Unprecedented times call for unorthodox responses. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to take a different approach to the way they market themselves and their services. By this point, most of you have adapted to the new way of doing business – video appointments, webinars, an increase in digital and social media marketing. In a sense, these are examples of unorthodox marketing tactics.
At its core, unorthodox marketing is all about giving the consumer an experience; presenting yourself/brand/message in a way that strikes a resonating chord with the audience. During times like these, when everyone is taken out of their comfort zone, the experience you offer can go a long way toward fostering the relationship you have with your clients.
Even with many states relaxing restrictions, the health and safety of your clients should remain a top priority. This means you will need to rethink your typical summer marketing plans. Under normal circumstances, this time of year offers multiple opportunities to reconnect with clients and to get out and do some person-to-person prospecting. But these aren’t normal circumstances. So, what options do we have?
Virtual Client Appreciation Events
By now you’re probably comfortable using Zoom and other video conferencing platforms for meetings and webinars. But these apps can be used for more than just conducting business. Not long after safer-at-home issues were ordered, people broke through the monotony by holding video conferenced hangouts, book club meetings, cocktail hours, and several other virtual social events. Take this concept to your clients for an appreciation event or casual get together. Use your video conferencing platform to get in front of several clients at once to share recipes, play cards, or anything else that might appeal to your audience. You could even do a little prospecting by encouraging them to invite some friends.
Right about now, you might be connecting with a local business or grocery store for a summer holiday giveaway. In many areas, this is still a possibility. However, you should expect a decrease in public events even in areas that have loosened restrictions. This might not make a BBQ package giveaway the most effective use of your marketing budget. And you probably don’t want to encourage your older clients to make any extra trips out of the house. Move your giveaways, contests, and raffles to the digital landscape. Simply create a landing page with a form to capture their contact information and share via social media and e-mail. Offer prizes that promote social distancing, such as gift cards or gift certificates to local restaurants that offer delivery and curbside pickup.
Drive-in movies have been making a comeback in recent months. With sit-down theaters closed, drive-ins have offered a safe alternative for people to get out of the house and take in some much-needed entertainment. If there’s a drive-in theater in or near your community, use this as a client appreciation opportunity. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a pair of free movie tickets? This simple gesture can go a long way toward keeping those client relationships strong. If you aren’t near a drive-in, but have access to enough space, rent a projector and screen for your own pop-up theater. This can be a fun, unique way of saying thank you to your loyal clients. Make sure you have enough space for a socially distanced crowd, follow local guidelines, and provide plenty of hand sanitizer. And, again, encouraging them to invite friends will get your name in front of some new prospects.