Back in business
Marketing has proven to be a resilient industry that even a savage pandemic can’t stop. During your time away from the office, you’ve been planning for the months ahead and taking care of your people so that as states begin to open across the country, you’ll be well-positioned to execute your marketing plan.
Yet, depending on your industry or the product/services you’re marketing, the approach needs to be tailored to accommodate shifting audience behavior. While some industries such as dining and retail will likely realize the benefits of pent-up demand, other industries like entertainment and travel may take longer to re-establish their footing.
If you happen to be one of the companies providing essential services such as grocery stores or remote work technology, the pace never slowed down. While other marketers were reducing budgets, chances are you increased spending to engage an audience faced with the challenges and anxieties of the quarantine.
Now that freedoms are being restored, your focus needs to be on turning your transactions from the last few months into long-term relationships. Investing in customer engagement tactics and loyalty programs are a good way to transition people who may have bought from you based on immediate needs to customers who see value in continuing the relationship.
While at home, consumers have been looking forward to participating in their favorite activities again. While the economy won’t bounce back immediately, some industries are already seeing big gains as states reopen. New vehicle sales were only down 29.8% in May compared to 47.9% in April according to the National Automotive Dealers Association, and retail sales are slowly climbing.
Although this activity indicates the strong potential for year-over-year drops, sales may still fall in line with traditional spending. In this case, it’s important for marketers to execute their plans quickly to maintain previous market share. Companies that wait too long may lose their customers to competition that shows greater agility out of the gate.
Wait and see
Some industries still have some time to analyze the market. Despite loosening restrictions, airlines and travel companies are still in a state of massive decline and will most likely see an impact for some time. Entertainment destinations and concert venues are still under heavy restrictions.
It’s easy in these instances to become complacent and assume that you have plenty of time. However, using this time to help customers plan for purchases down the road is a solid investment. This includes offering discounts, exclusive experiences, or deferred payments to capture advance sales.
Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, consumers are still opening their wallets. Regardless of your situation, now is the time to act. If you’re unsure of where to begin, look at the technology helping your business.
Here’s some guidance on ways you can adapt and accelerate post-COVID from FARM’s Jeff Schaefer and Steve Czajkowski.