Do you have a recovery marketing plan?
There appears to be a glimmer of hope as we see the world slowly beginning the process of life restarting post-COVID. This last weekend, many states and countries began to relax quarantines and, fingers crossed, we will not see spikes in cases but instead, see the slow decline of this terrible virus.
The after effects will be slow-going for much of the dive industry, as islands and businesses plan and prepare for reopening while relying on airlines around the world to resume service to many locations.
Last week, Delta Airlines announced they are resuming service to the USVI and the West Indies island-nation of Anguilla announced they were fully ‘open for business’ as they had no confirmed cases as of a few days ago. Glimmers of hope are emerging.
So now is the time, if your company has not already begun, to create a recovery marketing plan to restart your dive marketing and promotions. Being that many companies, large and small, will have greatly reduced marketing dollars for the remainder of 2020, targeting expenditures with laser focus has never been more important.
Google, Bing and Facebook offer a staggering array of tools to help with this laser-focus. Recently an article was published by Pathmatics (https://www.pathmatics.com/hubfs/Pathmatics%20COVID-19%20Report%202020.pdf), an analytics consultancy, shows what percentage large companies dedicate to Facebook, vs Google Desktop, Video or Mobile. Great read – but the takeaway is United Airlines planned their spend pre-COVID at about 40% Facebook, 40% Google Display (Desktop mostly) with the remainder to video and mobile. These are some good guidelines as you look to restart your digital marketing to capture divers.
There are also an array of tools available to geo-target as well as device target. However, people are home more than ever which translates to an abundance of ‘desktop’ users out there – which lends well to video or beautiful underwater photos for use in ads. Furthermore, using ‘look alike’ audiences in Google for example, can help you reach divers that may not be familiar with your company or brand. Now is the time to develop standby marketing plans so you are ready to launch campaigns to target quarantine-weary divers most likely to respond to a value proposition or offer i.e. past customers.
Borrowing from Carnival Cruises and Sandals Resorts playbook, they have maintained regular weekly offer-driven emailers throughout this pandemic. In fact, Carnival recently surveyed their past guests and the number one motivation to get back on a ship? Discounts and offers. I was surprised, but we all know divers are very resilient, just like cruisers. They want the adventure, and are ready to get back in the waters as long as the motivation is high for a booking or purchase.
Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort in Dominica (West Indies) is capitalizing on this type of proactive plan. Although Dominica is still experiencing quarantine, and airlift has not yet resumed, they just launched a ‘guaranteed dive vacation’ gift card promotion for a prepaid dive vacation that can be transferred or gifted to any diver with a three year expiration date. They know that there have been anniversary, birthday, graduation, and summer travel trips that have been postponed and have the foresight to encourage divers to get back in the water as soon as possible with flexibility as travel resumes.
The key is being creative with what little you will have to spend and if you do not have a digital recovery marketing plan, this is the week to start. Another awesome resource is a company called Shortstack.com. They offer a free plan to set up and test social media or website promotions, giveaways or contests. These tools are wonderful ways to engage your past or potential customers, and the cost to execute these programs are reasonably priced.
There are many resources out in the travel industry, and if you want some guidance within diving, reach out. I am more than happy to give some free advice or point you or your company in the right direction. I recently did an interview that spoke a bit about the concept of marketing during these times here on my website. https://www.williamcline.com/current-news/
I hope this has been helpful and best wishes for a speedy recovery, business-wise for us all.
From my desk at home,
Cline Group Advertising
Scuba Industry Specialists since 1990