Crystal Ball Thinking

By May 10, 2020 General No Comments
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The world is changing at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to imagine what six days from now will look like to say nothing of the next six months or even years. As marketers, we’ve always used historical information, current trends and a futuristic mindset to guide our business practice and marketing strategies. And, like many of you, we’re already thinking about how our world will be impacted by recent events.

Here are some industries that have been required to make changes or will need to make significant ones to stay relevant in the new world:

Cruises: Cruise ships have been hit hard by the pandemic and were in the news headlines frequently prior to that for norovirus issues. But surprisingly (to me, at least), bookings are up 40% over 2019 for 2021. This is probably reflective of a dedicated, avid cruise fan base in addition to huge discounts being offered by cruise lines to book future trips. One way for this industry to survive and attract new customers is to develop, implement and market a strong health and wellness plan showcasing the changes they’ve made to reduce travelers’ chances of being exposed to illness on board.

Entertainment: “Trolls World Tour” was a record-setting, straight to video-on-demand movie released on Easter weekend. Although movie theaters may not go away, this certainly proves there’s a viable audience for those willing to stream at home. Although it cost $19.99 for a 48-hour rental, it might be a more affordable way for young families who could save on ticket costs as well as snacks. And with television soon to run out of new content, it will be interesting to see if mainstream broadcast channels can work any deals to televise current family-friendly theater content in their prime time viewing hours. Network television is already reinventing itself by moving to lower-cost production platforms such as Zoom interviews, user-generated content and live streaming from celebrity homes. And I’m sure there are other new and innovative ideas in development.

Online Grocery Shopping: Although online grocery shopping is not a new concept, there’s been a significant increase in the number of shoppers turning to this option during the pandemic. Having tried it for the first time myself a few weeks ago, it looks like there’s room for improvement – at least on my grocer’s platform. Like other retailers, there’s an opportunity for cross promotion, reminder emails and banner advertising. For example:

  • If you add a bag of Lay’s potato chips to your cart – a promotional box could pop up letting you know there’s a new flavor or suggesting you add a package of hot dogs to go with it.
  • Since you’re no longer walking the grocery aisles and spotting enticing new products – they need to announce their presence with banner ads on grocer’s shopping sites.
  • For frequent customers who opt in, they could send out weekly reminder emails including everything from recipes you might enjoy based on your past purchases to reminders to stock up on something you haven’t ordered for a while.

There are many other industries making changes or facing challenges that we’ll explore in the upcoming weeks. All of us have ideas on what the future might hold and we’re interested in your perspective. What are you seeing in your crystal ball?

Author Carol Wahl

More posts by Carol Wahl

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