CoronaVirus, Marketing, and You.
By Ellen Fruchtman, President
Current Information and Strategy
Right now, we are looking at an extremely fluid situation, which everyone will agree is changing hourly (let alone daily). With every major event cancellation, there will no doubt be a local economic impact. There are already tremendous stock market implications, which will undoubtedly have a trickle-down effect and will undoubtedly affect business. Yes, remaining calm is the message of the day when you hear the pundits talk. However, remaining strategic in your marketing is our message of the day.
Here are the issues we are facing in retail and consumer behavior:
Affluent consumers are seeing a large drop in the stock market and their investments. Will the market return? Of course. How long will it take to correct itself? No one knows. Can this be another 2008? Possibly but, not probably. This is a VERY different situation.
How will this affect consumer behavior? Less money = less spending. This will be across the board and affecting most retail. When people are hurting in their pocketbook, they are certainly not going to be spending their dollars as freely. We saw this to be true previously and it will most likely be true again. When it ends, we will also see an increase in spending. Consumers want what they want when they want it. It may not be in the next 2-4 months but will likely be thereafter. Or it should.
They also may be spending their dollars investing and buying low. And, that’s where they are spending more of their disposable income versus shopping while the market is down.
What should you do when it comes to your marketing?
Stay the course. Do not pull back on your advertising spend. Why do we say this? Because we have data to prove that you shouldn’t. Every retail client we handled during those turbulent times who did not pull back had the largest gains in sales volume following that crash. Unless you are planning to retire or close the door, cutting your messaging and awareness is not the answer. It certainly is not the answer immediately.
Consider some changes in strategy. Reconsider holding any events you may have planned to a later date. Make sure you have hand sanitizers throughout the store. That’s just good practice for your safety, your employees, and your customers. Now is the time to really clientele! If you have a good customer you know is having a celebration, contact them by phone and again, offer to bring whatever to their door. Sell online? Push the hell out of that. Offer personal/concierge shopping for existing customers and private appointments. Offer video chats. Anything and everything you can do if you feel there will be less traffic coming to your door. There’s no better time than now to become more one-to-one service-oriented. Don’t mention why you are doing it! Do not mention the virus in any of your marketing! Just communicate your offerings and make them visible. The worst thing you can do is put the issue boldly in front of them.
Consider a Buying Gold and Diamonds Campaign. Gold is selling at a high value so now is a good time to buy gold. And, provide a message of more dollars for in-store credit. That will help your cash-flow and your customers.
Sit down with your marketing team and be proactive, not reactive. The bottom line – now is not the time to panic. If you have any questions about your strategy or what we can do for you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hang in there!