There’s no sure answer to what the next few months will bring, but we definitely know it won’t be business as usual right away. Business owners and marketers are now trying to keep on top of any updates from the government, to be on the button with getting customers back to using their goods or services.
Your post pandemic strategy– will be an ongoing plan that covers the time that restrictions are eased until the country is back to some form of normality. But how you communicate as soon as your customers are released from lock down is the first important task to get ready for.
What’s your Tone?
Feeling a bit conscious about how you’re going to approach your customers again? How businesses connect and reconnect with their audience should be designed to keep lifting the mood of the buyer. At the start of the pandemic, major brands like Toyota launched campaigns that empathised with their audience, but post pandemic they may look into a more fun, uplifting approach.
Orlando Wood, Chief Innovation Officer at System1, an agency that applies behavioural science to understanding how people really make decisions, says ads will use local and cultural references, to show a connection with society and history. ‘Ads that feature living characters, betweenness, humour and empathy will connect better.’
We’re already starting to see these trends on our billboards. Thousands of advertisers are live on billboards across the country and thankfully on major routes leading to essential shopping areas, still in view of their local customers heading to essential services. The tone of some campaigns are changing to show that they care and are still available.
Where should I advertise?
Keeping contact with your customers now will strengthen your post pandemic campaign. Your core customers, the people that have kept your business alive during the ‘good old days’, will still want to hear from you now. Communication with customers should maintain a mix of online and offline mediums. A balanced approach will bring you the best results. You need to know exactly what’s important for your business to not only achieve in the short term but the long term as well.
Email marketing and social media are still a cheap, cost effective strategy right now. Majority of people are now sat at home in front of their computers or phones, still very much accessible. However, post-pandemic will show a shift in this new norm. As restrictions lift there may be a mix of the ‘travelling to work’ and the ‘work from home’ customers. This is where the mix of advertising mediums is key! It’s up to you to keep them all informed at different touch points.
Out of Home / Billboards will be a very vital part of top marketers plans. Maintaining a presence in people’s minds once they start getting back into their usual routines is going to be what separates strong businesses from the rest. Popular routes for local shopping and travel to work will still be used, however there will be new players emerging and coming after new markets, so letting your community know that you’re still the best and still open will get you right back into their arms.
How connected are your customers? As with relationships – time apart can either weaken or strengthen a bond. In some cases, for major food & beverage brands like Mc Donald’s, and Costa, long distance will probably make the heart grow fonder for their customers, so they continue to maintain communication until they reopen. However, if you are still customer loyalty, the moment you go quiet will a competitor in your industry pop up and start turning heads?
Things to consider:
Do I acknowledge the pandemic in my ads?
Post Pandemic, don’t over mention Coronavirus, your customers will be ready to move on. Online retail brands like ASOS and Fashionova have continued to push their spring/ summer collections, keeping their customers optimistic and planning for a summertime outdoors. Keeping some form of normality in their communications may actually be helping the brands stay connected, by keeping customers optimistic by planning for better days.
If you’re on the high street, what will your customers want to know to feel comfortable spending again? Have you planned for or implemented safer shopping in your store/s? Have you worked out delivery or virtual meeting options? Get ready to let them know that they are safe in your hands. Find fun & creative ways of doing and promoting this.
Be very strategic when selecting the billboards you decide to advertise on. Let your Local Billboard Expert know who you are targeting and what approach you’d like to take. With continuous research and observations on peoples behaviour and essential travel routes, they will help you pick the right location to fit into your advertising strategy.
The way customers interact with your business will be very different for a while, so communication is key! Keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground for what your customers are saying and looking for from your business.
What ever you do, don’t disappear …
“Brand health becomes vulnerable when companies stop advertising…If they do this for longer than six months it destroys both short- and long-term health.” says Kantar Insights Global Head of Media, Jane Ostler.