As the crisis of coronavirus peaks, many local stores and businesses are suffering. Government restrictions and social distancing are keeping customers away from brick and mortar retail stores and it is challenging for all of us to find a new normal.

The key to mitigate the impact of this public health emergency on local businesses is being smart, supportive, and nimble. This means, rethinking your marketing efforts to make them more relevant and come out of this crisis strong. Here are five things that businesses can do to manage the current challenges.


1. Don’t Hard Sell, Show Support

As a business owner, the most important question you should be asking yourself right now is not ‘How can I sell more?’. Instead, it is ‘How can we support customers and current employees during this time?’.

The support from your brand doesn’t have to be extreme.

For example, Cleveland restaurant Banter Beer and Wine continues to support the community by offering every Monday free lunch boxes for children and families in need. In addition, Banter is trying to keep most of their employees working by suspending their normal delivery services to utilize their employees as carry-out couriers.

Making a donation or offering your services or products to people in need of help at this time is a good thing to do – and it is good for PR, too.


2. Ensure Brand Safety in Advertising

Contextual targeting is all about putting ads in the right context. During this sensitive time, businesses need to pay more attention than ever to where their ads are seen to avoid creating a negative brand impression and damaging your brand reputation.

Trusted, local news sites such as are a great platform to place your ads in a brand safe and effective environment. Over the past weeks became the main resource for our community to get latest news and updates on the coronavirus developments.


3. Focus on Multichannel Communication  

Remember to keep your customers informed at all times.

By keeping customers updated on your opening hours, delivery options, and e-commerce offerings you can reduce frustration levels and prevent them from looking elsewhere.

To ensure you can reach your customers and respond to their questions or complaints in time, use multichannel communication to engage. Whether that is through your website, email, social, or ads on local news sites. Such an approach will bring your consumers into even closer contact with your business.


4. Target Your High-Value Customers

It’s all about value.

Instead of making efforts to acquire new customers, businesses should focus on nurturing existing customers with the highest lifetime value. These are the ones who will stick around and spend beyond the crisis period.

Leverage your own data to identify your high-value customers and message to them accordingly. If you are unsure on how to identify and communicate with your best clients let us know. Our team at Advance Ohio is here to support you and your business through these uncertain times.


5. Make Your Creatives Relevant

With coronavirus front of mind, incorporating keywords and visuals relevant to the crisis into your marketing campaigns and ads can help draw attention to them. However, you need to be careful and ensure they are appropriate. Create branding campaigns with helpful and sensitive messages which speak to your current client base.


We as a community have made it through many tough times before and we will be able to recover from coronavirus. However, with the market as it is right now, make sure you show support to your customers, keep lines of communication open and adjust your marketing accordingly.


* Are you facing challenges managing customer engagement during the coronavirus crisis? Advance Ohio is here to support you! Get in touch with our team today.