While Americans still find themselves in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s an inkling of hope that the throttled U.S. economy has begun its recovery. An economic ascent to pre-pandemic levels will take a matter of months, but returning to “business as usual” does seem to be on the mind of most Americans. For businesses across the country, now is the time to strategize and implement a reopening plan that will ensure a return to everyday commerce is possible, even if that goal takes some time and patience to achieve.
For business owners and marketing professionals, advertising is of paramount importance in an economic climate such as this one. As economic activity increases and customers begin to return to more typical purchasing patterns, businesses must compete to recapture customer interest. A typical reopening-based marketing plan should include a variety of marketing ideas across multiple mediums, including print.
The challenges facing businesses looking to reopening are twofold. For most businesses, the following objectives will take precedence in creating a reopening strategy: The first objective centers on marketing that will guarantee customers know you’re open and ready to do business. The second objective is to prep your business for an influx of customers while maintaining customer and employee health and safety as a top priority. It’s up to management to ensure that employees can remain healthy – they depend on a safe work environment, and illness in your business can harm production or potentially get businesses in hot water with local or state governments.
Simple print marketing products like floor decals, instructive banners or signs and easily distributed pamphlets or brochures can help enforce the social distancing guidelines that are in place in any business. Health professionals recommend social distancing and limiting room capacity as a simple and effective mitigation tactic for virus transmission. Finding space in the budget for something as simple as floor decals or face coverings for employees may be the decision that helps ensure a business remains open and its employees stay healthy.
For alerting customers to your reopening, following a similar marketing strategy (one that would apply in a more typical economic climate) is better than nothing, but for many businesses, it is best to lean into advertising and increase the marketing budget for a few months. Ideally, marketing would have continued during the core weeks of the pandemic and the shutdowns it caused. For many, this wasn’t a feasible option. If this is the case, taking this time to turn up the marketing dial is a must.
Using a simple blended formula of social media announcements and cost-effective direct mail marketing is a good way to generate buzz about your reopening and produce incentives for customers to visit your business. A campaign like this will use social media to facilitate customer anticipation of a business’s reopening, and a cost-effective mail campaign featuring coupons or other incentives to visit and make purchases will convert that anticipation into action.
As the country begins to open back up after a few months of closures and complications, untapped consumer demand is waiting to be harnessed. Effective marketing and a proper social distancing plan will ensure that your business is able to capitalize on it.