It’s not a stretch to say our lives have changed a lot in the last couple of months. Most of us are still largely staying at home and working from home. If we are leaving our homes, we’re usually wearing face masks and sometimes gloves. Many of us have seen rolls of toilet paper at the store and gotten weirdly excited for the first time in our lives.

Life looks different for now.

And with this change in our daily routines comes a change in consumer behavior, which largely impacts the way we need to market our businesses during and after the pandemic.

So, let’s explore some of these big changes and how it impacts our marketing.

1. We’re staying home.

This has been an adjustment for most people because we like to be on the go. We’re not used to staying in one place for too long. But, right now, that’s the norm. We’re not leaving our homes very often, and when we do, we’re not going to our usual spots: out to eat, to the movies, to the mall, to a friend’s house. We’re going to the grocery store, maybe a restaurant for take-out, and it feels like that’s about it.

What this means for your marketing: If you were using marketing strategies meant to target consumers on the go, those need to be adjusted. You can still use a tactic like geofencing, but instead of drawing your virtual fence around your storefront or your competitor’s location, you might consider the closest grocery store or gas station.

2. But, we’re still on our phones.

You might have thought that just because we aren’t out and about, we’d be spending less time on our phones. But, that hasn’t been the case. We’re still spending a lot of time on our phones, just in different ways. We’re streaming video, accessing social media apps, and calling and texting loved ones. We’re spending a little less time searching from our smartphones – because since we’re working from home, we’re searching on our desktop.

What this means for your marketing: A mobile marketing strategy is still important, but you might make some adjustments to where you’re focusing these efforts. Mobile Facebook or Instagram ads might be a good place to shift right now.

3. We’re also spending a lot of time online in general. 

If you’ve been spending any time at home, you probably already know this. We’re online almost all the time. Whether that’s because we’re on our favorite streaming devices, we’re on social media, or we’re having a Zoom happy hour, we’ve basically pushed the internet to max capacity. Internet usage is up 50% in some places. And it’s not like we weren’t already on the internet a lot, so that’s kind of crazy.

What this means for your marketing: You can reach a captive audience with your digital marketing as long as you can get in front of them in the right places with relevant messaging. Internet use has skyrocketed, so there’s no better time to take advantage through paid search advertising and social media ads.

4. We’re relying on news networks. 

With so much changing every day and a lot of misinformation floating around, people are really relying on their local and national news networks. In March alone, 173 million Americans visited USA TODAY NETWORK sites, including our 260 local media brands. These people are looking for news, information, and comfort in a difficult time, so it makes sense that they’d turn to these sites.

What this means for your marketing: Tactics like display advertising and branded content, and of course – print advertising – can help you reach these consumers that are frequently visiting USA TODAY NETWORK sites. While these tactics have always been effective, there are more engaged eyeballs on them now than ever, which is a great opportunity for your business.

5. We’re looking for sources of comfort and empathy. 

This time has been rough for most people across the world. We’re having to disconnect from our friends and family, completely change our routines, and deal with the new, and frankly scary, reality of a global pandemic. Consumers are really craving a way to cheer up and get some good news. That’s why they’re engaging with content like John Krasinski’s SomeGoodNews web series or spending more time on TikTok. It’s also why they’re engaging with and sharing stories about local businesses doing good – we like to highlight the good when times seem bad.

What this means for your marketing: It’s all about the messaging. It’s important to adjust your messaging and offer that empathy to your community. This might mean that your ads need to be updated, you need to include a new section on your website about how you’re keeping employees and team members safe, or you might send out an email to your customers checking in. Think of what you’d like to see from a business and then do that!

We’re living through a unique time. While life won’t always look this way, it’s important to adjust your marketing to meet the moment and to connect with consumers where they are now. If you’re looking for a partner that can help you navigate reopening or recharging your business, reach out today.

Related Resources

Our View: Using Branded Content to Promote Empathy in a Time of Crisis

Creating Your 30/60/90-Day Marketing Plan Around Coronavirus

The Rise in “With Me” Video Searches and How Your Business Can Get in on the Action

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