Fear of a second wave of COVID-19 infections have dominated all the news cycles since the election. Over the past week, we’ve seen parts of the country begin mandatory lockdowns in such states as California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. In Colorado, health officials issued a recent order directing bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and casinos closed down for the next 30 days, while nearly 7 million residents of Northern California (including Silicon Valley) are ordered to shelter-in-place again.
America’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and play an essential role in its success. Today, small businesses are responsible for creating more than three out of four new jobs, comprising over 44% of the country’s private payroll. So why are certain politicians and health officials hell bent on destroying our economy? Recently, nearly 6,000 health experts all over the world have joined the anti-lockdown movement because of the mental health toll while calling for the protection of the vulnerable.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “It’s Now Up to Governors to Slow the Spread,” written by board members of pharmaceutical companies encouraging states and governors to band together and implement more restrictions “focus[ed] on known sources of spread, such as bars and nightclubs.”
On the surface, this may sound reasonable. After-all, we’re being told by the news media that these businesses are super spreaders. While pretty much everyone would agree closing buffet bars at restaurants was probably a pretty good idea, but about these bizarre restrictions such as:
And this insanity isn’t just limited to the United States.
This week, California Governor Newsom was caught attending an indoor dining event for one of his political lobbyist friends at a posh Napa Valley restaurant called the French Laundry. Newsom’s subsequent apology claimed the event was held in an outdoor venue, but when a photograph surfaced of him and twelve other non-mask wearing guests sitting elbow to elbow was released to the public, Californians became outraged. But Newsom isn’t the only politician to get caught not following their own mandates.
According to Numerator, four-in-five (81% of) consumers think a widespread increase in COVID-19 cases is likely in the coming months, something that has already begun in many states in recent weeks. Many of these individuals (70%) believe this will lead to the reinstatement of lockdown measures in certain states and cities. To prepare for these potential developments, 71% of consumers say they anticipate stocking up on essential items.
The fallout of the last lockdown should have been a wake up call since many small businesses who had shut their doors now remain permanently closed. As a business owner or marketer, what are lessons to be learned? For starters, communication is key. Reach out to your customers. Inform them how you are adapting to these on-going health restrictions and that you are open. If you are a retailer, offer online ordering, curbside pickup or delivery services. Restaurants who are more accustomed to takeout and delivery may be forced again to do so as dining-in restrictions are reimposed. Service-based businesses should be emphasizing the safety precautions they have in place so consumers will feel comfortable having strangers work in their homes.
With the most important shopping season of the year about to kick-off, now is the time for small business owners to take stock of their online website. If a second lockdown is heading our way, then your online presence may be the only link between your existing customers and finding new ones. As we have written in the past, you must be prepared to pivot to digital marketing, especially if you have traditionally relied on word of mouth and social media. Make an investment now to optimize your website for search engines. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is that your website is optimized for mobile users. You should also consider paid search advertising to drive awareness and online orders. Paid search is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies available to you. Amplify your investment into SEO and paid search with geo-marketing. Geo-marketing when used with programmatic advertising allows you to target your competitor’s establishments, capture data that goes back twelve months, to targeting service areas for your business.
Amplify believes in a more human approach to advertising. Let us demonstrate how you can reduce wasted ad spend and time to conversion by implementing an omni-channel strategy that amplifies your SEO, Paid Search, Content and Programmatic strategies. If you would like to learn more about shifting your marketing strategies to grow your marketshare and bottom line, let’s have a conversation.