Print Marketing: An Unexpected Hero In The Fight Against The Coronavirus
During these unique times, we’ve all become more aware of the actions we take that could put us or others at risk of contracting the Coronavirus. We stay home as much as possible. We wear masks in public. We wear gloves or simply avoid touching anyone or anything outside of our homes. Anything we can do to decrease our chances of falling victim to this virus we are doing, and we are doing it to an extreme.
For businesses all around the world, this level of extreme isolation has been devastating. For some, they’ve had to close the doors completely, and for others they’ve had to adapt and find new ways to survive.
For both scenarios, these businesses have needed to communicate important details to their audience in order to ensure the health and safety of their staff and customers.
Social media has been great at providing a way for businesses to connect with their customers, but there are certain details now that need to be communicated. That communication needs to be strategically placed in order to get the attention it deserves. For these situations, print marketing has played a vital role!
You might think print marketing should be limited in order to prevent the spread of the virus, and although I’m NOT going to get into the science behind whether or not the virus can be transmitted from one brochure to another (visit CDC), I am going to talk about the observations I’ve made.
How restaurants have used print during the pandemic?
When restaurants had to close their doors and transition to delivery, takeout, or curbside pickup, they needed to ensure everyone had the right details. Not only would they post these details on their website and social media channels, but they also turned to print banners, posters, yard signs and flyers. These became permanent fixtures on the doors, windows, yards and walls of many brick and mortar locations.
In order to best describe how a restaurant leveraged print, I’m going to share, in detail, my experience with one restaurant in particular.
The Tavern Grill in Fargo, ND, is a restaurant my wife and I have visited a few times prior to the pandemic. As North Dakota transitioned to the stay-at-home order, we, just like many others, did exactly that. Our only “escape” was for groceries and curbside pickup.
How did The Tavern communicate their curbside pickup option? With multiple large print banners strategically placed on their building. Not only did they communicate the option for curbside pickup, but they promoted a 20% off discount to try and sweeten the deal.
For us, that print banner was all we needed to answer one of life’s biggest questions. “What are we going to have for dinner tonight?”
That’s not where the print stopped with them. Once you placed your order and arrived to pick it up, they used a large print banner to educate the customer on the steps they should follow in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. They placed a phone number on the print banner along with instructions to text that number with the name of the individual who placed the order and the model and color of the vehicle you were in.
Again, the print didn’t stop there. After we got home, we opened up the bag and that’s where The Tavern completed the print marketing cycle.
They inserted a 4″ x 9″ flyer that shared a personal note from the business, details on the steps they’re taking to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved and then lastly they gave you a reason to keep the flyer in your house by placing a reminder of the 20% off curbside pickup promotion as well as details for how to order online ahead of time.
It’s subtle, but in that single flyer, they managed to create a personal connection between us and the restaurant that drove us to go back 3 more times over the next 3 weeks, both because we wanted to support them and we enjoyed the food.
How have grocery stores used print during this time?
For many, this next observation has become the new normal. Grocery stores have always been an essential business but during the pandemic they’ve morphed into something we are willing to risk our lives for. That statement feels a bit dramatic coming from someone in North Dakota, a place that hasn’t seen many cases, but the narrative going on in the country fits that level of fear.
At our local grocery store I’ve observed flyers, posters, and floor decals playing a vital role in helping to limit the spread of the virus. Flyers on the front door inform everyone of the new hours of operation. Posters are located near the entrance in an attempt to ensure everyone proceeds through the store with social distancing in mind. Additional flyers have been placed in certain areas of the store informing customers of any limits that are being placed on items.
As you go through the checkout, floor decals are strategically placed six feet apart to remind customers where to stand in order to maintain a proper distance.
All of that information, delivered at those times, couldn’t possibly be communicated without print.
Why does print work during a pandemic?
When it comes down to directing a group of people to move and act in a certain way, at a certain point, print unites everyone. It lays out rules and guidance that everyone can see and follow. When one person doesn’t adhere to the rules through either ignorance or distraction, it offers the herd a way to help right that wrong by uniting them around a single objective.
This post is not about how print marketing is better than its digital counterpart; but rather it’s about how tactically useful print marketing can be during times like this.
Take these observations and apply them to your future marketing strategies. Be strategic in location. Be clear in what action you want the reader to take. Be thoughtful in how you ask them to proceed. And if possible, give them a reason to do it all again!
If you'd like to create your own print marketing material, MyCreativeShop makes it easy for anyone to create their own marketing material online and we'd love to have you design with us. Check out our catalog of print templates to get started.
Be safe and better days are ahead!