The last two months have seen a shakeup in business and marketing, but not every business category lost out. How things changed, and what things stayed the same will help you adapt to the way people will respond coming out of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Who was up and who was down?
Who is Up?
Food, beverage, and grocery stores were way up. As whole continents looked down the barrel of being stuck at home for one to two months, people stockpiled. Everyone from wholesalers to grocery stores was doing whatever they could to get the product out. Many stores looked like this with pallets of canned goods stacked wherever the room allowed.
Pet products and services were also slightly up as people rushed to pick up food and treats for their pet, but reports suggest the category may decline in the coming months as pay cuts, layoffs and the economic impact of the crisis hit home. https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2020/04/after-food-sales-bump-coronavirus-likely-to-hurt.html?page=all
Professional services were a mixed bag across the country, with many customers pushing to take care of business. The coming months will tell what the results in professional services will look like over the coming months. Cleaning and delivery services are two areas that saw increased demand almost immediately. https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/coronavirus-successful-businesses
Game Makers and entertainment: gaming saw a bump, both the tabletop kind and online gaming, as did online streaming services, precisely because people were home, had time on their hands, and wanted to do things for fun.
Online streaming: Everyone has been on an extra Skype, whether with friends, family, or the local church, social group, or club. Because they can bring people together online, meeting software was a way for people to stay connected.
Who is Down?
Anything that had to do with people getting together in an enclosed space: bars, restaurants, hotels, airplanes, busses, trains, bowling, even some educational programs, though they did their best to move everything online. Some restaurants have been able to maintain some level of curbside pickup or delivery, allowing some staff to remain at work and to keep some money coming in.
Arts and entertainment were hit hard. Any professional that relies on touring, live audiences, or any venue that hosts events have basically been shuttered. Dance studios have moved quickly online, and many performers are doing lives, streaming, online q&a sessions, but everyone agrees, money isn’t flowing the way it was, and only the most loyal customers and core audiences are retained.
Medical services: though doctors are at the heart of the response to COVID 19, many states shut down any form of elective procedure including nonemergency office visits. For dentists, dermatologists, and family doctors, among many others, this meant nearly complete closures, with only the most extreme cases seen. For many categories, this meant specialists could do limited work, but generalists were only able to conduct online consults.
Baby Steps Toward Reopening the Economy
Many governors are starting to open a business in a limited capacity with more expanded access to medical and limited access to restaurants. Some states are opening restaurants at 50% capacity and with the social distancing of 6 feet or greater between customers and staff.
That means new approaches to staffing, a continued necessity for curbside, and meal delivery to meet revised sales targets.
Travel, Sports, and Entertainment
As we look at these categories, television has adapted to the lack of sporting events. There has been a spike in interest in eSport competition and gaming, and television is adapting quickly to fill time slots. We don’t expect to see any full stadiums for football, soccer, or even concerts anytime soon. That means marketing opportunities in these high engagement environments are out and online or digital marketing is in for at least the next six to nine months.
Marketing for the Year Ahead
We anticipate seeing increased demand for digital content, whether that is rich blogging, enhanced with video, photo, and webinar or event-based content, social media, live streams, and digital online environments. Community spaces, where businesses can create their own social spaces for audience interaction and engagement may emerge – think your own private Facebook community housed on your website.
Social Media will require the extra mile – from community engagement and interaction to a greater focus on content and messaging. Businesses will need to have open doors, but with slower traffic and a softer touch on conversion, and at the same time, more humanized engagement with audiences through social platforms.
Create Your Marketing Plan
Work with Green Vine Marketing to craft an actionable plan for the rest of 2020 and into 2021. We don’t yet know what a second wave of illness or living with COVID-19 might look like, but we know how to create an actionable, flexible marketing plan. If you haven’t put the gears in motion, now is the time to act. Call us at (720) 295 – 8463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation about your next step to a post COVID marketing plan.