As countries ease their lockdown measures, businesses that could not operate will need to connect with and encourage their existing customers AND bring in extra clients. Attracting those clients, both old and new, requires a post-lockdown marketing strategy that will make your business “Pop”!
This situation is so alien to us it’s difficult to understand how to go about creating an effective post-lockdown marketing plan. We’ve not done it before, so how do we go about marketing to our clients after something so unprecedented?
Making Preparations – Post-lockdown life (marketing) is different.
Every region has ideas and plans of how they will ease lockdown in phases, depending on the measures already imposed and their epidemiological studies (those scientists who know things like infection rates, death rates and so on).
You need to know HOW your business can operate effectively and safely in a phased return to “normal”. Do your research and find out how regulation changes in the wake of COVID-19 will affect your industry and business. It’s no good opening up without the proper protections and procedures in place. It’s not good business, and it’s a terrible message to send to your clients.
“Hey, come back and join us. We’re TOTALLY UNPREPARED for your visit!”
It’s the last thing you want to say. You also don’t want to incur steep fines for failing to adhere to the restrictive measures still in place in your region.
Make sure you have everything in place for a safe and comfortable visit to your premises, then you can really start post-lockdown marketing.
Post-Lockdown People Have Changed
Have you noticed that people, opinions, and attitudes have changed while on lockdown? The overall sentiment splits people into two categories; those who accept and follow the lockdown rules and restrictions, and those who fight against them. People who accept the constraints, whether or not they agree, will understand any slight increases in price to accommodate those measures. Those who rail against the limits and safety measures will not be happy that their service cost has increased.
While additional safety measures might add expenses to your services, adding that cost onto your service price may deter some of your financially cautious clientele.
The feelings and actions of your clients will have made a subtle shift, too. It’s not just a mental shift either; you must account for the fact that thousands of people have lost their jobs, collapsed their businesses, and are being more cautious with their spending.
Post-Lockdown Marketing Points
Did you ever think cleaning and disinfecting schedules would be a part of your marketing strategy? No one else did either. Sure, clean is always good, but did you think masks, screens and gloves would be part of the deal too? Probably not, but you can be sure many people will consider those additions to the process a necessity for their peace of mind.
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
Take pictures, lots of pictures. Maybe you could take photographs of your new layout (the one that maintains social distancing) and minimalist, clean surfaces. You could post a video of your cleaning and disinfection process, or even a quick clip of you performing your services with appropriate PPE gear.
All of this will show your clients you’re putting their safety first.
Limit Access and Restrict Numbers
Reduced capacity will also be a marketing point. Not only will your clients feel safer and reassured in a clean environment, but they will also be happier knowing they can keep their distance and maintain their personal space. Who would have thought having fewer people would enhance your attractiveness to potential clients?
To combat this reduced customer capacity, consider extending your working hours and staggering your staff shifts, to maximise the number of clients you can see. While you need to restrict the number of clients and staff on-site at once, you can spread them out over longer opening times.
Value for Money
Post-lockdown marketing has to accommodate the bargain hunters. With jobs in peril, new processes reducing staff numbers, and unemployment levels climbing, there is a need for financial caution and bargain hunting across the board. Even for luxury and leisure services. Make sure you balance your need to recoup your losses with the value for money people are craving.
Post-Lockdown Marketing Methods – Minimalism, Digitisation, and Online
The ideal space for a safe service is one with meticulous attention to sanitisation and social distancing. That means clean surfaces, no paper pamphlets, no magazines, plenty of hand sanitiser, and preferably contactless payment.
With the lack of physical marketing materials, services business will need to rely on their use of digital and online documents. This will mean access to clients, either by SMS, email or social media.
Social Media is Your Friend
Keeping your social media activity high will be crucial to ensuring more people see your business. It’s far easier for one of your clients to like and share a post for their friends to see in their feed than it is for them to forward an email to their contacts list. The more activity a boosted post sees, the more likely it is to be seen by people new to your business.
Email Still has its Place
You have a lengthy list of clients’ email address. Use them. You can spread information this way, give clients an incentive to use your online booking system, and even offer a coupon to referral clients. Email marketing is also an ideal way to personalise your contact with your client. Focus your marketing on the right services for the client, with little expense or fuss.
VIDEO – Is the King of Content
We’re human, and we’re visual creatures, mostly. Video can be an ideal way to engage your audience. While paying for TV advertising is not usually in the marketing budget for smaller businesses, you can still use video marketing. A TV screen inside your service area or in the window of your business. A video on the home screen of your website, a post on social media, embedded in an email.
Check out our marketing tools interface to see how we can help you
Value for money vs Reducing Costs
I’ve already mentioned that people are more likely to be cautious with their spending, but some of your clients will be prime targets for packages and discounted services.
By grouping services for a single customer, you can:
- Reduce the gaps between clients for cleaning and sanitation,
- Reduce the amount of PPE you need to use.
This increases the service value to you, means you can see more people (you don’t need the buffer time) and your clients feel like they’re getting a good deal.
Along similar lines, you could even provide “household” offers for couples or parent & child. Trust me; many dubious child haircuts are emerging from lockdown isolation.
Make Yourself Clear
Don’t let your post-lockdown marketing be in vain, or risk alienating your regular clientele with unclear changes to your operating processes. Publish your changes before you open, in any place you can imagine your clients will see it. Don’t let refusal to allow entry without an appointment push your clients away because they didn’t know about the recent rule.
Again, social media will be your friend in helping to spread your operating changes. But there are many ways you can spread your message:
- Post the rules large in the window or the front of the building.
- Email all of your clients on your client’s list to let them know.
- Post the information on your website
- Pin a post to the top of your social media newsfeed
Ensure that people will want to stick to your rules. Reward using your online booking portal to avoid regular contact with a phone (sticky little resting places for germs). Make it part of a discount scheme while things are still in the transition phase; “book online and save 5%”
Vive la différence!
Sure, opening your business after the COVID-19 pandemic is completely different from anything any business has had to weather in the last 100 years. However, you can make it work as long as you understand;
- How new regulations affect your business
- What you can do to mitigate those effects
- How to engage your clients
- Your target audience
Of course, there are differences, but the changes you make don’t all need to be detrimental to your business. Embrace the differences and make them work for you.
Emerge from lockdown with a strong post-lockdown marketing strategy, and bring those desperate clients back to your business.