We’re ready to push your marketing hard. Are you?
If there’s one thing that we admire about our fellow business owners – and our clients – it’s their ability to take the glass-half-full approach. Yes, this past year, there have been monumental challenges and a fair bit of heartache (to put it lightly). Still, it never ceases to amaze us the positivity that springs from the driven people running these businesses.
So, on the eve of ‘hope’, how are you feeling? Is your glass overflowing at the rim with positivity? Are you excited to emerge from lockdown and supercharge your efforts? Or are you feeling overwhelmed by the potential opportunities that lie ahead?
However you feel, in this blog post, we aim to inspire complete confidence! We’ll give you the marketing facts, tools and knowledge you need to know to push your marketing in ‘The Next Normal’ phase – all with a dose of local Stoke-on-Trent insight for our fellow Stokies!
Ready to push your marketing now? Speak to us today to get started.
Read this blog to discover:
- What “The Next Normal” means
- What bouncing back looks like
- How to power up and push your marketing for this upcoming phase
- Practical techniques to push your marketing harder
- How Stoke-on-Trent leads the way (there’s a lot you can learn and take advantage of!)
We all heard the term ‘The New Normal’ last year. When we started to get to grips with our pandemic life, ‘The New Normal’ was a blanket term to explain how society and culture across the world had changed and evolved to become normal during the pandemic. At first, these changes were strange. But now? It’s fair to say we’re all well-adapted to working from home, attending online appointments, socialising online, buying everything online and so on. Hence it became ‘The New Normal’.
Yet, with freedom and recovery from the pandemic insight, ‘The Next Normal’ – a term coined by McKinsey – is what awaits.
“The next normal is going to be different. It will not mean going back to the conditions that prevailed in 2019. Indeed, just as the terms “prewar” and “postwar” are commonly used to describe the 20th century, generations to come will likely discuss the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 eras.”
In simple terms, our lives have been altered – and we’re not fully going back. So we emerge from ‘The New Normal’, and we step into the ‘The Next Normal’. Think of it as a hybrid of our pre-COVID lives mixed with all the influences of our pandemic life. And from better digitisation to innovative new offerings, there are many ways that the ‘The Next Normal’ could prove to be an incredible bounce back for businesses across many sectors … if they push their marketing.
What a ‘bounce back’ means for your business
Another term we’ve heard repeatedly is ‘bounce back’. After all, the UK government used this term to name their support loans for businesses – The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).
However, in a broader context, a ‘bounce back’ signifies how you can take advantage of a sudden surge in predicated demand – as restrictions loosen and lockdown ends.
Of course, this means different things for different industries – and will entirely depend on how your target market has adapted to ‘The New Normal’ and what’s in store for them in ‘The Next Normal’. But we can apply certain tactics to most – if not all – businesses. So, let us delve into some of the general ways that you can navigate this ‘new era’ – and push your marketing to suit it…
How to power up and push your marketing
A huge takeaway from 2020 was adaptability. To change quickly is to maintain traction during tough times. So, use this time now to understand where your audience is and how they are changing. For the last year, you may have been meeting their ‘new’ needs – but have their needs changed again as we transition into freedom?
When you reassess your audience, you’ll soon understand what drives them and what worries them during this next phase. The second part of this is critical because your job will be to soothe this pain point with the messaging and content you put out there.
Let’s take the example of the hotel industry. You’re bursting with booking requests and enquiries for when you can reopen. Great news! So there’s not much work to do here, really? Wrong! The reality is this is still a precarious time – and confidence can be shattered quickly. So think about how you are going to manage expectations and ensure the reopening is positive. From clear messaging to communicate cancellation and health and safety policies to food ordering apps for your restaurant guests, there are so many things you can do to inspire confidence throughout the customer journey.
Keep your eye on the digital ball
During lockdown 1, consumers vaulted five years in the adoption of digital in just eight weeks. And that’s not all McKinsey discovered,
“Intent to shop in physical stores once the COVID-19 crisis abates has gone down 7 percent in both Italy and the UK and 8 percent in Spain.”
So assuming your digital era is over – and it’s back to ‘pre-Covid life’ is a huge mistake. Instead, it could be quite the opposite. From public confidence still being low to the audience simply preferring your alternative online services, your digital offering still needs to remain strong. Not to mention, businesses are more likely to be flocking to social media to advertise their business’ reopening. Or with the knowledge of the above, they’ll be shouting about the continuance of online services. So, keeping ahead of the curve will ensure you remain competitive against those who drop the digital ball.
Understand changing motivations
Finally, ask yourself, what is your brand’s purpose? And why would your audience trust you? Throughout the pandemic, we have seen many examples – specifically the BLM movement – that show why brands must step up and acknowledge their positioning, place and power in a world where change is needed. From social issues to environmental issues, think about how they fit with your brand – and what your message is.
We’ve touched on this topic before. Read our blog about the human touch in digital marketing here.
Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the quick commercial wins, but a part of the bigger picture is acknowledging your target audience’s motivations – and the things they deeply care about. It may seem like a far way away from what you’re offering, but you’ll be surprised by the links that can form, especially since the start of the pandemic.
Content marketing is a great way to communicate your brand’s positioning on important issues. Get in touch to discuss our content marketing services.
There are opportunities to be had! Don’t miss out.
1. Maximise your space on social media
As we mentioned above, the digital arena will continue to thrive – make no mistake. However, you have a challenge on your hands. Yes, social media has been a busy place over the pandemic. After all, when we stopped face-to-face communication, it was often the next best thing. So surely, it will loosen off now? Fewer people, businesses and brands will be using it? So the pressure is off?
Absolutely not! In fact, if your competitors are thinking like that – then this is a massive advantage to you! The reality is that while our country reopens, there are more needs to push, promote and shout about returning services – and this results in a busy social space.
Instead, reassess your organic and paid social media strategy – or ask us to help (learn about our social media services). Revamp and revive it to produce great content and advertising that surpasses your competitors. This could be anything from an emotive video campaign relaunching a much-missed service to an incentive-based ad strategy to onboard eager new clients. Remember, if your competitors slow down online, then this is your opportunity to grow – because your audience isn’t going offline just because we’re reopening.
Shaking your head and sighing, “Facebook ads never work for me”. Instead, read this blog for 6 top tips to instantly optimise your ads to make sure they work towards your goals.
2. Ensure consistency with better marketing automation
For many industries, businesses can expect an increase in demand – so how will you handle this? Marketing automation could be your answer! Or at least part of it. For example, automated emails that follow up on customer interactions on your website will ensure that you don’t miss one lead – and you don’t just ‘cope’ with increased demand, but you thrive with it. All in all, ‘The Next Normal’ signifies a massive opportunity for growth and using marketing automation will ensure you capture this.
Speak to us about your email marketing strategy – and learn which parts we can automate for you.
3. Evolve your brand to match your evolving audience
Finally, the big one! Are there ways you can move your brand on to align with ‘The Next Normal’?
We know a rebrand can seem like a huge step. Yes, sometimes that big step needs to be taken – but often, there are subtle tweaks and careful transformations you can make to breathe new life into your brand and position itself better in an evolving marketplace?
From introducing varying colour palettes to advancing your imagery, there are many ways we can help you modernise your brand and work appropriately for your target audience. So yes, there is a time and place for a complete rebrand, but perhaps we can help you decide – and perhaps, there are some exciting changes we can implement to push your brand forward to do more for your business during the great ‘bounce back’.
Want to see the potential of a brand evolution? Check this blog post out – with some amazing examples.
Stoke, we’re inspired!
Before we wrap up this blog, we wanted to do a shout out to some of the incredible business happenings in Stoke-on-Trent. From new incentives to exciting projects on the horizon, discover all the things to buzz about in 2021 and beyond…
A package to support new businesses
Are you a new business that’s been using the last year to prepare for something extraordinary?
A brilliant client of ours, NuL Bid, is offering support packages for new businesses – so get in touch with them to find out more.
A new urban hub near Stoke-on-Trent’s main train station
This is big news! This £75 million regeneration project will create 180 new homes, a 150-bed hotel, 25,000 sq ft of workspace and 10,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including a canalside bar and restaurant. We can’t wait to see what business this brings to our local area. Read more here.
Business rate discount scheme extension
A business rate discount scheme is set to be extended for the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone (CVEZ) from April 2021 by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in a bid to create jobs and support new growth in the area. Read more here.
Powering up Stoke-on-Trent
Action the above, get ready to push your marketing harder than ever before!
So what did we want you to take away from this blog? Essentially, we wanted you to see that, yes, increased demand is marvellous! But doing something about it – and equipping your marketing strategy and tactics is vital – if you want a bounce back to spell more success and growth for your business. Otherwise, you risk missing out on a huge opportunity.
Of course, every business is different. And every industry has its unique challenges. So, it’s important to understand the above and put it into your context.
We can help you do this – so get in touch for advice on getting started. We have a team of digital marketing, content marketing, graphic design and branding experts all here to take your business further than ever before.