With the country slowly reopening, it’s time for businesses to craft the perfect post-lockdown advertising campaigns. Creative, engaging marketing that holds customer attention is the name of the game, and clear communication is essential.
Whether you’re running your own business or managing one of the many franchises within our UK franchise directory, good marketing is an extremely important aspect of customer relationship management.
After a year full of challenge and uncertainty, it’s only natural that your customers want to know where they stand. The customers who are going to come back through your door (or virtual entrance) are those who you’ve made an effort to engage and build trust with.
Whatever your business plan, and whatever your sector, now’s the time to tell the world: We’re open for business. We’re here for you. Not convinced? Here are just some of the things a post-lockdown marketing plan can help you do.
1. Encourage honest conversation
In many different ways, good advertising keeps the conversation going. It opens up an ongoing dialogue between customer and business, and if done well enough, it gives customers a reason to discuss your business.
In a year full of ups and downs, digital marketing has kept the conversation alive when in-person marketing was impossible. Small businesses and franchises alike have found new ways to connect. Now, as the world shifts towards normal, keeping that honest connection alive will be really valuable.
2. Acknowledge the current situation
Pay attention to the shared experience of the past year in any way that you can. Highlight the changes you’ve made - the different ways that you’ve worked to keep people safe, and the ways in which you’ve had to adapt your business model.
Make warm reference to being back in action. Don’t be afraid to connect on an honest level with your potential customers.
3. Secure sales
If a campaign is creative and unique, it will generate buzz. This positive customer engagement will then lead, naturally, to an increase in sales. If a campaign is honest and heart-warming, you can expect similar results.
Secure steps one and two, and step three will naturally follow. The public are getting back out there, reading and willing to spend their money. Economists in America, for example, found that 70% of all adults are planning to spend more money across categories like food and drink, travel and retail [NY Times]. It’s up to you to show them why they should be choosing you.
4. Creative campaigns in action
>> Read more:
- What is the Marketing Fee and Why is it Necessary?
- Developing an effective franchise marketing plan
- Try Out These 8 Outside-the-Box Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business and Engage Your Customers
- 10 Tips for Building Truly Effective Social Media Marketing Campaigns
- Franchising 101: 8 Essential Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
Here’s our pick of some of the most effective and creative campaigns from across the wider business world.
Tui’s at-home holidays
A recent Tui video advertisement plays on the current situation. In the advert, people act out their pretend holidays from the comfort of their own home. This advertisement does two things very well:
- Appeals to the public appetite for a lovely, relaxing holiday
- Adds a touch of well-balanced humour to the situation
The Tui approach gives people an easy laugh and gets them thinking about where they’d like to go. It doesn’t put the pressure on and make people feel forced to book. Instead, it adopts more of an approachable, friendly attitude.
Nationwide goes running with George Lewis
Nationwide’s recent digital marketing campaign features a man named George Lewis, filming on his phone, speaking directly to customers. The character of George is funny and relatable, and the D.I.Y format is approachable and memorable.
George makes humorous remarks about working out. He tells the viewer that he realises, now, that he only liked the gym for the sauna.
Nationwide then brings the ad smoothly back to topic with a short slogan which capitalises on the fact that, for a long while, many people have been unable to enjoy the simple pleasures - “Save up for a sunny day, or a steaming sauna, with our Start to Save account…”
>> Read more:
- Staying Connected With Customers Is Critical During the COVID-19 Crisis
- How the COVID-19 Crisis Makes Online Advertising More Important Than Ever
- Incredible Examples of Point Franchise Businesses Using Marketing to Enhance the Customer Experience During the COVID-19 Crisis
- Amazing Ways Point Franchise Businesses Are Supporting Local Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis
- More Uplifting Examples of Point Franchise Businesses Using Digital Marketing to Build Strong Customer Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis
- Fun and Practical Ways to Reopen Your Business in a ‘Covid-Safe’ Way
Pizza Express offer customers their first sip of freedom
The Pizza Express website is perfectly positioned to advertise in the current climate. Restaurants are currently open for outdoor dining, and a banner on Pizza Express’s home page proudly offers customers a free “first sip of freedom”.
With each meal from Sunday through to Thursday, customers will receive a free bottle of Peroni if they dine al fresco. Pizza Express also includes a dedicated and detailed page of COVID-19 FAQs on their site, ensuring that customers can feel confident about returning safely.
Heineken promises that “We’ll Meet Again”
In a marketing campaign that began just over a week ago, Heineken sets a montage of life in 2021 to Vera Lynn’s well-known and well-loved wartime song, “We’ll Meet Again”.
The video advertisement sees a wide range of people dressing us to the nines to complete even the most mundane tasks, like buying toilet roll and putting coins in a washing machine. In the end, three friends meet outdoors and share a few bottles of Heineken.
Heineken offers the audience of this campaign a strong measure of hope, yet the messaging remains responsible. This careful balance, set against the glitzy and inviting visuals, is likely to stick in the mind.
Building your own creative post-lockdown marketing campaign
Running a franchise successfully requires a million different skills, and the ability to adapt and grow tops that list. It’s the same with any business, big or small. As you craft the best post-lockdown marketing strategies for your business, consider the following suggestions:
- If your business has outdoor space, consider how you can use it best. How can it be spotlighted? How can it be revamped? Making use of your outdoor area will allow you to open up as soon as possible. (For help in this department, check out our 10 creative ideas for taking your business outdoors during the pandemic.)
- Make sure your website is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Does it include information about how your business is handling the reopening process? Do you have a COVID-19 FAQs page, like Pizza Express?
- Keep your social media channels current and engaging. Invite discussion, and let interaction with customers happen digitally, too. Why limit yourself to the marketing confines of real life?
- Don’t forget the personal, straight-to-customer value of email marketing. What tantalising offers can you deliver straight to inboxes? What can you share that will draw customers in? Your franchisor should have plenty of tips to share on this topic.
As you navigate the coming months and develop your own unique advertising campaign, remember that knowledge is power. Keep up to date with all the latest franchising news via our website and check out our Marketing Your Franchise series or Franchising 101: 8 Essential Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business for more inspiration.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©