With businesses beginning to reopen again, it’s essential they begin to look at their marketing strategy and how they can market their business and adapt post COVID. This involves new ways of operating, new ways of engaging and selling to your customers whilst increasing value. Marketing is crucial for survival, so check out these 10 tips I have put together that you can implement below.
1. EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Social is the way to go. More and more have moved to online due to restrictions of COVID, new trends that have been identified and simply due to the fact that for such a long period of months was the only way to access products and services. People have used social media to stay connected and to hear the most recent news updates. As lockdowns begin to ease, this is your time to shine by reviewing your marketing strategy. Stay in touch with your customers with regular updates with trusted and valuable content; let them know you’re still there. We recommend that on your return to work to post different content forms; photos, videos or gifs to highlight your adherence to the government guidelines showing that you care for your customers on their return to your business.
2. DIGITISE CORE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Making this move will always pay off; especially if there are any universal disruptions in the future. Embrace a shift to the digital side and advertise your products online. If you’re feeling clueless as to how to make the first move, do your research or even get an agency to provide you with support. As lockdowns became the new normal, UNCTAD reports that businesses and consumers increasingly “went digital”, providing and purchasing more goods and services online, raising e-commerce’s share of global retail trade from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020.”
3. RE-EVALUATE TARGET MARKETS
The economy and society has changed already and will continue to do so post-pandemic. If these have changed, your target market may have too. As part of updating your marketing strategy, doing a review of you target market is important. Conduct an audit of the demographics of your digital conversions before, during, and post lockdown. You can start by analysing trends as to whether your target market has changed or expanded and start to identify new ways of catering to these markets if so. A good way to do this is looking at customer personas, but don’t forget to still cater for the previous customers.
4. USE EMAIL
E-mail marketing is an easy way to access and get talking to your customers. Campaigns can be constructed quickly with flexible content and engagement of your campaign is almost immediately measurable at the recipient level. These features make the option of email channels the quick and easy solution to communicating important information about your business; especially due to the rapid evolving communication styles there are today. However, make sure it stands out, ensure your messages resonate with your target audience. This will accelerate your recovery and performance, putting you ahead of the game. Annually review your email performance over time and always look for ways to improve engagement and open rate of emails.
5. EMPHASISE VALUE
A huge percentage of the workforce were furloughed and there was a period where many industries in the UK and Ireland economy were paused. As the industries begin to reopen again, consumers will be purchasing with higher value intent compared to previous buying pre-COVID. It is estimated there will be an influx of sales promotions as high street stores look to offload old stock. Get your paid search advertisements, website information, and content up to spec to clearly identify your promotions, your opening hours and procedures in place. You don’t want irritated customers arriving to your store and you’re closed that day due to reduced hours. Get your new opening hours up on your website, on Google Business and maintain your customers.
You need to question whether your market changed because of COVID? Or has your access to your market changed, or your target market? Focus on identifying the answers to these questions and challenge yourself to embrace new fears. If you want to remain at the top level of competition in this ever evolving landscape, experimenting with new ideas is the way to go. Marketing is all about experimenting, and defining new business strategies or incorporating more modern approaches to social or e-commerce will benefit your business. Doing so will maximise revenue in the acquisition of new customers.
7. USE ‘AI’
Introducing technology to the business will always be a benefit. The use of technology can automate business processes, gain deeper insight into your data and allow for analysis, as well as engaging with customers and employees. For example; a shift rota planner can enhance your workforce, especially on return from COVID. Communication in business amongst your staff will be extremely important, perhaps conducting return to work interviews and regular performance reviews will allow your staff to see the importance behind this and your reasoning for implementing technology to improve the workforce. Identify technology software that is easy to use, quick to set up and won’t cause a hindrance on the performance of your business.
Lockdown got people thinking more about the environment and there has been a definitive increase in businesses changing their methods of working as they want to continue to appeal to their customers. A lot of consumers now would be deterred from purchasing a product or service from somewhere if that organisation is not seen to be environmentally sustainable. Be progressive and implement these actions if you haven’t already done so. Do your research as to how you can adjust your supply chain and operational practices. For example; as takeaway remains, switch to fully recyclable containers, adapt your menu to cater for plant based – carrying out simple changes will maintain and attract customers whilst helping to protect the planet.
9. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL
As many businesses were affected by the Coronavirus, the focus is to support local. There are endless reasons as to why this is a good idea; it shows you care about the community that you live in. You’ll be able to put money back into your community and it’ll give your local economy a chance to thrive too. The future still remains uncertain for a lot of businesses so planning your marketing carefully will give you an honourable chance of success. If you are supporting local and have some background in marketing and can see ways that this local business could improve, offer your advice and tips to help them thrive; they will appreciate it! Especially if they are only learning about marketing and what it has to offer.
10. INNOVATE NEW IDEAS
What you offer may already be enough, but sometimes all it needs to attract more consumers is a facelift. Before, with less concentration on e-commerce and online platforms you may not have bothered much about the appearance and branding of these areas. So why not take the time now to focus on giving a new look to the products and services that you already have, incorporating more sustainable options as we discussed above and begin marketing them! This will really impress your customers; they might even think it’s something completely new!
The last year has been a challenge for businesses all over the world. But remember that this situation is temporary. Keep your marketing efforts going, even if that means making adjustments to your strategy! It will pay off in the long run.
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