Connection is Key During A Pandemic

Companies all over the world are adapting to the global pandemic. Marketing and Sales teams are making a shift. How do we connect with our customers? How do we continually build relationships and keep up on communications that are weighted in value?

               When I started at an aviation manufacturing company 4.5 years ago, customer relationships were built on face-to-face interactions such as formal lunches and dinners, large tradeshow events and smaller private “demos” of our aircraft. When the public shuts down completely, what do you do? If you’re anything like this company, you make a drastic change in the way you communicate and connect with customers and leads.

               Innovation is key when it comes to creating new ways to stay connected as a company. This aviation manufacturer decided to take private experiences virtual. Imagine wine tasting events with a virtual sommelier and a few handpicked wines are delivered to your door; the creation of round-table discussions with in-home premium steak kits to discuss over “dinner”; and being able to cultivate workshops from the comfort of homes. Now, I cannot take credit for these ideas personally, but the mere boldness of taking such an intimate face-to-face experience and finding ways to make it interactive over video chat is a leap of faith. And a good one at that. Marketers are being asked to find online solutions for the company to stay connected.

               Marketers create a lot of buzz at industry tradeshows. In aviation, tradeshows are where your influencers are influencing, your sales team is engaging with new prospects and you get to dress the event venue in a complete brand-awareness wardrobe. But wait, shows are cancelled, and no one is leaving their homes. The team and I in the aviation sector are now turning to virtual event platforms to keep engaged. Platforms vary, and my vote is always for the interactive ones that take more time to create but provide better value for the audiences who “attend”.

               My point is, it’s time to get innovative with your connections to customers and prospects or leads. A simple phone call and an occasional email won’t make it passed a surfaced conversation. By creating value in the experiences you provide your audiences, you gain trust and more importantly, you gain a deeper relationship. It’s time to wake up and smell the virtual roses. It’s time to innovate.

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