Multi-Location Marketing in a Post-Pandemic World
The COVID-19 pandemic has raged for so long, the phrase “post-pandemic” has seemed as mythical as Santa’s village or Sesame Street. Yet here it is, approaching at an incredible rate. What does that mean for multi-location marketing? How much of commerce will return to pre-COVID norms, and how much won’t?
In March of 2021, Think with Google published an article describing four of the most impactful COVID-era trends. It sparked a lot of conversation here at MomentFeed.
For example, the pandemic has prompted many consumers to “act local” and support local area businesses. Will marketing to this kind of value be too much of a stretch for big national brands?
Not necessarily — and especially not if multi-location brands have the right resources to localize. Read on to learn what Google believes all marketers, including big brands, need to know as the U.S. emerges from COVID-19 and how you can leverage that knowledge to break ahead of the pack.
Trend #1: Responsive Shopping Experiences
COVID-19 changed people’s needs and expectations at lightning speed. Stay-at-home orders forced consumers online, and in just three months, e-commerce experienced 10 years’ worth of growth.
At first, things like online ordering and curbside pickup seemed like temporary fixes, but consumers developed a taste for them. They also acclimated to the practice of businesses adapting to their comfort levels and offering services that were relevant and timely.
Those timely offerings continue to be relevant as things start to open up and normalize. People’s comfort levels vary widely, and everyone appreciates when businesses accommodate.
Give Customers Choice
Businesses with multiple locations need to continue providing options for interaction — online, curbside, drive-thru, counter service, and so on. Make sure you list these choices across key properties like Google My Business and Yelp, so people know you’re committed to meeting their needs.
Also, ensure that these channels also point consumers to your digital storefront. Many customers will continue to prefer digital-first interactions even as the pandemic draws toward its close, and it’s important to meet those needs explicitly.
Meanwhile, address customers’ hesitancy about returning to in-person interactions. Use tools like Google My Business’s Health and Safety attributes to communicate your hygiene practices.
Keep Your Ears Open
Most importantly, continue to listen to your customers. Use all of the tools at your disposal to understand trending consumer sentiments, which are shifting as rapidly as case and vaccination data.
Remain agile at the local level, remembering that no two communities are the same. One of your locations might have an extremely cautious clientele, while another is chomping at the bit to return to indoor dining and shopping. Respond to what people are saying and introduce new ideas that show your responsiveness on the local level.
Trend #2: Locally Minded, Globally Conscious Consumers
COVID-19 and its related lockdowns have brought people to an increased awareness of communities, both local and global. In the summer of 2020, searches for “support local businesses” were up 20,000% year over year.
This seems like it might sideline large multi-location brands, but it doesn’t have to. Grassroots and local-level marketing can still connect even the biggest companies to their local communities, so they need to be top priorities for multi-location digital advertising throughout 2021 and beyond.
Find ways to stay in touch, both digitally and physically. Speak to each location’s customers and their interests, needs, and preferences. Localized Facebook social posts and ads are great channels for multi-location businesses to achieve this goal.
MomentFeed can help you power your digital location marketing at scale, but with enough control that you still speak to each community’s interests.
Trend #3: Values-Based Decision-Making
Extended isolation has prompted many people to dive deeply into themselves, thinking about who they are and how to live their values. They’ve gotten in touch with what matters most to them, and those discoveries have significantly impacted their buying behavior.
Know what you stand for and celebrate what makes you unique as an organization. Celebrate and promote your values-based decisions, as small as they might seem. Any of those choices can prompt a customer to choose you over a competitor.
Once again, Google My Business is your friend and so is MomentFeed. MomentFeed can help you to add attributes like “women-owned business” or “ Transgender safe space” to your profile for any locations you choose.
For those attributes that aren’t listed on Google My Business, MomentFeed can help you with social campaigns. Instagram is a great place to share your sustainable packaging or highlight your diverse staff at various locations.
Trend #4: Intersection of Work and Home Inspires Creative
During the pandemic we have all seen our work lives intersect with our home lives. As Google pointed out in its recent article — everyone knows each other a little bit better than they might care to admit. As all life has converged on the homefront, society has come together to enjoy universal “inside” jokes.
Those funny moments can make for wonderful social media fodder. Toppers Pizza, a MomentFeed client, has entertained the world with its Chief Pizza Officer campaign. Toppers’s CPO is entertaining, irreverent, and makes her social media viewers forget their troubles for the length of an Instagram video post.
And she’s clearly working from a makeshift office, just like the rest of us.
We love the Chief Pizza Officer.
And then there was Canadian menswear brand Henri Vézina, which launched a rather risqué “work from home” clothing line:
Starting on the Road to Recovery with MomentFeed
As large multi-location brands emerge from COVID-19, the right partnerships will be crucial. Solutions like MomentFeed can help you to bring big ideas to life on a local level.
Get started today by downloading the MomentFeed COVID-19 recovery checklist. It’s totally free and includes five strategies to power your multi-location business marketing in the rapidly changing post-COVID era. Use it well, and don't hesitate to get in touch if you have more questions.
Accelerate your recovery with the MomentFeed COVID-19 checklist