When Can I Return to In-Person Marketing?

A microphone on a stage with a fuzzy backdrop of an auditorium set up for a seminarRemember free samples of artisan jams at the grocery store? Do you miss the days of winning over clients by hosting compelling seminars? Engaging in these in-person marketing activities seems a lifetime ago. With the persistent struggle against COVID raging on, business owners and entrepreneurs are wondering whether they’ll ever be able to pursue in-person marketing again. While this is a difficult question to answer, let’s take a realistic look at when we can return to in-person marketing and if it’s time to start investing in alternative strategies.

Will In-Person Marketing Ever Be Possible Again?

It’s impossible to approximate the end of the pandemic, but one thing’s for certain: what we once perceived as normal is gone forever. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not out of the question to think in-person marketing will one day resume, but it likely won’t be the primary focus of marketing strategies any longer. Marketing businesses online has proven to be the perfect way to future-proof your company. By distributing more resources into online marketing, businesses can reach customers anywhere and can pursue clients based on data rather than chance or convenience.

Virtual Marketing is Here to Stay

Just as COVID seems to be trending, virtual marketing activations aren’t going anywhere. We’ll continue to network via video-conferencing apps and communicate mostly online. Businesses who successfully executed pivot plans in 2020 not only held tight to their relevancy while safely social distancing, but they also ditched the physical limitations of in-person marketing by sharing content with a wider audience online.

Even if we’re able to return to in-person events, taking resources away from virtual marketing isn’t recommended. Online marketing should remain an essential part of your business strategy, as you’re able to reach a larger audience with no geographical restrictions. Furthermore, everyone has a unique risk tolerance when it comes to the current crisis. It’s important to also aim your marketing at those following public health guidelines and those with comorbidities that make them especially susceptible to COVID.

How Can Virtual Marketing Replace In-Person Marketing?

Even if your business heavily relies on in-person marketing, there are ways to convert these efforts while social distancing. Here are a few examples of strategies that can replace traditional in-person marketing:

  • Free Samples: If you rely on free samples to make sales or promote cross-selling, try including a free sample with every online purchase, allowing clients to request free samples online, emailing marketing promos, or partnering with a subscription box service.
  • Virtualize Seminars: With in-person speaking engagements off the table, host a virtual trade show, webinar, or podcast. If you’re a financial advisor, host an online seminar on budgeting. If you sell cookware, show your product in action by recording yourself cooking a recipe.
  • Improve Your Website: If you rely on your brick-and-mortar store for marketing, such as by prominently displaying your high-tier products, you can benefit from doing the same on your website. Ensure your most valuable products receive ample attention when users visit your site.

Just because you can’t see your customers face-to-face doesn’t mean you should give up on fostering human connections with your brand. There is much you can do to convey your brand identity virtually and continue to network remotely.

While returning to in-person marketing has its share of benefits, there are several ways to pivot your marketing strategy to reach a new audience and maintain a relationship with your customers. Investing in virtual marketing is a great way to future-proof your business plan both in the short and long term. At Vision Advertising, we’ve helped build marketing plans and performed consultations for our clients to ensure they found success in the midst of this pandemic. If you need guidance on how to pivot your planning and find success, contact us today.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by background, Alex writes “content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to website copy and beyond. In addition, as Senior Brand Strategist, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision, manages multiple client projects, and herds many meetings. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, reads a copious amount of fiction, plays video games, and an enthusiastic chef at home. He’s trying to become a better plant daddy.

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