arisen overnight. You observe their behaviour for a few days and check your data.
You start to recognise patterns in what they do. They look for the living, chase after them and feed. Once they’ve exhausted one source of food supply, they look for the next. Their needs are simple - fresh human. So, unless you’re in the business of selling what they want (which we strongly suggest against), you should know that this is not your ideal audience. It’s time to move on. You leave the undead and check out the living. You realise that their needs are more complex and they will find your product useful. Focus on this audience when making your strategy.
Giving your audience what they need!
Here’s what you should consider:
Tweaking your sales pitch: The purpose your product served before the chaos broke loose might not still be useful in the present scenario. In this case you might need to tweak your sales pitch to suit the new situation. Let’s say you sell running shoes; before the apocalypse you stressed the health benefits of running daily. But now you might want to tell people how these shoes are their best bet at outrunning the zombies because they supported the ankle and prevented straining the muscles. See, different situations, different pitches, same product.
Use truth and compassion: Marketers often come across as insensitive because they seem to care more about their product than the customer. This applies to marketing at any time but especially in times of crisis; be compassionate. Also be honest about what your product can do and don’t make any false promises about things it can’t. Preying on people’s fear and insecurities is a fast way to earn the distrust of customers. Don’t claim that your shoes can make people run faster when they can’t. But go ahead and highlight how there’s better suspension, less risk of slipping and skidding, and that they will last long.
Foresee possible outcomes: Okay, so we’ve established there’s a zombie apocalypse, but for how long? A good marketer will play out all possible outcomes and plan for the future. Best case scenario, we get rid of the zombies permanently and the human race survives, worst-case scenario, we all die. But there are multiple possibilities in between and it’s up to you to find the most plausible ones. Then you can pitch an idea about how these shoes will serve their owners well should this situation come to pass. You always need to think ahead.
Tell them what they need to know: As a marketer, it is your job to keep in touch with what’s going on in your industry and those related to yours. You need to be constantly researching so that you always know more than your customers. To them, you need to be the industry expert that can answer their questions and give them new information. It’s not enough to just sell, you also need to provide value. Tell them about a new brand of shoe being developed that can detect zombies from a mile away and give them a head start. Or tell them about the efforts by the sports community to prevent the spread of zombieism (we made up that word). Help them feel safer and more secure.
At the end of the day, we marketers are supposed to be the good guys. Really! We’re not just about getting leads and meeting targets. We could be the heroes in a zombie apocalypse, as soon as we arm ourselves with knowledge, truth, and compassion.