ITCS Blog

Case Study

*AT TIME OF PUBLICATION

Bridgend Port Talbot Football League

SERVICES:
Bridgend Port Talbot Football League needed a Logo design, Office 365 Support, Exclaimer e-mail signatures, social media management, website build & CRM system

Scroll through the slideshow below to see screenshots of the site and the ‘Full Time’ section:

Overview:

Following years of discussion regarding the amalgamation of the Bridgend & District Football League and Port Talbot & District Football League, the new league merger was agreed in early 2019 in order to focus on trying to grow the game for juniors within the area.

The Bridgend Port Talbot Junior Football League is the newest league within Welsh Football, hosting 32 clubs and various cup competitions with age groups from Under 7’s to Under 16’s.

The creation of the new league aims to increase the participation of football within the local area, and add to the existing history of its predecessors.

League Requirements:

Bridgend Port Talbot Football League needed a professional image which honoured its’ predecessor’s rich history whilst incorporating a bright, modern and fresh image to appeal to its’ target audience. They required the following services:

  • Logo design
  • A full, dynamic and professional email signature
  • Website design & build
  • Social Media Management
  • Office 365 for all league officers to give them a professional platform and appearance

ITCS Solutions:

Logo Design:

The logo redesign needed to merge the two predecessors’ logos, and also incorporate the original league colours – blue for Bridgend and red for Port Talbot. There also needed to be a clear message of the two leagues moving forward together.

Five designs were created by ITCS incorporating the league’s design requirements. Research was also undertaken to come up with the strapline ‘Onward with Confidence’ – this is the strapline on the Bridgend Town Crest. Elements of the Port Talbot town crest were also used. These five designs were submitted to be voted on by league members and the community, and the final decision was made by them.

Website:

The BPTFL website was designed and built to act as a brand ambassador and showcase for the league, highlighting the exciting merge between Bridgend & Port Talbot with an emphasis on eye-catching visuals and large banner images. The website needed to cover everything any club would need to know in a Junior Football League including real time fixtures, results and league table. In addition to this, it needed to include a profile page for each club.

The front end needed to be bright, fresh, user-friendly and welcoming for all members of the public to be able to use.

Parents and players are able to see results and league tables as well as where upcoming matches are being played – with directions available to venues:

There is also a club directory available. When each club is selected, you are taken to a club profile with club details and contact information:

There is also a search function to find all the clubs in the league that have teams at different age groups:

For clubs, we included a login portal for submission of results, as well as an admin area for use by the league officials for allocating fixture details and referees, as well as authorising submitted results.

Once the site’s design was finalised, the team could get to work on building the functionality of the back end. The aim of this was to streamline the processes of organising league fixtures as much as possible, and make everything accessible across all devices.

A bespoke CMS system was built into the site that would allow admins to see and add clubs and club information, as well as seeing the league tables for each age group. The system also allows users to organise fixtures and tournaments and to allocate referees to games – as well as seeing information on how many games each referee has been assigned to.

Each club is given a login to the Fulltime system and after each game, each club uploads their match results to the system. Once verified, these are displayed on the front-end of the website.

Office 365 and Exclaimer

With a new, fresh, professional image comes the need for a professional email presence. The sporting crest of any football club or league is an integral part of its identity, needing to appear on anything relating to said organisation, from the football kits, club merchandise and official marketing communications. This also relates to the email signatures that are used by its employees. It makes no sense for a club or league to leave email signature management to every single end user, just as it would not for any other professional organisation.

We provided the league with Exclaimer, with Office 365 integration. This provides league officers with a professional email platform that can be used anywhere, as well as ensuring brand consistency through their email signatures.

Client Feedback:

“The league are delighted with the end result. Not only does the new site give us access to our league tables and lots of other information, it gives all of our clubs their own internal information pages to promote their key club details and contact information. Some clubs are actually linking back to their profiles on this website instead of creating their own individual websites! We were very impressed with the level of work and detail that has gone into the design – especially getting the logos of all clubs onto the website. The feedback we have received from the clubs and communities is all very positive. This new website was a perfect way to show off our new league”.

John Phillips, League Chairman
WebCase Study

ITCS Apprentice Completes Qualification and Awarded Permanent Job Role

ITCS’s latest apprentice, Joel Davies, has completed his training and accepted a permanent position at their Bridgend based offices as a Level 2 IT Support engineer.

Joel was offered the apprenticeship after a week’s work experience. Since undertaking the qualification he has excelled in his role. 

apprenticeship-it-support-engineer

As part of his apprenticeship, Joel was involved in a number of different projects as he developed his capabilities and gained practical experience. He began in the workshop repairing hardware faults, and due to his excellent manner with clients, quickly became situated on the support desk.

Joel’s apprenticeship has allowed him to become confident helping clients, and he is now familiar with many technical domains. He is now confident resolving issues within areas around Active Directory, Group Policy, Network Security, Mail Hosting Platforms (Microsoft Exchange/Office 365), VPN (ipsec, L2TP, PPTP, SSL), Proactive Maintenance (Backup Solutions/Compliancy Reporting), Virtual Environments, Switches and Servers, as well as general DNS, DHCP and Router Management. Joel also becomes involved with mail migrations to an Office 365 solution from a POP/IMAP or Microsoft Onsite Exchange platforms.

ITCS is committed to supporting the development of talented young people with apprenticeships, student placements and graduate opportunities; the Directors believe that nurturing new talent is a key component of the company’s long-term workforce development.

ITCS are working closely with Bridgend College to develop specialist modules and to encourage apprenticeships within the technology sector. We recognise the importance of investing in the next generation of IT engineers and work closely with the college to tailor modules that will allow our current employees to train our apprentices to the highest standard.

Joel said: “My colleagues have supported me since my first day and ITCS has really helped me during my apprenticeship. I felt comfortable and part of the team very quickly, even though I was still learning on the job. I’m really happy to have been offered a permanent role at ITCS; I’m looking forward to working on bigger projects and growing within my role”.

Matthew Mutlow, Operations Director, said: “Joel integrated into the business very quickly and is a valued member of our team. He has worked hard during his apprenticeship and we are delighted to be able to reward his efforts by offering him a permanent job at ITCS. Apprenticeships are an important part of our workforce development. We feel they are so valuable, as they not only offer people opportunities to develop their skills, but also to develop themselves, as people. I have every confidence that Joel will continue to thrive as a permanent ITCS employee, and we look forward to welcoming more apprentices into the fold to develop more budding engineers.”

WebITCS Apprentice Completes Qualification and Awarded Permanent Job Role

Web Designer/Developer required to join growing web team

What are we looking for?

We are looking for an experienced WordPress developer to grow with us as we expand the company. Are you looking to progress your career in a well-established business? If you are passionate about web design and development and can produce a high standard end-to-end websites aligned to a design brief, either from mock-ups provided by a designer, or from scratch, then this may be the role for you.

Who are ITCS?

Established in 2004, ITCS is a UK-wide business technology partner. With our network of Support Engineers, Telecoms Specialists, and software professionals, we offer IT Support, Business Telecoms, Website design and other digital services, UK Wide.

We are an established, award-winning company with a culture of continuous development, and take pride when it comes to the progression and development of our teams. Building on our sixteen-year history, we have ambitious plans to continue to grow the business and our aim is to become one of the best places to work in the UK.

If you are looking to kick start/progress your IT career in a role with great benefits and are ready to work hard to deliver outstanding results and have fun along the way, then NOW is the time to join us.

What are the benefits of working for ITCS?

  • Flexible approach to working with both on-site and desk-based tasks
  • Enrolled in an accredited qualification from day one with the company
  • Access to a fleet vehicle for visits to customer sites
  • Equipment provided i.e. laptops, tablets, etc.
  • Company and team social events
  • Gym membership contribution
  • Access to exclusive deals
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Company pension
  • On-site parking
  • Holidays including bank holidays
  • Training and education plans
  • Progression opportunities
  • Opportunity for on-call and overtime hours in evenings and on weekends
  • Competitive salary – permanent position
  • Full uniform

You will have varied experience in Website Design and a high degree of expertise developing within WordPress. To be considered for the role you will need to be an excellent communicator and be able to deal with all kinds of companies and people, both technical and non-technical.

We have a wide range of clients with varying Website Development and design needs from ongoing maintenance to full redesign projects.

The candidates for the web designer/developer role should:

  • have skills in software programming and graphics
  • have creativity and a good imagination
  • be adaptable and able to pick up new techniques
  • have good interpersonal and communication skills
  • be able to work on their own or in a team
  • be able to work to tight deadlines
  • be thorough and precise in their work
  • be able to multi-task
  • be aware of international web standards and protocols
  • be able to use their initiative

Experience Required:

  • Proven knowledge of how to use and build in WordPress
  • Woo Commerce
  • PHP ,HTML, Java and CSS
  • Self-motivated and can work alone
  • 1-2 years’ experience as a web designer/developer having worked either in-house or agency side, or have a strong personal portfolio that demonstrates your ability to develop and design proficiently
  • Adobe or illustrator
  • Knowledge of working SEO practices

Responsibilities:

  • Producing end-to-end websites aligned to the brief, either from mock-ups provided by a designer or from scratch, following brand guidelines
  • Developing engaging and eye-catching websites using WordPress, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP.
  • Provide technical support for both internal and external developments

Job Type: Full-time, Permanent

COVID-19 considerations:

  • Personal protective equipment provided
  • Temperature screenings
  • Social distancing guidelines in place
  • Virtual meetings
  • Sanitisation, disinfection or cleaning procedures in place

Experience:

  • Proven knowledge of how to use and build in WordPress: 2 years (Preferred)
  • Web Designer/Developer : 2 years (Preferred)
  • PHP ,HTML, Java and CSS: 2 years (Preferred)

Licence:

  • Full UK Drivers License (Minimum 2 Years) (Preferred)

Work remotely:

  • Temporarily due to COVID-19

Apply for this role now:

To apply for this role, please contact us using the form below, attaching a covering statement and your CV.

Your CV (pdf, doc or docx up to 6mb)


WebWeb Designer/Developer required to join growing web team

We’re recruiting: IT and Telecoms Engineers of all levels wanted

What are we looking for?

We are looking for IT and Telecoms engineers of all levels to grow with us as we expand the company. Are you looking to progress your IT career in a well-established,  company? If you have IT & Telecoms experience, a solid technical skillset, and the ability to build strong relationships then this is the role for you.

Who are ITCS?

Established in 2004, ITCS is a UK-wide business technology partner. With our network of Support Engineers, Telecoms Specialists, and software professionals, we offer IT Support, Business Telecoms, and other digital services UK Wide.

We are an established, award-winning company with a culture of continuous development, and take pride when it comes to the progression and development of our teams. Building on our sixteen-year history, we have ambitious plans to continue to grow the business and our aim is to become one of the best places to work in the UK.

If you are looking to kick start/progress your IT career in a role with great benefits and are ready to work hard to deliver outstanding results and have fun along the way, then NOW is the time to join us.

What are the benefits of working as an IT and Telecoms Engineer for ITCS?

  • Flexible approach to working with both on-site and desk-based tasks
  • Enrolled in an accredited qualification from day one with the company
  • Access to a fleet vehicle for visits to customer sites
  • Equipment provided i.e. laptops, tablets, etc.
  • Company and team social events
  • Gym membership contribution
  • Access to exclusive deals
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Company pension
  • On-site parking
  • Holidays including bank holidays
  • Training and education plans
  • Progression opportunities
  • Opportunity for on-call and overtime hours in evenings and on weekends
  • Competitive salary – permanent position
  • Full uniform

What could your typical tasks include?

Level 2 & 3

  • Day to day desktop support.
  • Prioritise and manage own dashboard/workload – taking jobs through from start to completion.
  • Speaking with customers via email and phone for initial requirement capture whilst building positive working relationships with customers and other third party professionals.
  • Remote troubleshooting and fault finding.
  • Respond within agreed time limits and SLA’s.
  • Install, configure, and repair hardware including installation of operating systems and applications.
  • Monitor systems and networks, undertaking fault investigations in local and wide-area environments.
  • Supporting companies through various accreditations and audits.
  • Installation and monitoring of various backup solutions.
  • Installation, configuration, and provisioning of VoIP telephony solutions.
  • Maximising network performance by monitoring performance, troubleshooting network problems and outages, scheduling upgrades, and collaborating with network architects on network optimisation.
  • Securing network systems by establishing and enforcing policies, and defining and monitoring access.
  • Updating job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities, reading professional publications, maintaining personal networks, and participating in professional organisations.
  • The support, configuration, and administration of firewall environments in line with IT security policy.
  • Configuration of routing and switching equipment.

Level 3

  • Dealing with escalation requests from the 1st and 2nd line team.
  • Liaising with project management team, 3rd line engineers, and service desk engineers on a regular basis.
  • Office 365 and server implementation/migrations.
  • New customer on-boarding.
  • IT consultancy.
  • Project Management including own forecasting and time management.
  • Remote support of on-site engineers and end users/customers during installation.
  • Establishing networking environment by designing system configuration, directing system installation, defining, documenting, and enforcing system standards.
  • The design and implementation of new solutions and improving the resilience of the current environment.

To apply for the IT and Telecoms role, which areas do you need to demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of?

  • Strong telephone manner and customer service skills
  • Desktop PC Support & Repairs
  • Windows Server 2008 through to 2019
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • VPN Technologies
  • Office 365 Administration
  • Active Directory
  • VoIP systems
  • Networking (DHCP, DNS, TCPIP)
  • Wireless Networking
  • Firewall and Network Security Technologies
  • Hyper-V, VMWare, SAN, NAS
  • Automation and Scripting using PowerShell

Job Details

Job Type: Full-time, Permanent

Salary: Level 2: £20,000 – £24,000 (Depending on experience) – Level 3: £24,000 – £30,000 (Depending on experience)

Experience: IT Support for 3 years (desirable but not essential). MSP experience is desirable.

License: Full UK Driving Licence (required – preferably held for a minimum of two years)

Apply for this role now:

To apply for this role, please contact us using the form below, attaching a covering statement and your CV.

Your CV (pdf, doc or docx up to 6mb)


WebWe’re recruiting: IT and Telecoms Engineers of all levels wanted

Microsoft Excel vs. Coronavirus: Why investing in the right resource is critical

Microsoft Excel is usually the go-to tool for creating spreadsheets and performing calculations with restricted data sets. For that kind of work, it’s invaluable. But should it ever be used as a database?

As we have all seen play out in real-time this week, catastrophic results can ensue when you fail to invest properly in the correct resources for projects.

What happened to the coronavirus test and trace data:

This week, almost 16,000 cases of coronavirus in England went unreported because of a glitch caused by an Excel spreadsheet. According to Tech Radar, PHE was unable to keep track of the thousands of results, due to outdated software.

Although the maximum number of rows per Excel file is more than one million, it seems the system stored each test result in a new column instead. This has a maximum of approximately 16,000 per file. This is thought to have been down to the use of older versions of Excel, which store fewer columns in its .xls files than newer versions with their .xlsx format.

Why Microsoft Excel was the wrong resource:

Multiple IT experts have been scratching their heads over the UK Central Government’s decision to use Excel for such a sensitive task.

Paul Norris, Senior Systems Engineer at TripWire, says Excel is useful for small tasks but not for handling large quantities of data:

Desktop tools such as Excel should not be used for large datasets, and investment should be made into technology that can securely process large datasets to ensure data integrity and accurate results.

Another massive issue? Data security. Excel software, while simple to use and collaborate on, is not appropriate for providing significant data security. Multiple users were never incorporated into the desktop interface. This means that files are easily corrupted by simultaneous use, which can also cause performance issues. If several users do have access, multiple versions could be updated and stored independently, causing confusion over which version is the latest.

A cautionary tale for all businesses: Invest in proper resources

If this week should do anything for business owners and project managers, it should serve as an important reminder about the necessity of using and investing in the right software for the right project.

While using a cheaper option may seem like a savvy decision at the time, it can result in disastrous consequences – particularly when the software or project involves sensitive client data.

Make sure you have a trusted IT Specialist on hand to help with this. Whether you have an internal IT Department or you outsource, get a trusted advisor to guide you to the correct solutions that fit your business needs.

WebMicrosoft Excel vs. Coronavirus: Why investing in the right resource is critical

Coronavirus return to work checklist: IT Support and Telecoms

Coronavirus Return to Work Guidance: 

Is your IT Support & Business Telecoms equipped for the ‘New Normal’?

Find out how to embrace and optimize the new normal with our IT Support & Telecoms “Coronavirus return to work checklist”.

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a demanding year. Your employees were tasked with adapting almost instantly to remote workplaces, only to now be asked to transition back when they’ve just about settled in. These constant changes are difficult, but there are ways to help. Your business should no be longer reacting to Covid-19, but be strategising for it. As a business, you need to look at the business communications solution you quickly put in place and decipher whether it was the right solution for your company.

You need to be asking where your pain points have been and if the current ways of working are sustainable long-term.

See the return to work checklist

WebCoronavirus return to work checklist: IT Support and Telecoms

EasyJet Cyber-Attack: What to do if you’re affected

EasyJet has been hit by a ‘highly sophisticated’ cyber-attack which could have exposed up to 9 million people’s details. Here’s what to do if you’re affected.

How will I know if I’ve been affected?

For those EasyJet customers who have had their credit card details stolen, steps have already been taken to ensure all these people are contacted.

On the specific recommendation of the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the remainder will all be contacted by 26 May. If you are not contacted by this date, that means your information has not been accessed, easyJet said.

The airline added there was no evidence that any of the personal information had been misused. However, it is still early days in terms of this incident, that had been brought to their attention in January.

I think I may have been affected (or I’m worried I have been). What can I do?

The first thing you should do is change your password to your EasyJet account. If you need tips on how to create a strong password, see this article: CLICK HERE

We’ve also discovered a neat new tool that will scan the dark web and see if your password has been stolen at all – it’s called ClearScore Protect.

ClearScore Protect

ClearScore Protect is a new free service aimed at tackling online fraud.

The offering from ClearScore, a credit score and credit marketplace, is an anti-fraud dark web monitoring system, which has just been unveiled in response to new figures revealing that a third of adults in the UK have been victims of online fraud.

ClearScore Protect monitors the dark web for any stolen passwords, alerting users to any potential breaches every three months. Once users have been alerted to any stolen information, they will be shown a page containing all of their breached passwords, with simple and easy instructions on how to change them. In performing these actions, the user will prevent cybercriminals from taking advantage of their data for financial gain.

You can find the tool here: ClearScore Protect

Article Sources

conversation.which.co.uk/money/easyjet-cyber-attack-data-breach-advice/

EasyJet company alert: Cyber Security Incident

WebEasyJet Cyber-Attack: What to do if you’re affected

Microsoft 365: 7 Tricks to make you more productive

Mastering the latest Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) productivity tips and uncovering new Microsoft Office 365 hacks are a really useful way to, firstly, get the most out of your Office 365 experience – but more importantly, to work smarter and be as productive as possible when working from home.

Here are 7 tips and tricks to use when using Microsoft 365 for work:

Learn Microsoft 365 as you work:

1. Make use of ‘Tell Me’

Are you feeling like a Microsoft 365 newbie? Then you need to use Tell Me – a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

When editing a document, spreadsheet or presentation in Office Online, you can access Tell me by tapping the light bulb to the right of the tabs as seen in the image below:

Collaborate effectively:

2. Co-authoring in documents

One of the best features in Microsoft 365 online, is the ability to collaborate and edit documents with your colleagues – no matter where you are.

By saving your files to OneDrive or SharePoint, you can instantly share them with your co-workers and track their changes as you work toward a finished project or document. Work together on contracts and Excel Workbooks from the comfort of your home office. Find out more about how you do this here:

3. Attach files with Sharepoint

Rather than going through the laborious process of attaching files via e-mail, use the Share+ function in Sharepoint to add a shareable link to your emails). This saves valuable space in your inbox and shaves minutes off a task – giving you more time for other responsibilities.

4. Create groups

Creating Office 365 Groups allows you to maintain communication with specific departments and colleagues in your business, using the parameters you set. Once you create a group, you can share a calendar between members, exchange files, and of course, conveniently chat.

Continue signing agreements & contracts:

5. DocuSign

Did you know that you can get any document in Word or Outlook signed without bothering with a print-and-scan process? DocuSign allows you to Sign, send, and manage documents anywhere on any device, and they are also secure and legally compliant.

Save valuable inbox space:

6. Scheduling assistant for meetings

Instead of emailing back and forth for half an hour to find a convenient meeting time, take advantage of Microsoft Scheduling Assistant. When you’re sharing your calendars, you can use Scheduling Assistant to come up with a time to get together.

How to do this: Create an event on your calendar and add the people you want to invite. Then, use the Scheduling Assistant time picker to drag and drop to a time on the calendar that turns green. That means everyone’s available. Done!

Teamwork over the internet:

7. Mention someone to get their attention

One of the things that people really miss working from home is not being able to pop over to someone’s desk to get their attention, or when we’re working in the office alongside someone, we can say “Hey, John!”

To help with this, use Outlook’s @ mentions. If you @John in an email message, the recipient will see they’ve been called into the conversation and are expected to pay attention or respond. Not only this but when other people @ mention you, the inbox displays the relevant sentences around your @ mention directly in your message excerpt. This feature lets you know at a glance what you need to heed.

These tips will help you adapt to being as productive as possible whilst working from home. Do you have any Microsoft 365 tips and tricks? Let us know!

WebMicrosoft 365: 7 Tricks to make you more productive

Office 365 becomes Microsoft 365 – What you need to know

Starting April 21, Office 365 will be called Microsoft 365. More than just a name change, this is a move that illustrates the company’s desire to shed the stuffy image of the Office branding, and position it as a people first suite of apps.

The changes come at a time when Microsoft apps are more important than ever as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to work from home wherever possible. Apps that aid productivity whilst people negotiate this ‘new normal’ are fast becoming vital for SMEs.

The good news for small and medium sized businesses is that there are no price or feature changes for the subscriptions and there are no changes to the Office 365 for Enterprise or Education product names.

So, what do you need to know?

Microsoft Teams for Everyone:

In the blog post announcing the rebrand, Microsoft said the new names were meant to indicate that Office is more than Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; it also includes new apps like Teams, Stream, Forms and Planner.

Teams has seen significant growth over the last year, with Microsoft announcing a burst in popularity – the app went from 20 million business users in November to 44 million in April this year. Approximately 12 million users joined the service between March 11 and March 18 as more people around the world began working from home due to coronavirus lockdowns.

Microsoft’s move to bring more functionality to its productivity suite of apps comes as the company’s software is forced to contend with more competition – such as Google, and Slack.

Word and Powerpoint get an AI Boost:

The company will also be significantly expanding its AI-powered editors in Microsoft 365.

The Editor software will help you improve your writing by offering suggestions to make your text more concise and grammatically correct. There will also be a plagiarism checker in this software that will let you know if what you’re writing is a duplicate of content that is already out there – as well as a feature that will eliminate by potential bias by, for example, changing the word policeman to police officer.

PowerPoint also gets an AI boost, with a feature that listens to your voice before you give a presentation and can offer suggestions for how to adjust the pitch to ensure you don’t sound monotone.

Excel’s new ‘Money’ feature:

Excel is also gaining a new financial feature so it can rival online apps like Plum and Cleo: the Money feature will give users means to track spending in the spreadsheet app. Money will allow you to import your financial data from participating banks and credit unions, and provide you with information including how much you spend on certain categories like groceries, and whether recurring payments for services have increased.

You will see the new name for the services start to appear on your invoices after April 21st and all name changes in the service will be delivered by Microsoft, there is no need for you to do anything.

WebOffice 365 becomes Microsoft 365 – What you need to know

The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing during Lockdown

Digital marketing during lockdown: do you invest time into it, or pull back?

It’s true what they say – when it comes to your brand, out of sight is out of mind. According to a survey carried out by Kantar, just 8% of 35,000 respondents thought brands should stop advertising.

Just 7% of consumers think we should stop advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak

Marketing Week

However, there is a clear expectation that companies should be communicating in a different way: 78% of respondents thought brands should be helping them in their daily lives, 75% said brands should be informing people of what they’re doing and 74% have a belief that companies should not exploit the situation.

It’s time for businesses to adapt their digital marketing during lockdown:

The coronavirus has caused drastic shifts in both consumer needs and business goals. It’s important to adjust your marketing strategies and messaging accordingly—not just to stay relevant, but also to prevent coming off as insensitive. Here are the do’s and don’ts of marketing through the Covid-19 crisis:

DO – Communicate:

Contact all existing customers to demonstrate strength, partnership and availability. Adapt your spending from in-person marketing/sales events to digital channels and let everyone know 2 things:

  1. How you will be operating during this period – will hours be changing? Will there be a shift in services offers? You may want to think about updating your Google My Business page to reflect this.
  2. How you will be helping – listen to your customers and empathise with what they need from you during this time. What are the crucial ways in which you can help them?

DON’T – Hard Sell:

As the economic cost of the coronavirus outbreak continues to rise, businesses and consumers alike are anxious and uncertain about the future. If you didn’t like a hard-sell approach before, how do you think people are going to react to it at the moment? The answer? Not well.

Instead, educate about your topic: are there any resources or tips you can provide on your services/products?

DO – Empathise:

If there is one good thing that is emerging from this crisis, it’s that we are seeing the humanity at the heart of many companies. This is a scary time for many people, and you should take that into consideration when planning any external communication.

DON’T – Bury your head:

It is true that there are many companies that got this very wrong when this all started, but it doesn’t mean that you should bury your head and remain silent throughout this period. If your company refuses to adapt its company messaging throughout this, you will immediately come across like a tone-deaf business.

Instead, find the sweet spot between silence and storytelling by communicating things like what you’re doing to help, how your company is coping with working from home, and providing consistent transparency around your brand and its services.

DO – Be authentic:

There seems to be a new definition for professionalism developing across digital channels. Video conferencing at home with children running around and partners proffering coffee becomes a natural element of work, and corporate suits get hung up for when all this is over. Embrace it in your messaging and communicate honestly as a brand. Now is not the time for lifeless, impersonal messaging – avoid corporate talk and bring a personal, yet positive approach to your customer communication.

A great example – Heinz:

The maker of Heinz ketchup has created its first advert that was directed and shot by plant employees. The video shows workers in plants in Fremont, Ohio and Champaign, Illinois, with voiceover work by Dana Cockrell, a line operator at that Illinois plant:

We got you America

DON’T – Overlook the bigger picture:

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and look at your business changes from their perspective. Is your online customer journey leading them to pages that now seem outdated? Are you promoting your products/services in places where they might find them?

Summing Up:

Make no mistake, this is a tough time for almost everyone. But there are three valuable opportunities through digital marketing available due to the coronavirus lockdown.

First, there is a long-enforced pause in the tactical minutiae of daily business that allows you to see the big picture. Second, the virus presents you with the time to remedy some of the long-standing issues that your moment of reflection has subsequently revealed. And finally, the pause in trading enables you to fix those issues once and for all, before the wheels of commerce grind into motion again.

WebThe Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing during Lockdown