11 Ways to Market Offline post-COVID

Brand discovery is getting tougher. Consumers don’t want to browse supermarket aisles for new brands, and supermarkets have been prioritizing incumbents. We can already see this emerging in early data. According to a recent report by Bain, “insurgent brands” captured a much smaller share of growth during COVID compared to previous periods.

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Source: Bain (https://www.bain.com/insights/the-demise-of-insurgent-brands-or-the-silver-lining-snap-chart/)

Does this mean emerging brands aren’t going to make it? No way. There is always room for innovation. It just needs to be marketed differently. Granted, there’s opportunity online, but it’s small ( 90% of sales still happen in brick & mortar). Brands need to overhaul their offline marketing strategies to survive in this post-COVID world.

Here are 11 ways to stay top-of-mind as the world returns to a new normal.

Offline Marketing Tactics in a Post-Covid World

  1. 6-Feet Stickers/Tape: create branded tape to mark 6-foot increments for social distancing. Give away stickers/tape to retailers and relevant foodservice locations.
  2. Free Delivery Day by City: assign each major city a free delivery day. If your customers order on that day (and only on that day), they get free delivery.
  3. Video Ads w/Partner Brands: OTT ads are cheap in this environment. To get the most bang for your buck, partner with 2–3 other brands to do a video commercial (start with brands you’ve already worked with for Instagram partnerships).
  4. Sponsor online events: find active Facebook groups in your target cities and sponsor “local” online events these communities are hosting.
  5. Branded shopping carts: this can also be a source of revenue for retailers.
  6. Branded shopping bags: same as above.
  7. Free samples/coupons in parking lots (single-serve): go to where people are waiting in line and hand out sanitized single-serve samples, coupons, or fliers.
  8. Geo-targeting: use geo-targeting software to send alerts to customers. The ROI on this I’m guessing is much higher today.
  9. Innovate on packaging & build a PR story around it: add a handle to your box — think milk jug — so that consumers don’t need a bag (many states are not allowing reusable bags at this point, so approach the sustainability issue in a new way).
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Image Source: Wikipedia (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bottle_of_milk.jpg)

10. Apartment buildings: find the largest apartment buildings in your neighborhood. Deliver single-serve sanitized samples. Talk to management and position it as a perk to renters/owners.

11. Localized sampling program: use your field marketing team to deliver free samples to every house on a block or at farmers markets.

Written by

Consumer investor @ CircleUp. Product obsessed. People focused. Easily intrigued. Rarely impressed.

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