Research during the pandemic has shown customers want to link with their familiar retail outlets while seeking consistency in messaging about present and future opportunities and operation. The ironic twist is that most retailers struggle with a consistent message because of the evolving situation. While operational messaging may change frequently, developing a consistent marketing strategy begins with a few building blocks.
- The Present: Right now, imperative information takes the stage. Your marketing strategy should emphasize current operational and safety details. Take advantage of various outlets and platforms to spread your message with hours of operation, pick-up and to-go instructions, guidelines on social distancing at your location and other vital customer information. If online ordering has replaced onsite selling, update your information as frequently as necessary and respond to customer feedback and inquiries on an ongoing basis. While the rule of thumb is to keep online information concise and simplified, now may be the time to use a twist in communications style to offer all the directives customers need to review and order products and services.
- The Future: While future guidelines may not be clear right now, that shouldn’t stop you from reminding customers about your dedication to consistent quality products and excellent customer service. Weaving that information into present messaging helps people understand your mission and clarify your goals for the future. That may mean revisiting your mission and vision statements and adapting them to your present conditions. Customers realize that during this challenging time, you will need to make changes to your operation, but also will appreciate the dedication to them and your community.
Clear, concise and consistent marketing and branding messages are the foundation for good sales strategies. Tailoring your message to meet current requirements should enhance your marketing plan and offer customers the valuable information they require. Buyers want clear guidelines to make informed decisions and your consistent messaging is vitally important, especially right now. Communicating pertinent facts while staying true to your mission is a two-fold process that combines immediacy with a nod to the future.
Traditional branding and promotions may be on hold or drastically changed at present. Your key audience may be different now, or you may need a new advertising platform. These changes put a twist into your regular marketing plans and prompt you to be flexible in business planning. If you can communicate immediate concerns while still staying true to your mission, customers will appreciate your efforts now and remember your dedication in the future.
Perhaps this quote from Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Company, says it best: “We are all navigating this new normal together. As we lock arms virtually and try to help one another in the ways we can, our vast world suddenly feels a little smaller and a lot more connected. And for that, we are grateful.”
The above information is presented for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for professional business or legal counseling.