With more than 40 days of stay-at-home orders under our belt for most of the country, and a majority of businesses either closed – or at the very least, doing business in a new way – clouds are beginning to shift from “how to conduct business under a quarantine” to “how do we begin to reopen and re-engage with our customers, patients or clients.”
The paradigm shift is an important one and shouldn’t be left to the old idea of “build it (or in this case, reopen it) and they will come.” While your business may not have changed its products and services during these troubled times, your customers have most definitely learned new habits in connecting and “buying.”
Individuals are realizing it’s much easier to dial into a telehealth line than to go into a doctor’s office or are waiting to inquire about a loan for a new home or car. Or perhaps the hungry family who used to eat out or do takeout five days a week is finding serenity in cooking dinner together.
However, old habits do die hard and with more than a month being tied to our homes and our families in a real-life version of the “Groundhog Day” movie, individuals are looking for relief and opening their hopes, minds and ideas to new opportunities.
And that’s where your re-engagement with clients, customers and patients can be most effective. Instead of starting where you were/are at, consider where they are at to best reach them. Keep in mind that individuals have become much more comfortable with technology during this time, so lean into the opportunities to connect with your key constituents.
Consider these ideas:
- Physician practice/hospital marketing: Consider enhancing and marketing your telehealth services to separate yourself from your local/regional competition. Additionally, the telehealth opportunities allow you to extend your expertise and reach beyond what has been your previous geographical range. Share your patient success stories, develop and upload insightful videos, and consider developing video blogs (vlogs) to provide more personality to your organization and its leaders.
- Financial institution marketing: These are tough times financially for many, and individuals and families are looking to their financial organizations to provide insight on how to best manage through an economic storm. Raise the bar on thought leadership. Provide blogs, webinars, tutorials or offer to engage in one-on-one video or conference calls to be their partner at this time, not just their bank.
- Higher education marketing: When joblessness rates increase, so does interest in online, evening or other nontraditional studies for those seeking new or enhanced career opportunities. What can be offered through your university or college and how can you best reach these individuals? Do you have a strategic and robust outreach approach to work with employers who have recently conducted a layoff to assist their former employees? Is your institution known for a few specialty areas in which you could easily market online courses outside of your traditional geographical range?
- Retailers: Whether a department store, home and garden shop, or a restaurant, have no fear, people do want to return to your aisles again and/or gather with friends and enjoy a meal someone else cooks (and cleans up after!). Remind them of the differentiating factors you have to offer. Sure, it’s easy to buy a new blouse online but what I sacrifice in doing so is the personal attention and assistance a store can offer. I can look out my window and dream of beautiful landscaping, but it would be great to have a local store provide me wisdom, steps, and products to help use some of this stay-at-home time to make my dream a reality.
Take the time to consider where your customers are at – both physically and mentally – to assist with their fears, needs and dreams as you move forward in this paradigm shift. And keep in mind, Chartwell Agency is right here to assist in developing ideas with you and/or helping to implement for you.