If I Open Will They Come?
“If you build it, he will come.” If you’ve watched the movie Field of Dreams or you are from Iowa, you know the quote. The “he” is Shoeless Joe Jackson. And he will come if you build a baseball field in a cornfield. Today from restaurants to hospitals all are asking a similar question, “If I open will they come?”
The answer from research is not right away. Revive Health from Nashville, conducted research that found 90% of people with acute healthcare needs are experiencing “debilitating fear” and are “paralyzed” by that fear to go back to a healthcare facility for the care they need.
Morning Consult conducted a poll and found that:
- 70% of US citizens will not eat in a restaurant for 2 to 6+ months
- 55% will not attend a movie for 2 to 6+ months
- 53% will not attend a religious event for 2 to 6+ months
- 45% will not attend a work conference for 2 to 6+ months
It will take time for all us all to get more comfortable with the new normal. And our marketing will need to help alleviate fear and reassure people at a high level. The research shows that people want to know how you are specifically social distancing, how you are minimizing the risk of contact with staff and how you are sanitizing. And you can’t just say we are cleaning; people want to know down to the smallest detail what you are specifically doing to keep them safe.
True, it is difficult to know through research what people will do in the future. But right now there is a great deal of hesitation and fear concerning COVID-19. If you open and you tell people in great detail how you are keeping them safe, then they just might come. Before they will come to a baseball stadium they will need hand sanitize dispensers, information on sanitizing, thermometer screenings, half seats sold, masks, no lines for entry, pre-packaged delivered concessions…
You clean message is some much bigger than your messaging: Your proof of performance will need to continue throughout the experience in word and deed.