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dave@davewakeman.com
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The West End Will Re-Open, Just a Bit Later Than Hoped For!

The West End’s re-opening is being pushed back to July 19th:

Big Ideas:

  • You need to communicate through these next stages of the pandemic no matter where you are. 
  • Time to insight is shorter and that means you should be learning constantly. 
  • Your customers’ behaviors and your audience makeup are probably changing right now. So pay attention. 

If you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet and you live in the States, get it. If you aren’t in the States, take whatever action necessary to get yourself vaccinated. Because it seems that the Delta variation is causing challenges in the States where people aren’t vaccinated in large numbers, South America, and other parts of the world. 

In the UK, the re-opening is being pushed back another month to, hopefully, July 19th. 

This highlights two things:

  • We still have to be prepared for some ups and downs. 
  • It is important to keep in touch with people now so that when things do open up, you aren’t caught flatfooted or behind. 

In the past few weeks, I’ve hit on contingency planning and having a Plan B often enough for you to know the drill. Figure out the best-case, worst-case, and most likely circumstances and make a plan. 

On the other hand, I had a chance to chat with Martin Gammeltoft from Activity Stream this week about the Activate! email marketing tool and he made the point that organizations are going to be challenged if they haven’t been keeping in touch with their customers throughout the pandemic. 

Martin tells me that there are a few things going on right now to keep in mind to make sure that you can keep in touch with your audience during these ups and downs:

  • The time to insight is much faster than before the pandemic. This means that you need to pay attention to your data and the feedback because you are going to learn pretty quickly what is working and what isn’t working. 
  • The share of customers is changing with a lot more locals doing things they may not have typically done in the past due to travel restrictions. 
  • Looking at behavioral drivers is more important than ever since people are making different considerations now than they were before the pandemic. 

What does all of this mean for your communications plans? 

First, you need a dedicated plan for how you are going to communicate and engage, or, re-engage your audience. 

You should have been communicating throughout the pandemic, but what’s done is done if you haven’t…so the next best time to start is now. 

Second, simplify the messages. 

Keep them short and sweet. In my case, do as I say…obviously since these things get pretty long some weeks. 

Finally, test and learn. Like Martin said, “time to insight” is fast now. So don’t be afraid to test something new, segment your audiences in new ways, or try things that might have been out of favor in the past. 

The key idea is that the longer this drags on or jumps up and down, the more likely it is that you fall behind if you don’t work to stay in touch with your audience. 

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