In my career in Advertising & Marketing, I’ve worked with businesses of all sizes on projects of all sizes.  As I’ve observed small and large organizations, the way they operate, and the way they interact with their local community, one thing continues to stand out - Local businesses are looked at as part of the community – part of the tradition, personality, and stability in the areas they serve.  Consistency.  Something we don’t have a lot of on March 16, 2020, but something that's very important to maintaining our confidence and resolve as a society.  Our ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome has always been our success and the fact is, our local leaders and local businesses are typically on the front lines when it comes to heading this effort.

During this difficult time, it's important for RDM Solutions to help our clients stay connected to consumers and let them know they are open and ready for business.  For small to medium sized businesses, it’s important to stay positive and remember: Although the total pool of customers might be temporarily smaller, you still need to earn your share of the business that remains available.  It’s been proven time and time again (at least for the last 100 years), those that stay active and market their business will come out of the downturn stronger than those that go silent.   

Here's a list of ideas for marketing messages and strategies designed to increase consumer confidence and help your business continue to grow.  Leveraging the power of digital media to get the word out, these ideas will help customers to stay confident in your business by providing a form of consistency that people are looking for right now.

  • "We're Open & Ready for Business" - consumers aren't sure who is open and closed, so a simple message reassuring the public you’re open is good.  Any steps you have taken to make your business safer is also good to get out.  For example, Health Clubs may want to announce what they have done to sanitize the fitness machines and locker rooms.  Restaurants may want to promote Private Banquet rooms and catering.  Is your business using UV lights in your HVAC system to clean the air in your building?  Tell your customers about it.  These concepts help put consumer concerns at ease as much as possible, and show you're being proactive to protect their health.     
  • "We Deliver" - A great message for restaurants, retailers, grocers, and any other business that may have deliverable products.
  • Online Video Consultation - example: many Medical Groups now offer streaming video-based online consultation or a “telehealth visit”, eliminating the need to sit in the crowded waiting room.  In Lubbock, TX, the UMC System is currently urging patients with flu-like symptoms to use their online portal for a telehealth call instead of going to the doctor’s office and sitting in the waiting room.  This concept can extend to many service-based businesses like plumbers, landscapers, interior remodelers, etc.      
  • Cater to the Work-from-Home Worker - Is your business is involved in IT services, office equipment, computers, printers, or another B2B product/service?  Communicate with the thousands of workers now working from home and the companies supporting them.  Home offices will need many of the same supplies and services you already deliver, creating an easy (and hopefully temporary) new avenue for your business.
  • Re-tool your Immediate Advertising Strategy – My colleagues in Sports-related TV/Radio are going to hate me for this, but… if your business is invested in ad inventory set to run during live sporting events on TV or Radio, this will need to be moved because these events have been cancelled.  You still need to reach your target consumer, so temporarily diverting ad dollars to digital campaigns will keep your message in the public eye.   Digital advertising options can include campaigns designed to reach consumers who attended a Pro or College Sports event in the last 30 days.  You don’t have to stop marketing to that audience, you just have to temporarily adjust the way you’re identifying the audience.  

You may also want to use the “slow time” to take a step back and evaluate the things that can fall through the cracks during the day-to-day grind.  Take a look at your Advertising budget and your Advertising Invoices – are you paying more than one company for similar services?  Are you receiving the services you’re paying for?  RDM Solutions provides an Analytical Advertising & Marketing Consulting Service that can help you identify and resolve these types of issues to help your organization simultaneously save money and grow market share. 

Is now the Right Time to get your “Digital House” in order?   With a slowdown...and potentially more future business being done virtually, it may be time for some to finally get your website and online presence in order.  Our Digital Business Essentials are a good fit for this, and we would be happy to schedule a time to take a look at your current website, go over any changes you may want, and help you properly convey your business’ message online.  With the potential for more business to be done online, a solid web-presence and the ability to take orders/payments online may become a very important part of your business.

Most importantly – stay safe!  We all know the precautions we should be taking to avoid spreading this virus, so let’s do our part to be responsible and shorten this event as much as possible!