While it may sound grim, the world may never be the same again. This could mean huge changes to the way your company does business. It may mean a completely new model for marketing and product design. In order to get started, look into quarantine marketing to learn how to connect with customers who have been isolated and have had major life changes. From quarantine marketing, understand what bridges need to be built in order to connect the old world to the new world. Reopening is a declaration that your company is ready to face the challenges of the new reality, not ignore and pretend things are the way they were before.
Online learning, for instance which when marketed must take the concepts of disaster marketing and quarantine marketing and apply it, will not market the same way that it has in the past. Doing so, would come off as tone deaf to the circumstances most of its intended audience are seeking out this service as a result of life changes. Re-opening any business of any type must take the necessary steps to internally change their model to fit the new reality and then execute that plan externally for their audiences. There are certain steps any type of business will take, I will list what those steps are, but take a look around first and analyze how your life has changed. That is the first step to reopening.
"The new normal, we can imagine, will be a combination of what the past was and what the present is today. "
How to Align Your Business to the New Normal
Aligning your business and product to the new normal is easier said than done. Mostly because we do not know yet what the new normal is. The new normal, we can imagine, will be a combination of what the past was and what the present is today. The world will not soon forget what is happening, and it will leave its marks even once there is a widely distributed vaccine for COVID-19. So, there are two questions you must ask yourself as a marketer–– what was relevant to your product a year ago? And, what has changed now?
A way to answer these questions is to look at your key performance indicators or KPIs. These KPI, likely, had to change over the course of the last year. This should give you an idea of what the future should look like as you reopen and set your standards to reopen. However, this is not a perfect science and you cannot expect anything to really go according to plan. When you make your plan, flexibility should be incorporated along every step. Rigidity will likely get you stuck, so expect the unexpected and remain calm when things go awry.
Making a Plan and Executing.
To make a plan, a marketer or a business owner should take the following steps to make a plan to reopen with the flexibility discussed earlier in mind.
- Set your goals, use your key performance indicators, what is a realistic, yet needed revenue, audience, etc. to stay afloat–– and then eventually thrive?
- Make small steps, during the past months, most businesses have remained open in some capacity, so start by expanding the products and services you currently have. Then, analyze the steps along the way.
- Once you are ready for reopening, use the concepts in pandemic marketing to market your product in an empathetic and understanding way.
- Buyer personas have likely changed during these times. Changing up your buyer personas is the first step to marketing your product in a more empathetic way.
- Finally, remember flexibility and that fact that you might need to go back to square one several times before you find the right formula.
"Creativity, in its most fundamental sense, is problem solving."
If something is not working, then creativity is the answer
Creativity and flexibility go hand in hand, and both are absolutely essential to reopening. Harness your creativity when something is not working. Creativity, in its most fundamental sense, is problem solving. However, using creativity skills is easier said than done. So there are ways to practice without getting overwhelmed: draw a thought map, speak ideas out loud (to someone if available), read articles and books on the topic you are trying to come up with ideas for. Keep some tips in mind: the ideas do not have to be perfect, don’t let perfectionism or pressure get in the way of coming up with ideas. And, don’t be afraid to change aspects of your idea on the fly. Finally, outside ideas can be wonderful, but they can also allow for groupthink–– it is good to have a balance.
As you are reopening, remember to value this time as an experimental license that many people rarely get. However, you need a balance. So, make sure that there are safety nets in place to catch you if your more creative endeavors so not work out. Creativity is an extremely powerful tool for re-imaging and re customizing products. Who knows? Your ideas may be so powerful that you end up influencing your entire industry!
Once you come up with your creative plans, work on creative messaging.
Great! So you’ve come up with plans, now it is time to come up with the messaging (also in a creative fashion). I cannot stress enough how much quarantine marketing comes into play here. Your messaging must come off as empathetic to your audience's situation and not exploitative. Remember your creative ideas are only as good as your messaging!