Marketing Post COVID

marketing post COVID

As some states are cautiously (or not so cautiously) reopening, those businesses that have survived will need to navigate the new normal and figure out how to do marketing post COVID. Things are not going to magically go back to “normal,” so you will need to make adjustments to your marketing strategy and tactics. Some industries like airlines have been devastated, while others like home goods have skyrocketed. Regardless of where your company stands, but especially if your sales have suffered, it will benefit you to reassess your marketing post COVID.

Goals

Before the pandemic, you had goals for your business. Maybe you wanted to add a new product or location, or you wanted to break into a new market. If your business had to shut down, your goals will likely shift. Now, you might be interested in recovering some percentage of your customer base, changing the services you offer to adjust to new customer needs or improving your digital presence.

New Customer Needs

Your marketing post COVID will depend on new customer needs. Customer needs, attitudes and habits have changed because of coronavirus. For example, people are wary of being in groups of people, or even too close to one person. They want fewer people to touch their products and payment cards. Many people have suffered financially, so they may not be able or willing to spend the same amount of money they did in the past.

They want to be reassured about both business cleanliness and the way the company treats its customers, employees and the community at large. Take a look at your customers specifically and determine their new needs and fears. Try to determine whether your customer needs will be changing permanently or in the short term.

Positioning

Now that you have a good idea of the new needs of your customers, you can focus on re-evaluating your positioning. If your product or service was previously considered to be a staple, is it now look at as a luxury? An example of this in some places is Starbucks coffee both because of price and proximity. On the other hand, most people pre-COVID found themselves buying disposable latex gloves seldom if at all; now they are considered a necessity.

Maybe what you sell is considered to be an impossibility for your past customers. For example, you may run a bar and entertainment venue that customers think of as too risky to go to at this point. If you have the financial resources to ride out this period of extreme caution, great. But if not, think about how you can modify your offering through providing digital entertainment or custom cocktail delivery.

Competition

How does your company and its products and services compare to competitors now? Crises are great opportunities for new brands and products to break into the market because customer routines and assumptions are shaken up. You may be well positioned because of your price point, your technology or delivery methods.

Or perhaps your competitors have this kind of edge. If that is the case, your marketing post COVID will need to react with a change to products and services, delivery, price or added value in order to compete.

Product/Service Delivery

If you have a physical location like a store, you will need to make changes so that customers will feel more comfortable buying from you. Maybe this means you carry fewer products to give customers room to social distance. Or you could regularly disinfect and let customers know about it. Or you could focus more on delivering products to customer homes or digitally delivering services or content.

For help forging strategies for marketing post COVID, contact Pro Creative.

Marketing in the Time of Coronavirus

marketing uncertainty

Many companies that are still operating are hesitant to do marketing now, while we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. With most employees working from home, they don’t have access to the same marketing resources. They are also worried about looking like they are only interested in making money while people are suffering. The good news is, yes, you can continue marketing now; you just need to do things differently.

Get Creative

You may not have access to professional photographers and videographers, but all is not lost. Create an event or contest that encourages user-generated content. You can also use stock images and video footage to flesh out short videos for your website and social media. Videos of owners and employees from home talking about the products, coronavirus precautions or community involvement are an authentic and touching way to connect with customers and prospects.

Shift to Meet Current Needs

Say your business relies on in-person interaction with customers. Since that is not going to happen for some time, look at how you can use your company’s products, processes or knowledge to fulfill a need. In addition to keeping your business afloat, it will keep you top-of-mind for when things go back toward normal.

For example, Firmenich, the fragrance house that creates fine perfumes, has shifted to producing hand sanitizer. Rum maker Bacardi has followed suit. A baseball uniform manufacturer is using the iconic striped fabric to make face masks and scrubs. Product retailers can shift to selling online and yoga instructors are doing classes on Zoom. Include your new offerings in all of your digital marketing.

Hold Online Events

People staying home are bored and there’s only so much Netflix they can watch. Create fun and educational online events to entertain and inform them. A liquor store can create a bi-monthly cocktail-making or wine webinar. Fashion stores can run a contest asking customers who have previously purchased to send videos of them modeling the clothes they bought. Feature the videos in your social marketing posts and on your website.

Pair it with the ability to order online, and you can make sales, maintain awareness and strengthen your brand.

Make People Happy

Use humor to alleviate the tension people are feeling right now. Everyone can use a smile or laugh. Or, surprise people with something amazing, as John Krasinski did with this episode of his YouTube series Some Good News. That’s why, as of the time of writing, his video has gotten over 11 million views. Of course, most small business owners don’t have the kind of access to celebrities that Krasinski has, but if you can tap into some engaging talent, then do it!

For more ideas about smart marketing in the time of coronavirus, contact Pro Creative.

Getting People to Change Their Behavior

convince them to change their behavior

The goal of all marketers is to convince people to change their behavior. Try this product. Fill out a form. Don’t take a taxi; take an Uber. And, most recently, stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask.

As we’ve seen lately, even with a very compelling reason for people to change their behavior, getting them to do so, especially for any length of time, is hard. In fact, when you tell someone, “do this,” it is likely that the answer will be no, as anyone who is the parent of a teenager can attest. It’s human nature to push back against directives from other people. The most effective strategies involve convincing people it is their own idea to change their behavior.

Point Out Inconsistencies

Have you ever heard anyone say, “Do as I say, not as I do”? We often have double standards, where we judge other people for behavior we do ourselves.

For a healthy habit, for example, instead of trying to convince someone to do them it because “it’s good for you,” substitute a loved one and then enlarge the idea.

In a groundbreaking stop smoking campaign in Thailand, health officials had young children go up to an adult who was smoking and ask for a light. The adult would explain that the child shouldn’t smoke because it is unhealthy. Before the child walked away, he would give the smoker a flier that said “You worry about me … But why not about yourself?” with a toll-free quit line number. Calls to the number jumped 60% during this campaign.

Turn It Around

Rather than telling, try asking. People do not like feeling like they are being lectured, but a thoughtful question can get them thinking in a different way. For example, an agent selling life insurance can talk for an hour about how important it is to be covered. Or she could pose the question, “How would you support your family financially if the main wage earner suddenly passed away?” Now, the prospect is making internal calculations that are likely to shift the conversation from “if” to “how much coverage is needed.”

Break It Down

Sometimes, recommendations can seem too overwhelming. For example, financial planners typically recommend that everyone have at least 3-6 months worth of cash set aside in an emergency fund. But for people living paycheck to paycheck, that can seem like an impossible task. Instead, ask them to save all of their $1 bills each week and put that money in a separate account. Wells Fargo has a program that does just that called Way2Save. Every time an account holder uses her debit card for a purchase, $1 is transferred into her savings account. Over time, the small deposits will eventually build up into an adequate emergency fund.

Pro Creative crafts persuasive communication that can get prospects to change their behavior to fill out a form, set an appointment or make a purchase. Find out how we can help you increase leads and sales.

Here are some more tips from the Harvard Business Review.