Marketing in the COVID Age: The Economy is Reopening! Now What?

Economy Reopening

May 18, 2020

By Dan Ward, APR, CPRC

As Florida readies for Phase II of a statewide reopening, many businesses are hustling to prepare for the return of their customers. To reach post-pandemic viability, it’s going to take more than face coverings and cleaning procedures to bring customers back through your doors.

Anecdotal research by Orange County’s Working Group for Business Compliance and Consumer Confidence on which I sit indicates 90% of respondents are afraid to come back too soon. Consumers want the economy to succeed, but prefer a slow approach to reopening. They’re enjoying the convenience of delivery and pickup services that may not have existed before.

In the aftermath of 9/11 and the recession of 2008, we learned that the most resilient organizations listened to their customers and responded accordingly. Right now, your customers are scared. They lack trust in your ability to keep them safe. Their shopping behaviors are changing.

Hopefully, you have already mapped out the changes needed to overcome customer fear and adapt to a new, safer way of working. Your ability to communicate these changes effectively is just as important to the sustainability of your operation.

In a recent webinar with the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, I shared nine considerations business leaders should include in their plans for recovery.

Each of these points is expanded upon in the video below:

  1. Focus on your employees first.
  2. Engage in “what if” planning.
  3. Invest in research.
  4. Break through the clutter.
  5. Brace for price competition.
  6. Embrace a new media landscape.
  7. Communicate visually.
  8. Monitor, analyze and respond.
  9. Give thanks.

I hope these considerations help you build a strategic public relations and marketing communications plan that instills consumer confidence and helps your business get back on track.

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