The lockdown is easing, and non-essential stores are allowed to open from 15th June. Marketers face challenges, including letting your customers know you’re back open and ready for business. Keeping your customers safe (we’re not out of the woods just yet). Rebuilding customer engagement and trust. Ultimately drive sales and leads. But how do you do all this? How do you market your way out of lockdown? Here are our best ways of using offline marketing to ensure you step out of lockdown ready!
At a glance
- Reassess your budget.
- Keep your customers safe with social distancing signage.
- Use technology and POS together to offer in-store discounts safely.
- Advertise your stores opening with Door Drops.
- Use Direct Mail to rebuild trust with your customers.
- Thoroughly plan your next campaign.
Reassess your budget
As the old saying goes “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise”. One of the most common repercussions of any crisis that affects brands and business is the marketing budget gets slashed or put on hold. Although it is common practice, it’s not always the right thing to do. Keeping your brand in front of the customer ensures that they will come to you when the crisis is over. The lockdown saw many brands doing this. But others didn’t, let’s take AIRBNB.
The travel/tourism sector is arguably one of the worst-hit sectors of the lockdown. Rather than pulling their budget and stopping their marketing, AIRBNB pivoted their messaging and stayed in contact with their customers offering out images of their beautiful spaces for free download and usage. They have recognised that staying at the forefront of peoples minds will put them in the best possible position when the industry restarts, therefore, grabbing more market share.
If you pulled your marketing budget, now is the time to put that money back. You may no longer be “THE” brand on peoples minds at the moment. People are apprehensive, and they need to know which brands they can trust to help keep them safe in this new normal we find ourselves in. Marketing heavily now with messages of trust and encouragement will reinvigorate interest in your brand and rebuild that lost trust.
Keep your customers and employees safe
Keeping both employees and customers safe while in the workplace is something every boss will have to think long and hard about. How do you maintain social distancing in a small confined office? What’s the best way to let customers know how far apart they should be standing whilst queueing? How to keep public-facing employees safe? These questions and more all need to be answered before opening up any workplace.
Social distancing signage will be a great help to workplaces. Signs can come in all shapes and sizes from small stickers to go on your doors to instantly remind customers of their responsibility to remain 2 metres apart to large hard-wearing floor stickers to tell people where to stand when queuing. Plus clear acrylic shields to help protect your public-facing employees.
Although these vital signs may not seem like a form of marketing, they are. Upon seeing them, customers will feel more at ease and relaxed, safe in the knowledge that you are doing everything you can to protect both them and your employees. A relaxed customer is a happy customer, and happy customers tend to spend more.
Use Technology in POS
Queues are naturally going to be longer with people standing 2metres apart, and some stores operating a one out one in system to stem the number of people in an enclosed space at once. How do you keep the queueing people entertained? How do you encourage them to continue to wait?
Bluetooth beacons in point of sale displays are a perfect way of offering discounts and other offers to people when entering your stores.
Bluetooth beacons can be programmed to send notifications to customers who have your app on their phone. That’s where the POS part steps up, encouraging customers who don’t already have the app to download the app.
The beacons can push any notifications to the app, maybe a game to play while people wait and when they complete it, they receive an offer. Or a short video advertising a product. The possibilities are endless. The beacons can be battery powered so the signs can be put anywhere.
Advertise your stores opening with Door Drops
Your stores are ready to open, great! Now you need to let people know. The best and most cost-effective way of doing so is to utilise door drops. Door drops work by targeting your demographic predominantly based on their geolocation. This feature is why they are perfect for store openings. Target people within a certain radius of the stores and don’t forget to include an enticing offer to ensure people convert and return to your stores.
Door drops are heavily discounted when compared with purchasing data or postage. There is no personal information supplied and you are essentially marketing to that household. Which is excellent because your door drop gets passed around houses increasing the life and response rates of your marketing piece. There are also Royal Mail incentives to help save even more money on postage. See our incentives guide here.
You don’t have to target people in a radius of your store; you can build your ideal demographic and target where that demographic live. For example, if your store sells high-end luxury art, your demographic would probably be affluent people. Using geolocation data, you can target where this demographic resides, giving you a highly targeted marketing channel.
Use Direct Mail to build trust with your customers
Direct Mail is one of the most trusted sources of marketing. Research conducted by Royal Mail Marketreach has revealed that 87% of consumers consider mail communications to be ‘believable’, while only 48% feel the same way about email. Therefore marketing to your customers with messages of trust and taking their safety seriously will resonate with your customers. Direct Mail is an ideal channel for marketing to your current customer database. It costs five times more budget to win a new customer than to bring back an existing customer.
Direct Mail can be used to promote everything from your brand, whether that is messages of we are here for you when you’re ready (to advertise a store opening) or driving people to your website.
As the lockdown was enforced online ordering dramatically increased, and many brands pushed online sales and heavily financed this side of the business. As stores start to reopen, you may see online orders dip. Direct Mail has an excellent track record of driving people online.
As you can see, 7% of all people who received a piece of addressed mail went online.
Thoroughly plan your next campaign
Planning ahead is vital to the success of brands, especially in the midst of a crisis when planning, remember a few points.
- Don’t cut your budget – We have already talked about this, but it’s worth mentioning again.
- Remember what worked in the past – What worked in the past isn’t going to stop working. You may need to tweak your messaging to acknowledge the lockdown, but the same channels will still work.
- Reevaluate more often – Keep your finger on the pulse and check your campaign often and reevaluate when you can.
- Get help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help, marketing through a crisis isn’t new, and people will be able to advise what worked for them in the past.
- Keep your customers in mind – You’re existing customers are going to be the ones to get you through turbulent times. Ensure you treat them well and pamper them as much as possible.
- Use a free campaign planning service. PSE can offer a free no hassle campaign planning service to help you market your way out of lockdown. All the advice we share is 100% honest and impartial. Our expert marketing consultants will work with you to create the best possible campaign to get you out of the lockdown.
There you have six tips and ideas to market your way out of lockdown and ensure your set your brand up as a success story when all this is far behind us, and believe me, we are getting through it. If you would like more tips and advice, please get in touch here.
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