With international travel dropping significantly in 2020 and this trend expected to continue well into 2021, consumers will focus more on driving to explore their local communities. But what does this mean for marketers?
Drive culture opens up marketing opportunities for brands that they may not have considered in the past. Billboard advertising, for example, has reportedly declined by 40% across the country since March. This is a great opportunity for brands to take advantage of low rates and choose focus markets in which they are strong to communicate a brand message or ones in which they are unknown to build brand awareness.
Out-of-home advertising including above ground kiosks, bus shelters and even bike and scooter sharing hubs present opportunities for brand impressions that are more locally centric as many of us are working and playing within our own neighborhoods.
Outdoor pop-up shops are another marketing tactic to consider. I recently spotted a flower kiosk in my local park that was selling gorgeous flowers wrapped in kraft paper to promote a local garden center. It was a clever advertisement disguised as a beautiful brand experience.
Home Is Where Everything Is
We are continuing to do more and more in our homes with this new way of life and therefore, brands need to think of new and innovative ways to engage and interact with consumers in their homes.
During this time, I've discovered some great local finds in my town including an artisan coffee roaster down the street and a local farm that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables.
There's a wine shop near my home that does virtual blind tastings. They deliver the wines covered and you attend a virtual video call at a set time and experience each wine together while you describe the taste, smell and texture. I learned about this through a clever package they delivered to our home featuring notes from one of their popular wines. Delicious chocolates and fruits with a beautifully designed card described the experience.
I’ve also received some well designed and compelling direct mail pieces over the past few months. Normally, I'm bombarded with an overflow of unimpressive flyers and catalogs that I toss, but lately I’ve received some well-designed lookbooks from brands I adore that combine product with storytelling in a way that feels much more exciting and fresh. I found myself displaying them on my coffee table because I didn't want to throw them away!
Door-to-door selling and direct mail may seem like stale marketing concepts, but this is a great time for brands to build awareness in their neighborhood with creative campaigns that will get noticed by a captive audience.
Shift to Casual
It's no surprise that there has been a clear shift to a casual way of life. As home has become the workplace for many of us, we are opting for comfortable and casual clothing, less makeup, less haircuts, and less of the regular grooming we were accustomed to.
Depending on what type of product you market, this is certainly something to keep in mind. A favorite brand of mine that is generally known for evening wear has redone its home page (and its product assortment presumably) to showcase casual, yet chic, pajama sets that I'm guessing have become a more important part of the brand's merchandising selection.
The marketing messaging and content on the brand's digital platforms feels much more casual, easy, and liveable. Something we can all relate to these days.
As marketers, it's important that we take note of these trends and communicate to our customers in a way that appeals to our new way of life.
Now is the time to be creative in how you speak to your consumers! Consider something you may not have in the past. What better time than the present?