In March of 2020, the pandemic changed every aspect of our lives. All of us, including marketing professionals, had to adjust to the new normal. Ads were scrapped, entire campaigns were forced to pivot, and industry professionals rushed to find new ways to reach consumers. Our marketing tactics changed to reflect the world around us. SRB Communications even wrote a blog on a marketer’s role during COVID-19. However, what happens now?
As we slowly and optimistically move toward reopening, we find ourselves in an odd position. Social-distancing requirements vary from place to place. Not everyone is comfortable taking off their masks just yet. It can be challenging to know where people stand. So, the question is no longer, “How do I market in a pandemic?” It is now, “How do I market as we transition out of a pandemic?”
Here are three key areas to pay attention to:
Public health regulations are constantly shifting right now, but it’s important to stay up to date. Your marketing should always reflect the health and safety guidelines outlined by government officials, both local and federal. If the local and federal guidelines don’t align, you need to assess who you’re trying to reach. It is usually best to follow federal regulations, but you may have more flexibility if your message is aimed at a local audience. Regardless of what the health and safety measures are in your area, the best course of action is to cater to your audience.
Listening to your audience is imperative right now. They are living in the gray area between the pandemic and normalcy just like you. Some people feel safe because there is large-scale access to vaccines and a good portion of the population has been vaccinated. However, some are apprehensive because the pandemic is still ongoing. You know your audience better than anyone, and if you don’t, do the research! Listen and figure out what they’re telling you. Let them lead the charge and guide you out of this pandemic.
Paying attention to your competitors and the marketing industry at-large will give you a good idea of the current trends and best practices during the post-pandemic transition. If your competitor’s work starts to promote more normalcy, take steps to match them. It’s important to maintain a watchful eye. You don’t want to risk being too early to arrive at the new normal or be left in the past when everyone else has moved on. Keep a pulse on the industry.
This present state that we are in is truly unusual, plain and simple. We’re all tiptoeing our way back out into the world and figuring out the best way to connect with those around us again. Eventually, we’ll know how to navigate through this stage. It’s just a matter of time.