If your business is currently reopening after the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to implement a specific reopening marketing strategy. The needs of your customers have changed, so you must adjust your marketing messaging as well. The worst thing you can do for your business is come across as insensitive to our ever changing reality. Some have lost their loved ones and others continue to live in fear because of their weakened immune system. In order to gain back the business you lost during the shutdown, you must adjust your marketing strategy using these five steps:
While no one could have ever known or prepared for a pandemic to bring the world to a screeching halt, we can begin to adjust using the information and best practices we have available to us. These five steps will help you create your COVID-19 marketing strategy and begin to feel like you are operating “normally” again.
You need to understand how other businesses in your local area and region are responding to the coronavirus reopening. Your local and state regulations may differ from federal ones. By taking a look at what nearby businesses are doing with their reopening marketing strategy, you can get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
Fortunately, we live such a technologically advanced time that has connected us all together. This makes it easy to understand the sentiment of your audience through social media. You might find during your research that consumers are not happy with what some of your competitors are doing. On the other hand, you may come across genius ideas that consumers are raving about online.
Take what you find and learn from both the mistakes and the successes. You may not be able to exactly recreate your competitors’ reopening marketing strategies and campaigns, but you can eliminate making the same errors. This will help you save time and resources.
The needs of your customers have likely changed significantly. In our pre-pandemic business world, it was easy to market your product/service based on the solutions it provided to your customers. Nowadays, customers are worried about their health and safety more than the solutions your business provides.
Your reopening marketing message needs to convey to new and past customers that your business is doing everything in its power to maintain health and safety. You need to move away from focusing solely on promotional messaging and move toward speaking about the realities of the COVID-19 era.
Take time to craft messaging that relays how your business is implementing CDC guidelines that protect both employees and customers. Make sure you show your customers how your storefront maintains social distancing measures. Promote health and safety more than how your solutions help your customers.
Your reopening marketing strategy must include all of your marketing channels. Even if you haven’t updated your blog in a year (which is not available, but we will cover that in a separate blog), you need to create a post that speaks about your business’s coronavirus reopening strategy.
Marketing channels your business should be using to communicate your messaging include:
Your reopening marketing strategy must have a consistent message across all channels. Even though Twitter has a character limit, keep the tweet brief and direct your followers to your blog post that goes more in-depth on your reopening procedures.
You should have printed flyers in your store that explain how your business is maintaining social distancing. Create markers that are six feet apart and hang signs that explain how your business alins with CDC guidelines.
If your business improves measures to maintain health and safety, you need to immediately return to your reopening marketing strategy and update the messaging. Then, go back to each of your marketing channels and relay the new information.
You will likely make many changes as we adjust to our new “normal”, so leave time in your schedule at least once a week to relay this information to your customers and followers.
Once your reopening marketing strategy is implemented, you must ask for feedback from both customers and employees. Just as you would conduct A/B testing on marketing campaigns pre-pandemic, you must understand how your messaging is being received.
You can request the feedback from customers in a number of ways:
When you are requesting feedback, be sure to ask about their health and safety. Did they feel like you followed CDC guidelines? Had they seen your new marketing messaging before going in-store? Were they more focused on your steps to protect their health or were they simply looking for your product/service? The answers to these questions will help you understand how to improve your reopening marketing campaign.
Equally as important, you must receive feedback from your employees. These individuals are the ones on the front lines implementing the CDC guidelines. Have they heard anything from customers about your business’ approach to reopening after quarantine? Do they have any recommendations for how to spread your marketing message? Listen to your employees and take their comments to heart. They very well may have the next great idea that strengthens your marketing efforts.
Your reopening marketing campaign will need to be adjusted as new guidelines and information become available. At this time, no one knows for certain how long social distancing will be required or if we should expect additional changes in how we conduct business.
Take the feedback you have received and use it to adjust your marketing efforts. If your reopening campaign seemed to miss the mark, change course. If you heard positive feedback, focus on what you did right and keep moving forward. If any one customer or employee gave you exceptional feedback, let it be known! This will encourage additional feedback in the future.
Consider your sales data and ROI you received from your reopening marketing strategy. Along with feedback, the numbers you generate in your report will help you fully understand what is working and what needs to be improved.
We are all living through the coronavirus era, so it is important to remember that no one expects perfection. Your reopening marketing strategy may be a success or need several adjustments along the way. Do not get discouraged when there is a bump in the road.
The hopes of returning to the way business was pre-pandemic remain strong. However, for right now, your marketing strategy must align with our new “normal”. Continue to focus on health and safety measures before trying to push your product or service. Without our health, we cannot make purchases or enjoy venturing out to stores.
It will take time to get back to the monthly revenue you saw before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Remind yourself that this is a journey that we are all navigating together. It’s okay for something to not go quite right and it’s expected to make many adjustments. Use this time to craft the best reopening marketing strategy possible and release exceptional messaging that resonates with your audience.