Turn it to your advantage
Marketing’s importance is only strengthened in time of a crisis, but it has to have synergy with the whole business to truly flourish, argues Maco’s marketing manager Mark Enderby.
Covid had an impact on everything and everyone but, as when any crisis hits, having a plan and processes in place make responding to one much more effective.
As with many businesses, the first thought when a crisis happens turn to the customers, and keeping them informed with the correct and relevant information at the right times is vital.
It is for this reason that marketing is important, but having a close synergy with other departments is what ensures that the communication that goes out achieves just that.
For our customers, stock, deliveries, technical support, and information on Maco remaining open during the first lockdown were all equally as important. Without the input and expertise of our operations, finance, sales and products teams the marketing communication would have been much harder to execute, if not impossible.
Synergy across Maco within this process helps as well. Each department has multiple contacts across our partner base meaning that the initial communication to establish the needs of our partners was shared, and we understood not only what our partners needed from us at a top level but every department knew how individually we could support them.
Once the needs and support measures were identified we then established the best communication tactics to execute these messages to the right people at the right time.
Social media became key but, in the first lockdown, it was very noisy, so making sure we posted clear and concise information was important. This was not the time for promotion but helpful and informative content. More one-to-one contact was happening throughout as highlighted above with telephone conversations and personalised letters and e-mail.
All communication was well thought out, and we were keen to ensure that any pieces of information and support we gave to our partners was clear, concise and helpful.
Across the Maco group, we quickly adopted Microsoft Teams which, while benefiting us internally, has also been a fantastic platform to speak and present to our partners with, alongside zoom etc. Supported by the content on the Maco website, which holds all Maco brochures, we were able to quickly switch to an almost 100% online approach and still support our partners.
As we went through the first lockdown and then through tier systems to two more lockdowns, how we communicated and engaged with our partners and the wider fenestration industry took some exciting turns and developments.
As highlighted, the rise of online content was evident but busy too so, as we saw record reach and growth across our social media channels, we wanted to expand to other platforms and media. This then saw the creation of the first podcast dedicated to the UK fenestration industry: #Maconnect. Designed to encapsulate the whole industry, we have now built up multiple episodes with key figures and groups including trade bodies, installer schemes, training, and fenestration marketing agencies.
The Maconnect series includes the Glazing Summit, Veka’s Independent network, Secured by Design, Building Our Skills, as well as some interviews with individuals from within Maco to give an insight of Maco to the industry and beyond.
With hundreds of downloads, and an excess of 50,000 impressions across social media in related content, we are pleased that this has been a hit.
Another exciting development is the Maco Partner Portal, available on the Maco website. The Maco Partner Portal is where the Maco technical online catalogue will soon be moving to, as well as future online support services.
Alongside this, users will be able to register and receive the Maco newsletter, providing readers with the latest news from around Maco and giving subscribers access to the #Maconnect podcast first ,and much more soon to be announced.