As the vaccine rollout continues, businesses that were forced to shut their doors during the pandemic are beginning to reopen. However, some face a challenge that may be solved via marketing: how to convince customers to return when many might still worry about their safety and health in environments that involve being close to large numbers of other people.
Business owners should of course take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their customers, employees, and anyone else on the premises. This may include installing Covid glass screens at checkout stations (and any other spots where customers may interact with employees), providing easy access to hand sanitizer, and prioritizing regular sanitization and cleaning of their properties.
That said, if customers don’t know these precautions are being taken, they may still stay away from certain businesses. Business owners need to therefore promote their safety efforts via marketing. The following are smart ways to do so:
Some marketing strategies involve a degree of subtlety. For example, an experiential marketing campaign isn’t necessarily one that should be overly promotional. Marketers organizing such campaigns may plan branded events for customers. The goal is to hopefully instill a mental and/or emotional association in a customer that results in them subconsciously linking the feelings they had at the event with the brand.
However, when planning marketing campaigns that involve reassuring customers that safety precautions are being taken, it’s better to be clear and direct. For example, McDonald’s Philippines recently released a video in which CEO Kenneth Yang thoroughly explains all the precautions the company is taking and states that they “will not hesitate to cancel any customer activity or even temporarily shut down any of our restaurants.”
Follow this example. Across all relevant marketing channels, from social media to TV ads, strive to transparently promote your approach to customer safety.
Use Obvious Signage
It’s an experience many have had these past several months: being in a store or other establishment and seeing people clearly failing to adhere to the safety guidelines posted on signs throughout the establishment. This may involve packing more people into a small store than is safe, failing to wear masks, and failing to social distance.
Sometimes, people engaging in these behaviors are simply choosing to ignore the signs. However, there are also likely many instances when people genuinely overlook them.
This has occurred because many business owners put up signs that are easy to miss. That doesn’t need to happen at your business.
Make sure signs explaining safety rules and protocols are large, noticeable, and abundant on your property. This will serve two main purposes. One, it will reduce the odds of people failing to adhere to the safety rules. Two, these signs will essentially become marketing content, letting hesitant customers know you’ve made their health and safety a priority.
Solve a Problem
The average customer will assume that a business whose owner takes the Covid-19 situation seriously is also a business where their safety will be emphasized. Thus, along with promoting your safety efforts, you can also promote how your business is doing its part to help solve problems associated with the pandemic and its aftermath.
For example, Ford implemented a campaign explaining how the company has leveraged its resources during the pandemic to help manufacture medical equipment.
Your business may not be large enough to help in that capacity. However, there are other ways you can help, such as raising funds for those negatively impacted by the financial consequences of the pandemic, organizing vaccine information sessions, and more. Just make sure you’re referencing the ways you help in your marketing!
Again, protecting customers and employees is the main reason to take safety precautions, but that doesn’t mean that doing so can’t also help your business reengage its customer base as it reopens. You simply need to apply these tips to ensure customers are aware of your efforts.