Opening your business back up? This may be helpful
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Opening your business back up? This may be helpful

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After an extended stay-at-home order in Southeastern Wisconsin, business owners like you are planning to open doors and welcome customers back. This is a critical moment for your advertising and marketing messages to “get it right.” New consumer habits are about to be set and a “new normal” established. There is pent up demand but competition will be sharp. That’s why it is so important to position your business as a smart, safe, enjoyable place to visit and shop for merchandise or services.

As your partner in our local business community, Wisconn Valley Media (publishers of The Kenosha News, The Journal Times and Lake Geneva Regional News) and Amplified Digital has been in contact with local business owners to conduct research on just what this “re-opening” might entail, and how local businesses can position themselves for success.

Opening your business during a pandemic can be delicate and tricky. We have been developing an easy to understand and implement hot sheet of ideas to consider. You can find it at lakegenevaregionalnews.com/open. We have included ideas about “what businesses are doing” -- everything from floor markings and signs to encourage social distancing, encouraging employees and customers to wear face masks, installing plexi-glass “sneeze guards,” and more. There are ideas about “what businesses are saying” in their advertising and marketing, plus “words they are using” to promote empathy, communicate safety and present offers. 

One theme has become clear in this critical moment. Consumers first want advertisements to convey that you are Open for Business and what services are available, then the changes your business has made in response to the pandemic. Borrell Associates recently surveyed consumers and found that preferred advertising content included such things as service adjustments and updates, actions the business is taking to help, compliance (clean, social distancing, etc.), explaining actions to protect employees and -- also on that list -- deals. After all, deciding on one business or another may come down to safety and a deal that sparks interest.

In addition to the recent launch of our local marketing grant program, which matches advertising dollars in the months of April, May and June, we have established multi-channel advertising and marketing packages specifically designed for re-opening businesses. Readership on our news sites is at record levels connecting you directly to up to 88% of all households. We also are offering free senior level advertising and marketing consultations to be sure that your plan is on point and up to the challenge. We hope you will check out the hot sheet and offers. The link is lakegenevaregionalnews.com/open or call 262-248.4444 for more information.

David Habrat is vice president of advertising and marketing for the Lake Geneva Regional News.

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