07 May Re-Opening Your Business | How to Create a Marketing Plan For the Coming Months
As the leader of your company, it is your responsibility to create a plan for re-opening your business, as well as communicating it to your customers and employees. While there are lots of moving pieces involved, we will be focusing on marketing (as our area of expertise). More specifically, how to create an effective marketing plan for re-opening your business in the coming months.
1. Define a Goal & Offering
As with all marketing, you need to begin by defining a goal and offering. What will work right now? What can you realistically manage? Shift offerings to solve current consumer problems. Focus on ideas & offerings you had backburned. Look to what others are doing in the market. Think small, putting together trial offerings and pitching them to the market to get feedback. Get your entire team involved in the brainstorming process and be open to all ideas. It’s challenging to know the right direction but you do need to define a direction so pick what resonates with you most right now.
2. Be Consistent Across All Your Marketing Channels
Once you have defined a direction, you need to stick to it. Too many messages or offerings or calls to actions will confuse your audience (and kill your sales). No matter which channels or marketing platforms you use it is essential that this marketing message remains consistent. Customers will find your brand and be led to your website via a wide variety of ways – Facebook, Instagram, email marketing, google search. Every customer will experience a different journey but they need to be given the same message, see the same images and be asked to take the same action. Good marketing is frankly boring – you repeat yourself over and over again. But this cohesive and consistent message prevents confusion, helps people trust you (because you keep showing up) and why it’s relevant to them.
Bonus tip! Don’t plan out content too far in advance. While your message needs to be consistent, it also needs to address the changing reality and be relevant to the day it’s published or shared.
3. Get Feedback and Adjust
Now that your offer and message is out there, you need to get feedback from the market and your customers. Normally, we would recommend you give an offer a few months to get feedback and then adjust. Things are moving more quickly now and businesses need to move quickly, too. Think in terms of weeks – what can you put out for the next 2 weeks and get feedback on? Be proactive about connecting with your customers, asking for feedback, asking how you can support them and what you need. Look carefully at analytics and insights to see what content is resonating with people and where they are most engaged (video is very effective right now) – do more of that.
4. Say No to Perfection
Don’t spend gobs of time making things perfect. Done is better than perfect right now. You can always go back and improve, update or release better versions. You can always improve the sound or lighting or create better copy. But a perfect marketing plan that resonates with no one is not successful. Business viability is not about having the most beautiful website, an inspiring office space or even the most followers on your Instagram feed. It’s about selling your products and services to clients and customers. Period.
Being a holistic marketing and business agency, we see the big picture. Here are 2 more things you need to be doing when re-opening your business to the public:
1. Create a Safety Plan
Create a detailed safety plan, from everything to new operation procedures, cleaning requirements, and how you are protecting your staff and customers. Be sure to communicate this information to staff, suppliers, vendors & clients. We recommend a written document that fully details your plan and then sharing key parts of this on your social feeds, on your website and emails to your list. It will be important to make people feel safe. You can also stay on brand, incorporating your brand’s voice into signs or messaging. Look to your state, industry organizations or fellow businesses for guidance on these. We can also help! Get in touch if you need help drafting this document.
2. Make Updates to your Agreements
Now is also the time to make changes or updates to your business agreements. Review your contract, revisiting rescheduling & cancellations clauses, price guarantees and Force Majeure clauses. Use this time to find previously overlooked areas in which are not protecting your business and clients. Fill them in, make updates, and discuss other areas that may need additional clarification with your lawyer. Consider future challenges you may face as well (ahem, future waves of Coronavirus), in an effort to be prepared.
Creating an effective marketing plan for re-opening your business is a lot of new territory for small businesses. And sometimes a path is easier with a compass. The team at Path & Compass can help you along the way – be it with marketing implementation, website updates, safety plans and more. Get in touch at [email protected].