Five Tips for COVID-19 Recovery Marketing
May 5, 2020 | By Amber Aldrich
A recent Seattle Times consumer survey found that as of early May, 82% of consumers remain concerned about the health impact of COVID-19, and 87% remain concerned about the economic impact. On average, 72% predict it will be at least seven months before life will return to normal.
All signs point to a longer recovery than we had all hoped for and an expectation that some habits will be changed forever, with more time working from home, more shopping done from our computers and more decisions rooted in our safety and economic security. For local businesses, this means adapting quickly, changing business models seemingly overnight and adjusting messaging to meet consumer sentiment.
At The Seattle Times Media Solutions, we are fortunate to work with a diverse mix of businesses and partners that are doing just that. In past webinars that focused on recovery and response, we’ve shared best practices for marketers navigating this unprecedented time. Some themes continue to emerge:
- Stay top of mind – Communication and engagement are crucial as we weather and recover from this crisis. Create opportunities for virtual engagement when possible and keep your audiences up to speed on your status and safety protocol. When possible, keep advertising to gain market share. A March Borrell SMB study found that 44% of businesses plan to maintain or increase spending throughout the crisis. Due to decreased demand, advertising rates are lower nearly everywhere, meaning you’ll get more impact than ever for your budget.
- Messaging is crucial – Find the right balance in encouraging consumers to buy, while also showing consideration for the safety of employees and consumers. Provide comfort and show expertise in tactics like branded content by providing valuable content to help your customers adjust to post-COVID life.
- Embrace e-commerce – If your website is not set up for e-commerce today, now is the time to set that in motion. More and more companies are announcing work-from-home arrangements until the year-end or beyond, and due to safety concerns, shopping will continue to be done in homes. Compete by offering web shopping and payment, coupled with the convenience of delivery, takeout or curbside pickup that only local businesses can provide.
- Plan promotions – With economic uncertainty being a key concern, it’s likely that even when consumers can buy, they will be hesitant or unable to pay top price. As your competitors ramp back up on advertising, consider price sensitivity and promotions to entice consumers to buy now.
- Promote local – The Seattle Times is planning a campaign to encourage consumers to support the local businesses they love. Embrace messaging around community in your advertising. Whether supporting frontline workers or your own employees, now is the time to rally around each other.
The Seattle Times Media Solutions will be sharing more tips on consumer sentiment, reopening resources and stories of businesses in the community that are doing it well. Join us Thursday, May 28 to learn more on COVID-19 Recovery Planning Can’t make it? Register and we’ll send you a link. Have an idea on how The Seattle Times can support local businesses or need a customized approach for your business? Reach out — we’d love to hear more.
Amber Aldrich is senior director of advertising for Seattle Times Media Solutions, representing The Seattle Times, seattletimes.com and Seattle Times Media Solutions, our in-house digital agency. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org