The pandemic has changed consumer habits in many ways. Brick and mortar businesses were among the hardest hit by these changes, often forced to employ a pandemic marketing strategy to address the new reality. With some of these changes here to stay, we’ve outlined the key post pandemic marketing trends you should be integrating into your business plans for next year.
- Focus on the message, not the product
Customers have become more interested in your brand’s message than in your product. Given all the difficulty of the past two years, potential customers want to see that your company is honest and empathetic. According to a recent global study, most consumers want a brand to demonstrate how it’s helpful in their everyday life. Buyers are interested in the human element of your business and how you can help them achieve their goals. This doesn’t mean talking repeatedly about COVID but still being sensitive to the changes that are affecting peoples’ daily lives.
- E-commerce takes center stage
It’s not so much about what people are buying, but more so, when and how. According to one Paypal study, Canadians are spending $2 billion more each month online than in pre-pandemic times. This is why it’s crucial that small and medium-sized businesses develop a strong e-commerce presence. This means streamlining inventory practices, getting your product photographed, and choosing the best e-commerce platform for your products. Ensure that staff is trained to handle online orders and avoid technical issues in the customer’s checkout experience.
- Customers search before they visit
One of the most important post-pandemic marketing trends is the increase in pre-shopping search. Investing in an SEM and SEO strategy is more critical than ever. Due to in-store capacity restrictions and some general hesitancy about being in crowds, customer behaviour has changed. Shoppers are searching for the products and services they need before venturing out to the shops to save time and avoid contact with others. SMBs need to build an SEM/SEO strategy that ensures their target customers are finding them promptly.
- Outside-the-box product delivery methods
When it comes to getting your product or service to your customer, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Many SMBs quickly adopted curbside pick-up and contactless payments as part of their pandemic marketing strategy. If you haven’t already, it may be wise to optimize this process, so it can be used on an ongoing basis. If your customer base is hyper-local, you may consider adding drivers to your team and offering a van delivery or bike courier option. For example, Montreal-based nonprofit Jalon created a carbon-free delivery fleet of bike couriers to help local businesses stay active.
- Unique digital events
Increasingly, SMBs are finding ways to move traditional trade shows, conferences, and other events online. Marketers are making use of digital event tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams to engage with customers regularly. Video streaming is also taking the lead as one of the top post-pandemic marketing trends. Try creating a webinar or video series to educate followers about your product or service.
The new ‘normal’ in marketing may keep changing, but the hybrid in-store and virtual shopping model is likely here to stay for a while. Marketers should strengthen digital tools and focus on authentic relationships with customers above all else.
Yellow Pages can help build smart digital marketing programs to help your business adapt to the new reality. Call 1-877-553-6883 today for a free consultation with one of our Media Account Consultants.