There’s no playbook for coming out of a global pandemic. Even as seasoned marketing professionals, we will struggle to identify factual truths on how the world will navigate the new normal in the midst of both a pandemic and economic crisis. So, first let’s identify some essential insights to acknowledge as we begin to think about marketing in the coming months.
ESSENTIAL INSIGHTS ABOUT MARKETING IN THE POST-COVID WORLD
- Customers will be apprehensive about returning to any establishment for some time.
- Customers will have less money to spend and will be more reluctant to spend it.
- Engaging customers with slick advertising and high-pressure tactics will be counterproductive.
- Innovation, creativity, and flexibility will be critical to business success.
- Gathering feedback from your customers will be extremely important.
One fact I can share is that in times like these, marketing is the first item to be cut despite having empirical evidence showing organizations that continue marketing efforts during a crisis bounce back faster and higher once the business landscape reveals itself. After the 2008 financial meltdown, brands that continued to invest in marketing recovered nine times faster than the ones that didn’t.
The caveat is that you can’t just turn your old marketing message back on and expect results. Your messaging — and how you engage your consumers — will have to change to fit into a drastically different world. Here are some ideas to consider as you get your company Back to Business.
GETTING BACK TO BUSINESS AFTER COVID-19
Restart your digital marketing sooner rather than later
If you’re like most brands, you’ve stopped your digital marketing efforts. But, it’s important to know you can’t just turn digital ads back on and expect results. The algorithms used to determine relevancy and consumer targeting take a few months to optimize, so getting these running now will set you up for success in the coming months.
Update your messaging
The BOGO or hard sell tactics of Q1 may not resonate with consumers right now. While updating your messaging across all your tactics sounds like a herculean task, start with those that can make the most immediate impact like digital ads and social media. You should also update messaging on your website so your voice is consistent as consumers navigate from those channels to your web page.
Think of new ways to help your customers ease back into spending
Consider providing a financing option through third-party companies who can provide pre-approved payment options via their app. They assume the risk, meaning they pay you in full at the time of purchase while you’ve decreased the barrier to entry for your customer.
Create customer and/or employee videos
Being able to show how your organization helped everyone survive through this crisis can help create strong relationships with consumers on social media. But, you’ll want to move quickly on this one. Being first-to-market with this type of messaging can be the difference between being praised for your efforts or labeled a follower.
Conduct research NOW
Really understanding how consumers feel about and interact with your brand is essential to strategic communication. However, most companies have never invested the time or money in research. It’s OK to dip your toes into the research pool with a less formal and soft sounding research project now to help guide your post-pandemic marketing, but a thorough research project should be in your budget before year’s end.
For companies to get Back to Business, you have to be prepared with new strategies and tactics. Companies who will bounce back quickest have thought ahead and are not just turning their old marketing back on, but are creating new, relevant messages to engage their consumers. Preparing your new marketing messaging now will pay dividends down the road.