Quarantine memories: let's think outside the box | BBS - Bologna Business School

Quarantine memories: let’s think outside the box

7 May 2020

Lockdown as an opportunity for companies to modify their marketing strategies, strengthen brand identity and consolidate relationships with their customers: these are some reflections developed by Pietro Pilo-Pais, participant of the Global MBA in Supercars, Superbikes and Motorsports.

“Two weeks ago, I received a call from my father in Ecuador he sounded preoccupied. The network of dealerships He is managing, had felt the first hit of the Coronavirus Lockdown. “We have sold half of what we usually sell and the lockdown is not even in full effect yet! Do you have any ideas of how we could market the cars here during this time?” he asked.

I responded with a usual catch phrase he used to say to me when I was a kid, and asked a question that he had no answer for: “That’s a great question Dad! I don’t know the answer” But I also knew that the Bologna Business School had organized a special talk with Lamborghini CEO, Stefano Domenicali the next day, so I ended up telling my dad: “I don’t know the answer today, but after tomorrows talk with S. Domenicali for sure I will get some ideas”.

Tomorrow came, and our talk with Mr. Stefano Domenicali gave me some great pointers about how they are dealing with the crisis. But the best part is that the casual environment of BBS Leadership Talks gave me, an automotive-marketing enthusiast, the opportunity to ask Mr. Domenicali the same question my father had asked me. And the answer was great.

Now before jumping into the answer, it’s important to underline the fact that Lamborghini is a luxury Company as much as they are a Supercar company. But as far as their marketing efforts go, what they are pulling off in these times, marketing wise, could be applicable to any business.

In short terms, the answer was: The lock down is a great time to strengthen your brand image and tighten your relationships with your costumers.

As a marketer, I remember very clearly the days I was sitting in my office with a cup of coffee, working hard on urgent matters and wishing for a time I could stop dealing with it, so I could finally focus on getting to know the consumer better. Because I wanted to create an experience for the client, the problem was that those were only wishes, there was actually no time to put it into work.

Mr. Domenicali, however, has found the time to do it, during the lockdown. When he spoke about the strategy to get to know the costumer better, I had a eureka moment, that period of time when you are actually able to see through the problems, to think outside the box, and spot the opportunity:

There is finally time to create a strong relationship with costumers!

So, how is Lamborghini cultivating this relationship with their costumers now?
• They talk to their customers through an app they had developed exclusively for them.
• Stefano himself, talks to some of the most valuable costumers to make sure they feel taken into account.
• They ask their costumers for opinions and for what they are expecting to see from the company in the future, getting feedback.
• They reinforce their image on social media, so their fans keep thinking about them.

Great isn’t it? So how can normal businesses apply this? Ill try to answer that below. I’m no marketing guru, as of right now, I’m just an MBA candidate, but if I have learned something during this time is that one of the strongest competitive advantages you can develop as a business is a strong relationship with your costumer.

And the way Lamborghini is doing it could be easily replicated by smaller businesses too, so:
• Call your costumers and let them now you are still caring about them.
• Ask your costumers about their feedback from the product you sold them, this might be the most valuable thing you could get out of your lockdown, if you listen to the costumer and try to apply that to your service or product you will develop something that better fits their needs, and who doesn’t want that?
• Use social media, even if you don’t have the incredible supercars Lamborghini has to display, your costumers will appreciate to see that you are still trying to provide value, even though everybody is on lockdown.

Doing these three things will lead you to come back to the market after the lockdown, with a clear strategy and a great advantage, a more satisfied costumer happy to be in a business relationship with you and drive more profits in.

Not convinced? Well, InfoQuest¹ a long time ago did a survey within 20.000 costumers of different markets and concluded that a satisfied costumer will contribute 2.6 times as much revenue as a mild-satisfied costumer.

To summarize, if you are able to come out of the lockdown knowing how to better satisfy your costumer you could be on a potential path of more profitability. It’s not going to be easy that is why not every business will do it, because this means putting themselves out there and putting in the hours to do this, but for the true marketers out there, this is the time to do marketing, Lambo style”.

¹Haaften, Ronald van. “Home.” Effect of Customer Satisfaction on Profitability, 2017.

 

 



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