You know, numerous titles came to mind for this blog. "Pandemic Marketing", though true, sounded like it was fit for a sci-fi movie. "Marketing to Our Upside Down World" was maybe a little too dramatic — though we have been thrown off our normal activities, society isn't falling apart. So, I went with the title above to emphasize that different circumstances are going to take us by surprise, but success always has and will continue to come from adapting to the circumstances.
It seemed like everything happened so fast. One week everything was fine, then the next week, professional sports and schools were postponed and international travel was suspended. Now things are changing once again with states taking measures to open up. It's slowly changing 'back', but with talk of a second wave of the corona virus hitting later in the fall or winter, we know that the circumstances are apt to change on a moment's notice and businesses need to be ready and able to change according to the circumstances.
Interestingly, even though many in-person appointments were completely cancelled, quite a few were transferred to online meetings. Medical offices maintained appointments that didn't need to be in person, like informational meetings or therapy sessions. Obviously it's not the preferred setting, but marketing this option to customers allowed patients to continue to be seen for important appointments that were suspended from being in person.
A local smoothie place had a sign out the other day that had an offer to donate $4 and give a smoothie to a nurse or doctor at the nearest hospital. A number of businesses do this frequently where they have a donation box. Others allow you to round up your purchase to the nearest dollar for a charity. Firehouse Subs offers free sandwiches to current firefighters. Many enjoy feeling like they can help out in some way, and sometimes just don't know how.
Curbside and Takeout Made Easy
Curbside pickup and to-go orders have been the only way restaurants have stayed open over these past few months. Many didn't have this option before, but once it was their only option, they quickly made the changes necessary to allow for take out orders. With dine-in starting to be allowed in certain states, keep both — you don't want to lose the customer base that will still order lunch to the office.
Build an App
Now is definitely a great time to build an app if you haven't done so. Make ordering easy and offer rewards and points for frequent shoppers. Keep your customers updated with new changes and information on how your businesses is adapting to the changing environment.
Offering New Services
One thing that COVID-19 has shown is the importance of having more than one revenue stream. Focus on your ability to build multiple channels; for example, in person and online. I've seen some innovative new services and products being offered like a "take home pizza to bake at home" or craft kits for customers to buy and make at home.
The only thing that is consistent in life and in business is change. If you find yourself in need of ways to push your adaptive marketing through signage and direct mail, shoot us a message. We are happy to make your ideas happen.