It’s no secret that businesses across many industries have been hit hard by COVID. Even now that the intense, countrywide lockdown is over, things are far from normal.
Many service businesses, such as restaurants, hairdressers, tourism businesses and the events industry have, so far, faced over 5 months with little to no income. Local lockdowns continue to crop up and a major portion of the population have radically altered their purchasing and “going out” behaviour.
While most business owners have suffered, it’s smaller, local businesses that have faced the largest threat to their existence. This is because they don’t have the budgets, savings or back-up of larger firms who operate on a national or international scale.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Some savvy small businesses have seemingly done the impossible and managed to survive, sometimes even thrive, in the toughest of COVID hit sectors by doing something remarkable – working together.
Businesses Helping Businesses
You might think competition would be fierce right now, as many new and small businesses have suffered so badly in the lockdown. Yet, many local businesses know that it takes a village to get through a crisis.
Small, local businesses have the advantage that they are often embedded in their communities and invested in the lives of their customers and each other.
“Businesses helping businesses” might sound like marketing-speak, but it has grown organically from local companies banding together to share knowledge, resources, marketing, and sympathy. It helps to talk to other people who are in a similar situation to you.
Reciprocal Marketing in the Post-COVID World
Small local businesses from New York to London to Beijing are using reciprocal marketing to support one another, as well as their local communities.
Instead of fiercely trying to compete, local businesses are pooling their efforts and citing one another in their marketing. Examples include helping set up new delivery services, online ordering and including branded mention of other businesses in their marketing.
This is especially true in print marketing. Businesses are creating brochures, leaflets and business cards, that feature logos and offers from multiple local stores in one easy to read piece of marketing.
Shops also highlight complementary services offered by other businesses in their area. A dog groomer and pet boarding business have joined together to advertise each other’s services, for example.
How Can You Make the Most of Reciprocal Marketing?
If you’re looking to tap into reciprocal marketing, consider featuring other local businesses on your brochures, fliers or business cards. But remember to communicate to ensure everyone is consistent with branding to avoid confusing customers.
Is Print Marketing Still Important in a Pandemic?
This is also a crucial time to look both at print and digital reciprocal marketing. While digital may seem the go to trend at a time when people are stuck at home, remember that many delivery services and the warehouse stocks of big firms are still disrupted. Many people are also feeling overwhelmed by a rapid increase in digital marketing.
And many really appreciated local businesses dropping fliers through their door when they couldn’t get out. A simple leaflet made a big difference to someone who was in isolation.
As the world opens up again, many people are excited to get back into the community and start shopping in person again. It’s a good idea to make people in your community aware that you’re still in business and have exciting products and services to offer them.
Which local businesses could you join forces with?
Need help creating brochures with multiple logos for reciprocal local marketing? Contact our team for more help.