COVID-19 Case Study: connecting with customers


MIA Member and family run British company Ashdown Music are having to adapt and change their focus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as are many companies in the MI industry. Here, Ashdown share some thoughts on the importance of keeping in touch with their customers and explore how they’re adapting to the new market…
A thought piece by Dan Gooday, Marketing Director at Ashdown Music 

Over the past few months ,we have had to change the way we market our products, bearing in mind our normal clients tend to be gracing stages across the world night after night, true road warriors. Many of these players are now without work or a steady income so we haven’t wanted to try hard selling of even market products designed for life on the road, which is around 70% of our current offering.

“So, the only natural thing to do was to maintain and support them in any way we can, we are a small family business trying everything to ride this wave. As such we see our customers & fans as family, seeing the situation as bleak as it is for live music has changed our focus more than ever.”

The best way we can connect with our customers is via social media, it is a platform that enables our message and content to be heard and seen organically or paid depending on budgets. There isn’t a formula that we have found for this to magically work we have a very loyal and established fan base and their engagement and genuine interest in our brand has been the route of our success.

“We are firm believers that we would be nothing without our customers.” We share the same frustrations as all at this time, with the uncertainty of what is to come for brick & mortar stores and live music in general we need to consider it might not be the same again…

With more and more of a focus towards online sales via some of the world’s largest online focused music retailers we have seen growth amongst our ‘built for the home’ products. Online sales only work if you have the content to support them from customer service first and foremost, to ensuring the customers have already made the decision to purchase one of our products. This comes by making sure there is enough info and educational videos (content) so that the customer doesn’t need to be sold to by a salesperson on the shop floor.

For instance, when we go to a supermarket to do the food shopping, we know what we want before we leave the house there isn’t someone advising on the best bacon to have with our choice of bread or even cooking oil.

This starts with the product pages on our site and then replicating that message into social chunks and videos maintaining the same consistent message about that specific product. We don’t offer a one fits all solution, so our content needs to be broken down by product and audience, a basic in any marketing road map, but one often overlooked by us in the past as we assumed people knew everything already, they don’t.

“So as I was saying earlier there is no formula other than ensuring there are very few questions that need answering by the customer and when there is a question we answer them personally straight away ”

We have recently during lockdown been running our ‘Isolation Sessions’ this got many of our friends and customers involved in generating their own content for us to share via our channels giving us a wealth of content and interaction with the people who make our business what it is today. We then with the help of Phillip Mann ran our ‘Isolation Lessons Live’ on Facebook with 8 hours of free tutorials over the space of a weekend each lesson was an hour long and is available for all on our Facebook page and now filtering them out on our YouTube channel as well. We think it’s important to give back in times like this, a human message of kindness and understanding goes a long way, this isn’t something we have to force it is in the fabric of our operation.

Again, to reiterate we are a family company and consist of the following people, Mark Gooday (MD, Founder) Jane Gooday (FD, Wife of Mark), Dan Gooday (Marketing, Son of Mark), Lee Alexander (Sales, Son in Law of Mark), David Bush (Customer Service), Dave Green (Engineer), Joe Green (Assembly, Wife of Dave) and Guy Morel (Service, 22 years with us) we then tend to outsource anything else but there isn’t much we don’t handle in house, from content to customer service we are fairly self-sufficient. We manufacture 30% of our offering in the UK and source locally for most major components from suppliers we have worked with for the past 40 years in some cases 25 as Ashdown

These next few months will see some dramatic changes to our industry what they have in store for us is for another time but all we can do at this time of uncertainty is prepare for the worst and hope for the best, offer support and be there for one another.