Preparing your Marketing Strategies with Less Pandemic Restrictions
Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel signaling the end of the pandemic. Though we won’t necessarily return to pre-COVID norms, marketers do need to keep lessening restrictions in mind in their marketing efforts. If you aren’t sure what that means, you aren’t alone. We’ve put together a few guidelines that should help you pivot your marketing messages to remind your customers that you are here to welcome them as pandemic restrictions ease.
Pay Attention to the Changing Restrictions
Chicago is reopening, as all adults can now be vaccinated. As the pandemic comes to a close, restaurant capacity restrictions are easing, and you can host events again with some restrictions. While that is good news to many with cabin fever from a year-plus long absence from anything other than a Zoom social life, businesses seeking to reassure consumers that they are open and serving customers must pay attention to a situation still fraught with change. While you previously marketed to your existing and target customer base, you now have to refine your efforts to customer segments.
What does this mean for marketers? As health officials respond to surges in coronavirus cases, they may recommend reinstituting restrictions in areas experiencing an uptick in infection rates. That means that your marketing messages may change by county, city, or zip code. To market effectively in a changing environment, you need to be attentive and ready to pivot at a moment’s notice.
Invest In Your Existing Customers
Your existing customers are essential to your business, even more so since they’ve remained loyal throughout the pandemic-driven economic downturn. Now is the time to show them how much you appreciate them. There are many ways to do this, such as offering discounts, refunds, or even temporary premium features to encourage them to continue to invest in your business as the economy stabilizes. They’ve supported you in tough times and deserve a reward for their loyalty.
Showing appreciation for your existing customers while bringing in new ones can be challenging. However, your business must keep customer retention and not just customer acquisition in mind. A nominal increase of 5% in customer retention can improve profits from 25% up to 95%. The key to customer loyalty and retention during difficult times is figuring out what customers need and finding ways to meet it. Offering unique services through targeted ad campaigns that adjust to changing needs not only shows your current customers that you appreciate them but shows target customers what they can expect from your business.
Increase Your Online Presence
The pandemic revealed the weaknesses of our current online systems and the necessity to institute a robust online presence. Some countries saw a more dramatic upswing in online shopping than others. Thailand saw a 60% increase in downloads of online shopping apps in one week during March 2020. Many of Chicago’s small businesses have already begun turning to online sales, and those that weren’t prepared for the demand found themselves unable to serve customers in a new paradigm.
Being adaptable and responsive to an increasingly online world means investing in CRM software, developing an eCommerce store, or offering services online. Keep in mind that connecting with your customers personally is more important than ever when distance is enforced. Building a strong social media presence, keeping relevant content posted, and responding quickly to comments can seem overwhelming for those who are new to it. Using automation software or outsourcing social media can make it more manageable for businesses to better serve and be more responsive to their customers.
Overhaul Your Communications Strategy
Consumers’ listening and reading habits have changed. Your communication strategy hinges on understanding how these behaviors change as more people can interact more freely with the world. Before you can adjust your marketing strategy to match these new habits, you must conduct some consumer research. Surveys and focus groups are two ways to help discover new consumer habits, priorities, pain points, and desires that allow you to be more responsive to changing needs, making your business more relevant.
Lean Into Radio Influencers
Influencer marketing is on the rise due to its phenomenal ability to increase awareness of your brand and trust in your products, both on radio and social media. It is a growing trend, with brands expected to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. An astounding 92% of marketers say that using influencers is an effective marketing strategy. However, you need to pick the proper channels and influencers to reach the most receptive audience.
Chicago radio influencers understand their audience and know how to communicate with them. They’re well suited to ensure your radio endorsements connect with the audience, describing the benefits of your products in an authentic and organic way that inspires trust. Local radio influencers are inextricably connected to the community and its residents by volunteering, chairing or announcing events, and attracting a large and loyal listening audience each day. Work with a knowledgeable and experienced media partner to find the best influencer and channels for your business.
Stay Informed and Responsive When Marketing in the Post-Pandemic Environment
A well-planned and executed marketing strategy are ideal for any environment, but the ever-changing pandemic to post-pandemic restrictions can be challenging. The right marketing strategy lets you capitalize on the excitement everyone has to go out into the world again. Continue investing in quality communication and technology, show appreciation to your customers, choose the right channels and influencers, and your customers will reward you with their loyalty once everything is fully open again.