Reactive Marketing, Inspired Pivots and Giving Back: Crisis Tips from The Halston Network
Kloeckner Metals UK is one of the UK’s leading metal and steel distributors and stockholders. We caught up with Group Marketing Manager Katja Pandza to find out what they’ve been doing to keep their marketing fresh during the crisis.
“Our first point of call was to contact our entire customer base, we needed to let clients know that there was no shortage in supply and no disruption to our service.”
We did experience a slight questioning of our decisions and used our digital marketing platforms to make the case that our staff are indeed key workers. Structural steel has to continue to be distributed to support national infrastructure and utilities, not to mention the erection of makeshift hospitals.
To galvanise that stance we launched the Here For You campaign to communicate what we stand for as a brand and to remind our customers that as an international organisation; we’re steadfast within their supply chain, robust enough to weather the storm and we’re here to support them, no matter what.
Our recent digital transformation was the key to our ongoing service and we needed to highlight that to our customers. We wanted customers to know that the control was in their hands through the use of our online shop when it came to the orders and supplies.
Continuous communication, has been the key to safeguarding our customer relationships. We’re past the panic stage now which has given us the freedom to slowly reintroduce more engagement-led marketing strategies for example a Kloeckner Easter Egg memory game where users would play for donations to NHS charities.
Panintelligence is an award-winning intelligence software provider here in Leeds, CEO Zandra Moore gave us insight into their recent activities and how they’ve been using their expertise to help clients navigate stormy waters.
“We immediately started to think about how we could help others”
Our first thought was to offer free software to SMEs in Yorkshire to help companies take advantage of their data and become better equipped to react to real-time monitoring and make decisions quickly.
We then started to think about how we could use our dashboards to help other companies and designed some really useful live data feeds, one of which gave real-time data on the number of critical care hospital beds that were available in different areas of the UK.
We also got pretty involved with Leeds Digital Festival, showcasing our dashboards and encouraging people to use our data at both the Tech Nation 2020 Report Launch event and the Tech For Good event. For the latter we introduced our live CO2 tracking dashboards, all free to use!
We really concentrated on telling positive news stories to propel a message of hope and philanthropy and this goes for our staff too! We have a lot of internal initiatives that keep us connected, engaged and motivated as a team.
We’ve not really changed our offering as such but we have helped some of our clients to pivot their solutions as a reaction to the COVID19 crisis in the UK and in the US. We’ve worked with risk assessment software for construction sites to consider a social distancing aspect of their offering. Through smart camera software clients can push their capabilities to highlight vulnerable people in retail settings and we are even working with companies in the US to decipher which types of key workers should be reintroduced when and in which states.
UK Connect keep the construction industry connected by supplying broadband and industry-leading, cutting edge technology services to the sector.
Founder PJ Farr, explains to us how he’s adapting to remote working by prioritising the maintenance of staff productivity and wellbeing.
“As a business owner, you are responsible for your workforce. Reassuring them was priority number one.”
We made sure to be open about the situation and communicate at least daily, especially if working from home. The decisions we make now will impact their lives and the overall welfare of our companies when the crisis is over. We’re always looking for silver linings and see this as a great time to upskill and provide training to staff.
We’ve also used industry PR to really position ourselves as thought leaders during this crisis. Offering your insight may seem like giving away your secret sauce for some companies but for us it’s a way to show our solidarity to the industry we serve and lead the conversation on pressing topics.
Keeping your finger on the pulse and sharing good news stories is the mark of a good marketing strategy but we always try to go one step further and offer advice and insight based on our experience. We’ve developed a catalogue of reactive literature to highlight how our technology services in particular are more important than ever to ensure site safety for our customers.
Do you have crisis business or marketing tips to share? Get in touch to collaborate on our next post!