Marketing during COVID-19
How to market your business during the COVID-19 pandemic
The current change in consumer purchase behavior due to COVID-19 has forced retailers, in-store bakeries, restaurants and convenience stores to adjust how they market their products. While these changes may have come on quickly, so have the adjustments that these establishments have made to make sure that their products stay in front of their existing customers as well as attracting new ones. Many of these tactics are here to stay as COVID-19 continues to alter purchase behavior.
A low-cost, high-impact plan is to aggressively leverage social media. Social media can inspire, engage, and give people a much-needed break from the steady stream of serious news. There are several platforms available that can be used for more than updating customers on changed hours or business plans. Post product pics, ideas for baking at home, or how your business is supporting local efforts such as donating to food banks or shelters. Consider weekly tips, videos or articles on helpful topics to keep customers engaged. The key is to be creative and post more than ever to keep your business top of mind.
If feasible, consider offering delivery service within a certain radius of your business. By bringing baked goods to your customers or and leaving them at the door, you can help drive more sales. Additionally, there are still people who work outside of the home in essential industries. Offering a drive-thru or ‘curb-side’ delivery option helps limit your exposure as well as the consumer's while still meeting their needs.
Now is the time to focus on what you can make well with minimal waste and price at a good value. Put a pause on more complex recipes and decorating to stick with the staples that sell well and remind customers of the traditional comfort they’re looking for in trying times. You will keep your costs lower and appeal to a broader audience.
Many local communities are doing their work to support each other. Check with your local chamber of commerce to find out how they are investing in local businesses by promoting them, sharing information, or offering financial services and advice. Community newspapers, radio stations, and other outlets for promotion are offering greatly reduced pricing.
Most importantly, communities are suffering, and everyone should do their part to help. It can be hard to give when businesses are stretched but taking care of others is something bakeries do every day when we mark the important moments in the lives of our customers. Now more than ever, hold onto the truth that bakers, and what you create, always make people feel better, safer, and more connected to each other.