According to health officials in many locations, projected numbers of COVID-19 cases are expected to peak in the next few weeks. Although many businesses have either voluntarily closed or been forced to hit the pause button, nearly everybody has been affected in at least some capacity. This means that at some point, businesses will have to begin thinking about how and when they intend to reenter the marketplace and start to push back on the accelerator. A well thought out and proactive reentry/recovery marketing plan should be something for every business to think about in order to avoid being caught in a holding pattern and left behind – Especially considering the degree of competition that is inevitable coming.
Get Out of the Gates Quickly
In the Specialty Automotive business, to a degree, we are very lucky. We have remained more consistent and somewhat know what’s eventually going to happen. Events that have been rescheduled are all going to come back at once and this should largely spur the effects of pent up demand in a faster, more predictable manner. This means that speed to market is going to matter A LOT. The real winners of this are going to capture the attention of the marketplace early and do it correctly, in a way that differentiates them from the rest of the crowd. This means that your team won’t have the luxury of goofing around when the time comes to get your message across. Especially when everyone else will eventually be flooding the airwaves and trying to do the same thing. Bottom line: you need to get there first.
Things to First Consider with Your Recovery Marketing Approach
This has obviously an extremely complicated experience for your business and your clients alike. Coming out of it will be equally complex. These core plan elements should first be considered and will help provide the keys to simplifying the more difficult components of the process.
Are You Targeting Properly?
By nature, the marketing approach of a Specialty Automotive based business is already highly targeted. However, if anything has arisen from this situation, it should be who your core following really is. Reanalyze who these people are and what makes your business attractive to them. Then adjust strategies accordingly. Fact is, people that already know you and like you exist in your best, most target rich environment. Speak to those people first, then learn things about them and figure out how to find more of them. A team that understands your individual market space and how it operates can be invaluable in accomplishing this objective.
What is Your Content Strategy?
Messaging is going to be incredibly important in correctly positioning your audience. Not only does it need to be sensitive to the situation and portray the integrity of your brand, but it should also be fresh and hopeful. By now, we’re all beyond sick and tired of the sad piano intro, followed by the blanket “in these uncertain/turbulent/difficult/whatever times” pitch, that wraps with a generic “we’re here for you” statement. There’s no way that’s going to fly when trying to come back to normal life. You are going to need to be different and establish individuality to set yourself apart and really capture the attention you deserve. High quality creative is going to be key.
How Flexible is Your Plan?
There is no denying that we currently live in a world that is highly subject to change. This means you need to create a recovery marketing plan that is operationally lightweight, with processes and messaging that can easily pivot as the situation requires. This falls less on planned media buying (which you should be thinking about much sooner than later, as quality positions will sell out fast) and more on how you intend to use what it is that is available to you. This breaks down to strong buying relationships and fast creativity. Right now, your business should be seeking both from a quality, efficient marketing team in order to give you biggest advantage possible prior to reentering your operating space.
Putting One Foot in Front of the Other
As stated, strategizing long term can be a highly daunting task considering we are at a point in history where things are not just changing weekly or daily, but sometimes hourly. Regardless or what may or may not be around the bend, the best, most successful companies coming out of this will be first and foremost, well prepared and well thought out in their procedural objectives. Your recovery and reentry strategies are no exception and it will pay major dividends to invest in a solid plan and enlist capable partners to help you execute and stay ahead of the market and your competitors. Now is the time to get started. You can be assured that said competitors already have.
Darin Roberge is CEO of Motorwerks Marketing and is a Marketing and Media Consultant in the Specialty Automotive and Live Events industries. Darin has been named a Business Trendsetter by Arizona Foothills Magazine, is a two-time nominee to Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list and is one of Sports Car Market Magazine’s 40 Under 40. Learn more about Darin at www.MotorwerksMarketing.com