For many small businesses, the Coronavirus pandemic has thrown any marketing plans you had out the window -- but that doesn’t mean you should just give up. Marketing through the pandemic remains a priority in your operations as we evolve through the good, the bad, and these challenging times. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Adapt, Get Organized, & Make Plans
We can’t sit back and put everything on hold, including our marketing. Now is the time to think strategically as you reassess and innovate your marketing. Take this “new normal” as a chance to continue to invest time telling your story, creating new things and taking risks to adapt your plans. With so much uncertainty in the world, creating a structured marketing plan can give you peace of mind as you evolve, though be patient and accept that adjustments will almost certainly need to be made.
- Practice Empathy First
This time is challenging for all of us, and there is no sense in ignoring that reality. Your customers want a relationship with you, and that starts with being authentic. Keep engaging with your audience through real stories about real people in your organization. Share your struggles and celebrate your successes with your community. Whether it’s expressed in your conversations, product offerings or promotions: be empathetic and acknowledge the difficult place we all find ourselves in.
- Move your Products Online
Beyond the current emphasis on health and safety of online sales, we are all creatures of convenience. Online sales have been on the rise long before 2020, so it’s important to make the investment today if you haven’t already. I’ve heard a lot of producers and restaurateurs express initial resistance to setting up an online sales presence. It feels like a huge undertaking and you’re really busy handling other daily operations, I get it. This may take more effort today, but the market potential is worth it for tomorrow.
Taste the Local Difference is Michigan’s local food Marketing Agency. Consider our team part of your own as you develop a plan for the year to come. We can help you get online, create engaging content, and promote your business to your target audience. Find more information at localdifference.org.
Tricia Phelps is the CEO of Taste the Local Difference (TLD). TLD and its staff are experts in local food systems, creating brand loyalty and engaging content, as well as increasing sales and developing new market connections. Learn more at localdifference.org