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Springing Forward in America

By Keith Huntoon

President & Co-Founder

I’m starting to see tulips and daffodils sprout in Connecticut, and they’ve got me to thinking about our emergence from COVID with cautious optimism.

As of March 16th, the CDC says 111 Million vaccine doses have been administered and 39 Million American’s are fully vaccinated. Despite our collective loss in 2020, part of the healing process is a need to move forward. Thankfully, there have been some positives to help with that transition.

The $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan will inject a massive amount of money into the US economy. In addition to helping fund pandemic response, providing school, local government and pension support, granting housing assistance as well as dispensing aid to a slew of other programs, the bill provides significant payments directly to consumers. Specifically: stimulus checks and child tax credits.

  • The package extends the existing $300 weekly unemployment benefit through Sept. 6, as well as a tax break on $10,000 in unemployment benefits.
  • Individuals earning $75,000 per year and couples earning $150,000 would still receive the full $1,400-per-person benefit.
  • Most Americans would receive $3,000 a year for each child ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 for each child under 6.

In total, roughly $5,750 for every adult and child will be pumped into the economy – on top of the stimulus in 2020 – wow!

When the vaccination effort and the stimulus are combined, it’s easy to see the potential Spring 2021 has to fuel the rest of the year (and beyond).

How will this double-shot Spring impact your customers? How can consumers feeling better about the future, many with money in their pocket, impact your business? What is your marketing plan to ensure these folks spend more of their dollars with you?

Time is of the essence and those fertilizing now have the best chance to grow a garden envied by all. As an optimist, below are a few suggestions.

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Rethink Your Ideal Customer Post-COVID

Consumers and priorities have understandably changed, so don’t rely on old assumptions to market in 2021 and ’22. Analyze your buyers from March 2020 forward to learn who’s buying what, and which creative strategies worked best.

Monitor Rising Trends

Think with Google publishes weekly search trends. Use this, and other similar tools, to understand what consumers are actively interested in. Perhaps there are ways to market your existing products to tell a story that aligns with current trends.

Offer Consumers Flexibility

Help your customers plan ahead where possible without having them stressing out about the “what ifs.” Policies for easier returns, rescheduling travel with flexibility, reduced/free financing, and discounts for pre-purchase provides customers the satisfaction in having something to look forward to, while giving them a backup plan just in case.

Alter Your Marketing Mix

Did you shift your marketing in 2020 based on the pandemic spending cliff? If so, is that mix appropriate with so much cash being injected into the economy?

As seismic as the shift was in Spring 2020, it’s likely the shift back equally as strong in 2021 towards growth. The difference in ’21 is we have a little time to prepare.

Invest!

Many marketers shift a significant percentage of prospecting budget to farming current customers in a downturn. It’s a “live to fight another day” mentality. Well, that day is here!

Q3 and Q4 have the potential to be massive for those willing to invest on the return of the American Consumer.

Nurture More

We all know the adage “out of sight, out of mind.” Get in front, and stay in front, of consumers as they start to feel more comfortable with the new normal. This should be started as soon as possible. If you don’t, your competitors will.

Talk to Your Peers

This is a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event and no one knows how best to recover. Speak with your trusted peers often. Learn what they’re doing and share what’s working (and what isn’t). We’re all in this together and crowd-sourcing successful tactics works.

Thoughts? What do you think about your growth prospects this Spring and through the rest of the year? Are you adjusting your marketing in 2021? Please let me know or comment on our LinkedIn post below!


Published on Mar. 17, 2021