Marketing During the Covid-19 Crisis

As the Covid-19 crisis continues, we’re all seeing shifts in consumer behaviour, product demand, customer relationships, and priorities. During the past 3 months, we’ve seen all businesses switch their marketing strategies to the ‘quarantine mode’, with changes of operational hours, budget allocation, and planning.

Although for many this has resulted in running their business in a very different way as they get to grips with furloughing employees and reacting to a challenging consumer marketing, for one Suffolk-based business, Covid-19 has presented them with a world of opportunity.

Rejuvenation in Doorstep Delivery

Foulgers Dairy supply a wide range of goods locally sourced where possible, and provide a quality delivery service to the local Suffolk community. They offer every day essentials, from milk to bread, to the more unusual, including garden and homestyle products.

When the UK government imposed the lockdown on the evening of 23rd March 2020, the way that we interact, shop, and view ‘priority’ services was transformed overnight.

However, businesses like Foulgers Dairy were in a unique position as their services became more sought after and the appreciation of having not just a local milk person, but one that also delivered groceries, on their doorstep was met with much enthusiasm from the surrounding areas.

Communication Strategy

Like every business during Covid-19, it was especially important for Foulgers Dairy to remain active on social media and continue to offer quality communication with their existing and brand-new customers.

Foulgers Dairy received a wave of contact via their website for customers eager to set-up regular deliveries for their household and for loved ones who were shielding. As a family-run business in Tuddenham, Foulgers Dairy decided that to be able to efficiently reply and action all contact, they were to close their website and encourage all ongoing contact through their email address and phonelines.

To ensure a smooth transition for customers and to educate them on the change, Élan Marketing created all the copy to help support Foulgers Dairy in the management of this change, this also included active replying on their Facebook Page.

In regards to our strategy, Owner Adrian Foulger said, “Élan Marketing has been instrumental in ensuring that our loyal customer base is being effectively communicated with regarding the effects of Covid-19.

“We’ve witnessed an influx of new customers, especially during the beginning of the pandemic when people were unable to get regular delivery slots from supermarkets, by having a strong marketing presence and communication strategy, Élan capitalised on this for us and as a result, we captured brand-new customers.”

Keeping the Engagement Alive 

With the website not accessible for the short-term, it was our task to ensure that not only was the Foulgers Dairy community kept in the loop and supported with their service questions, but also engaged by the Facebook Page.

To maximise this unique opportunity, we decided to run a series of Facebook Likes campaigns to not only grow the Facebook Page’s presence, but to also let the Suffolk community know that Foulgers Dairy were here for them.

Adrian Foulger commented, “We have been working with Élan Marketing for years now and their agile approach to managing our social media channels through an incredibly busy time for us has proved paramount in navigating our business through a pandemic!”

During the UK lockdown duration, Foulgers Dairy has witnessed an increase of 49% in Facebook Likes, a testament to the community engagement we facilitated on the Page and the ongoing communication to ensure that customers were supported and listened to.

Community Generated Content

By building this level of rapport with Foulgers Dairy’s community, we were able to encourage their photographs of their own doorstep deliveries, featuring fresh milk, household items and delicious chocolate treats.

By using these photographs across their social channels, we were encouraging interaction from followers and ensuring everyone that Foulgers Dairy were still out and about delivering goods, even during a pandemic. They were trustworthy and reliable.

A mix of this content and company updates to keep everyone suitable informed resulted in an increase of 93% impressions (the number of times that content was displayed to a user) and a rise of 169% engagements (the number of times a user interacted with a post).

To accompany our work managing the growth in engagement, we also supported the team at Foulgers Dairy managing the continuous flow of direct messaging. Typically, they were questions enquiring about specific delivery locations from new customers who needed that alternative supply of groceries. The flow of messaging was continuous from early morning till late at night, all day and every day. This required a further strategic approach to make sure all customer communications were consistent via phone, email and direct messaging.

Communication Through a Crisis

No matter if your business was thriving or at a standstill during the Covid-19 crisis, it’s incredibly important to continue communication with your customers, clients, and partners.

As presented here, a well-managed strategy can help build your profile, ensure your customers understand your challenges and even support you through the transition of your business.