There has been an influx of attention-grabbing public safety announcements, logos for social distancing and now a bunch of “we’re in it together, alone together” type of campaigns – but what does a cogent response mean in practice, asks Rohit Arora.

The question: Is that enough?

And, what if I’m not a brand / business with deep pockets to invest on PSA?

As a business owner, you may be more inclined to cutting all costs to ensure you lengthen the rope allowing you to buy time to bounce back.

As a senior executive, you don’t want to be the one taking the axe and therefore want to ensure not spending much and making every $ count.

As a middle or junior level executive, you may be clinging on to your job with all might, giving the best you can.

As a popular brand with relatively deeper pockets, you don’t want to be caught-up in a backlash or social-mockery as consumers get tired or cynical of marketing messages.

The implication:

Perhaps a more sensible approach that looks to optimize existing resources at a fraction of the cost. And, for popular brands, perhaps also an obligation to serve the communities.

A meticulous planning across the sales funnel can help.

The sales funnel:

Firstly, let's align on the objectives for different stages of the sales funnel:

  • Top of the funnel: Awareness content to trigger desire and/or be top-of-mind and/or generate traffic to your website or social channels
  • Middle of the funnel: Consideration content to generate sales leads, follow-ups with sales leads, making a proposal, providing timely follow-up and feedback
  • Bottom of the funnel: Close the deal, turn customers into advocates

Secondly, let’s acknowledge that although the above stages are standard, it can be varied, e.g. by:

  • Consumer’s experience (first time buyer vs. repeat) or loyalties towards a brand
  • Category riskiness and/or spontaneity (automobile vs. snack)

Typically, an optimistic sales funnel may look like this. Let’s assume your product/service costs $10,000

  1. Your awareness-led digital marketing drives 1,000 prospects to your website / social channels with the cost of traffic at $5000 ($5 per visit)

    Say 3% of those converts into a sales lead, i.e. 30 warm leads passed to your sales team.

  2. Say 25% are disqualified (low-budget, non-serious inquiries, poor client-fit, etc.) Now, we have 22 sales qualified prospects to whom the proposals are sent.

  3. Say 33% are convert into a hot lead because they have responded positively. Now, that’s 7 hot leads.

  4. Say, 30% are closed by your sales team. You have 2 new customers with a revenue of $20,000 ($10,000 each). Marketing ROI: 400%

[Adapted from an article by Nexa, with permission]

This may seemingly represent good value for money. But what if the funnel wasn’t optimistic? And, what if we could improve the traction at each stage?

Here are some suggestions:

Top of the funnel

This certainly is a focus area for popular brands with relatively better marketing budgets. But we all know they’re massively shrinking. Low budget, no problem. Here’s how you can make every $ count.


Put your brand purpose to test and your brand tonality respectful to the realities of today.

  • Use your infrastructure for good - e.g. LVMH was the first to utilize their facilities to make free sanitizer to help French hospitals. They earned plenty of positive PR and spurred others to pursue similar initiatives.
  • Use your promotions for good – e.g. Hyundai reprised their ‘Assurance’ program where they’d make up to 6 months of payments for new owners who lose their jobs; whereas current owners can defer payments for up to 3 months in case of job-loss / medically related hardship.
    In 2009 Hyundai’s US market share jumped to 4.3% from 3.1% during the first 10 months.

Simply put, your selfless acts today will have a serious effect on your future. Good acts aren’t forgotten.


We know Google isn’t just a search engine, it’s an answering ecosystem. It promotes content that’s genuinely useful and relevant. Think of what people may be looking for at this time and how can we be useful to them. Be original and humane.


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is the best time to explore who your business can partner with. Support each other, win-win.


  • Bandsintown (a concert discovery service) partnered with Twitch (Amazon’s livestreaming site) to allow musicians to monetize live-streamed performances via paid fan subscriptions and online tips. Result: 725,000+ unique viewers in less than 3-weeks of launch
  • Shanghai Fashion Week partnered with Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao live to stream the shows in real time, supporting several brands and independent designers. Result: 11 million+ views and $2.82 million+ in gross merchandise volume.

Middle of the funnel

Going back to the conversion funnel, between the top of the funnel (1,000 visitors) to the bottom of the funnel (2 sales), there are many steps in the conversion process that you could optimize at minimal cost.

Does my website have content worthy of attracting leads?

  • Tip 1: Explainer videos

    With reducing attention spans (average 8.25 secs in 2015), more are unlikely to read long text on your website. Explainer video can help understand your value proposition in a few minutes with more engaged eyeballs. Animated explainer video company Wyzowl says that 95% of marketers they spoke to say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service, compared to 10% when reading it in text.

    Google’s algorithms are also increasingly prioritizing websites with video content. Having a video on a landing page makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of the SERP, says research firm Forrester.
  • Tip 2: Self-improvement of your website content

    Just by working on different aspects of your website with your team, you can improve the conversion significantly. Think of your audience - who are you writing for? what solution are they seeking? which words would they use to search for your product / service? what kind of title is likely to get people to click on your post?
  • Tip 3: How-to content

    This can significantly improve your google-search rankings and conversions by giving confidence of your knowledge and authority on the subject. What type of questions does your audience ask about your product/service/industry? What problems do audiences want to solve?
  • Tip 4: Client testimonials

    Not only they help you to look more valuable and believable, helping conversions; they also help in google search ranking. 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business. And, customers who interact with reviews are 58% more likely to buy (Big Commerce).

    They can be in form of customer’s experience statements, case studies, reviews, even star-ratings designed to inspire trust and confidence.

Sales follow-ups and proposals

  • Tip 1: Clear processes and templates

    Optimize your sales follow-up process by scheduling and automating follow-ups. That said, avoid leaning too heavily on the same template and language for every lead. People know when they’re receiving a formulaic response. Taking the time to craft a personalized response shows how much you value their potential partnership.
  • Tip 2: Make proposals irresistible

    Review your proposal template and make sure the content is written for your audience. Minimize jargon. To improve productivity, consider automation tools that enable fast, easy-customization, tracking and workflows

Bottom of the funnel

Better ROI also allows us to serving better and turn customers into brand advocates via testimonials.  There’s also an opportunity to strengthen and deepen relationship by cross-selling and up-selling.

In conclusion

Many of the examples above are clearly a simplification of reality, but it demonstrates how small changes in the content across the funnel can have big positive overall impact on your business.

Whether you’re a popular brand, a business owner, a senior middle or junior level executive – each have an important role to play and perhaps, an obligation to give more, add meaningful value.