The COVID-19 pandemic has had incredible impacts on the world in many ways. Most businesses were severely shook by the pandemic, and many continue to struggle. This has meant that businesses have had to pivot their marketing to adapt to the changing landscape, and in some cases, in order to survive.
As we move forward into a post-COVID world, businesses need to shift their approach once more. Here is how to approach marketing in this new world in order to promote your business, build your customer base, and be as successful as possible.
First of all, it is important to know that as your business moves forward post-COVID 19, this will not simply be a return to normal. As many have noted, we are facing a “new normal”. This means that you cannot simply return to your old marketing tactics and expect them to work the same as before. Rather, you need to make a plan for how your business will move forward and reach new customers in this new and evolving situation.
As you develop your marketing strategy for this new phase, ask yourself these questions:
During the COVID-19 pandemic and now in our post-COVID world, we are seeing a number of important shifts in consumer behaviour. In order to effectively market to your customers it is critical that you understand these shifts and therefore how to best reach your customer base.
In general terms, some of the changes we have seen include an avoidance of close human contact, not just during mandatory isolation but even as restrictions have begun to ease. Customers are much more cautious of infection, and so are tending to avoid large groups and crowded situations, even when they are allowed. Related to this is an increase in online activity and the amount of time that people are spending online, which presents a number of opportunities for marketers, as well as a vast increase in data collection.
Along with general shifts, there are also more specific changes in certain sections of the market, and among different demographics. It is therefore essential that you conduct market research to understand the latest trends among your customer base.
As mentioned, one of the major trends we’ve seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge increase in the amount of time that people are spending online. This, in turn, has meant a vast increase in data collection. Data is a vital tool for marketers and you can use it to refine your marketing tactics to make them more effective in reaching and converting your target audience. This is especially helpful at a time when consumer habits are changing, in helping you to quickly identify and understand these shifts.
However, while you should definitely use this data to your advantage to develop clever marketing strategies, it is important to recognize its limitations. As a new strain of data reflecting new sets of human behaviour, this means that we do not have historic data, and risks inaccuracies or false interpretations.
If the rapid arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that it is important to be able to respond with flexibility to new situations and challenges. Positioning yourself with a diverse range of marketing tactics means that you’ll be able to respond flexibly when things change by ramping up those approaches that best fit the new situation. As we progress post-COVID, many things remain uncertain, and so a flexibly approach is more important than ever.
Flexibility and diversity means that you should employ a range of marketing strategies that include a combination of both online and offline tactics. Along with pursue digital marketing tactic such as social media posts, videos and podcasts that take advantage of your audience’s increased online activity, you should also employ offline tactics to reach your audience at a face-to-face level, from eye-catching holographic stickers to billboards and signage.
Whether displaying or simply attending, trade shows are an invaluable marketing tactic. These are great places to make new connections and build existing relationships. You’ll meet potential customers, as well as a range of other valuable connections such as suppliers and partners.
Trade shows are a great opportunity to distribute marketing materials, whether you invest in a booth or not. By having a booth, however, you will have even greater opportunities to promote your business, putting your name out there and building your brand. This is also a great opportunity to have conversations with your customers and provide in-depth information about your products.
As you roll out your digital PR strategy, don’t forget about print media. Print media remains popular, especially for local publications like newspapers. Getting your business into the local paper will expose you to countless potential customers in your area. You can pitch a press release to local publications about events and other developments that may be of interest to the local community. To maximize the chance of your story being picked up, develop close relationships with local journalists and keep in touch with them.