tunnel bridge facing the light

COVID-19 has changed and will continue to change our lives and our customers’ lives long after we start to settle into a new normal. In our OUTthink article last week, Act Like a Boy Scout and Be Prepared, we discussed getting ready for what’s ahead by planning for the market recovery right now, if you haven’t already.

In this week’s article, we’re going to discuss some emerging trends that we expect to see as things begin to open back up and we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll also take a look at key marketing strategies you can consider to navigate those trends to help you lead your brand into the future.

Re-launching Your Brand and Reactivating Your Audience

We’re closing in on the time to “re-launch” your brand and implement your recovery plan. While COVID-19 will be mostly contained, people will still need time to trust the recovery. Consumers may still avoid going out too often, consciously and unconsciously spending more time at home or in places they consider to be safe. There will be changes reflected in people’s daily habits, activities and consumption patterns.

Consumer sentiment as the market recovers may include pent-up consumption, feelings of excitement to be back to a new normal, cautious optimism and the continuation of newly learned behaviors. Brand messaging will continue to be very important and should continue to share messages of positivity and optimism to take advantage of opportunities for growth and to re-engage customers.

Post-COVID-19 Marketing Strategies

Develop Fresh Creative Assets

A proven marketing strategy for re-engaging audiences is introducing fresh creative materials. It captures the attention of audiences and makes them aware that you have something important to say. With the unique characteristics of the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, fresh creative can be more important than ever. Brands rely on strategic creative to maintain relevance. Pre-pandemic creative assets may not be able to hit the desired mark. Messaging is extremely important and will need to be developed strategically entering the “new-normal.” In addition, strong call-to-actions will be important to give customers the nudge they need to get going again.

Leverage Loyalty Programs

It can be an effective strategy to reward customers that have stuck with you through a crisis with Rewards Programs or Loyalty Program benefits. This shows customers that you really do value their business and that they are important to you. Loyalty Program benefits can also play an important role in reactivating your audience following the pandemic.

Incorporate Strategic Promotions

Strategic promotions are another tried and true marketing strategy effective in activating and engaging audiences. Promotions give people an incentive to take action. Whether it’s emailed discount coupons or other forms of savings, promotional items with purchases or engagement promotions on social media channels, strategic promotions can help activate and rejuvenate a seemingly suppressed audience or following.

Double Down on Digital

Younger demographics have grown up with digital at their fingertips. As a result, digital is a very effective way to reach younger audiences. Throughout the COVID-19 situation, many older demographic markets have been forced to adapt to digital solutions. As a result, they have become and will stay more tech-savvy than ever before. Think about the platforms that have grown over the course of the pandemic–social media, Television and OTT (internet streaming TV), online shopping sites and apps, etc., and make sure these are considerations in your marketing media strategy going forward.

Think Experiential

Think about customer experiences you can provide when the time is right and consider working Live Events into your recovery marketing strategies. Think about ways you can bring people back to physical locations. Consider hosting customer appreciation events, tours or other types of on-location activities and align strategic campaigns with moments of celebration at these events. Providing experiences can be a good method to re-engage and reactivate audiences.

We hope you find these strategies helpful as you’re preparing to activate your recovery plan. Executing a strategic recovery plan will help your brand grow with the economy and will help you lead your brand into the future.

Stay healthy and be safe.