Like it or not, your business will look a little different than what it was before COVID-19. What digital marketing tools and technology will you need to reopen safely?
Adapting to the new normal requires a major shift – reworking the layout of the dining room, reducing capacity, rigorous sanitation and health standards and training staff. The dining room reopening list for California is daunting.
This guide will walk you through a variety of opportunities you may not have considered. Reopening successfully requires a combination of your imagination and willingness to make digital marketing an integral part of your brand storytelling.
You have to play as much offense as you do defense . . . So what would we look like from scratch? If my job is to feed and restore a city, then I have to do it inside the new rules.
Guide To Digital Marketing For Small Businesses
Every business owner and iconic brand is in the middle of a shift. Most folks do not like change, specially unplanned ones. Albeit challenging, it is necessary to rethink your business and adapt to the current environment – fast.
Remember the time you first opened your business? You started with a personal story. A journey that you promised to deliver to every customer who came through your door. Our new normal may be different from what we are used to, the rules and digital marketing tools to reopen and re-launch your business have not changed.
- What is your brand’s new story? Every business has a story. On March 4, the Canlis Restaurant team gathered for a staff meeting to talk about how to survive the slow down in hospitality business due to shelter-in-place orders and COVID-19. As a fine dining restaurant from the 1950’s they knew that continuing on the same path could mean forever closing. The restaurant was looking for a way to survive. “You have to play as much offense as you do defense . . . So what would we look like from scratch? If my job is to feed and restore a city, then I have to do it inside the new rules.” The answer: a drive-thru bagel and burger shed serving 400-500 bagels for breakfast and 1,000 burgers for lunch.
- How will you deliver on your promise? On March 9, the Canlis team put their plan into action and reconfigured their entire operating system to support their new drive-thru offering. As part of this shift, they adapted new technologies and updated their business website to make it easier for folks to place order ahead items.
- A clear and concise message. The Canlis team did not stop at the back-of-the-house reorganization. They made sure that customers understood the new Canlis customer experience, offerings, how to place the order and pick it up. Their website was overhauled very quickly. Instead of a fine dining experience customers found a bagel shed and later family meal plans, CSA and a bottle service to go. Having an easy and flexible website technology framework and a team to lean on removes half of your worries.
- Ask for your community’s support. The new Canlis survival strategy would not have worked without the support of the Seattle community. In challenging times, everyone loves a fighter. Canlis ingenuity and creativity won the hearts of Seattle. The brand’s likes and love on social media soared. Besides, who does not love a freshly baked bagel slathered with cream cheese and salmon?
- Send a personal inbox message. Email content remains to be the best way to reach your customers. Email marketing is an easy and cost-effective tool for your brand to send personalized messages customer by customer.
- Make it easy for your customers. So the word is out that your business is changing. Now what? Make it super easy for your customers to place that order, know how to pick it up and repeat. Order ahead and contact less payment systems are going to be integral to your new operations. This means you won’t have to worry about disinfecting pens or your credit card payment system after a customer signs a receipt or presses the key pad.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. As Canlis expanded their offerings to focus on family meal packs, CSA and bottle service they introduced entertainment. Once a week, the Canlis team would live stream bingo nights and live piano entertainment. It was such a hit that people from outside of Seattle would tune in! Understanding your customers using data-driven tools and insights is essential.
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