The COVID-19 crisis is indisputably a major health and economic shock that has an impact on our everyday lives, and has created new demands. In the tense economic context that we are going through, local authorities and regions are greatly affected and are seeking to implement new approaches to help them to increase their appeal, and to support the local economy. With great encouragement from the French government at a national level and locally by the Regional Councils, these initiatives are helping to create attractive approaches for consumers and holidaymakers. However, they need to be supported by specific tools and infrastructures to be deployed on a large scale.
Playing the card of originality and discovery
In real terms, we are seeing local authorities launch many operations: subventions, bonuses for purchases, discounts, gift vouchers, etc. For example, Moselle is offering high school students in the region the opportunity to get €50 in gift vouchers to discover 40 tourist sites with the MOSL Quality label.
Great efforts are being made to get tourism started again and so that customers consume locally. Although these projects may be praiseworthy, they still need to be technically feasible. Indeed, this is a strategic point and cannot be improvised as many management processes are involved.
Successfully managing flows in the systems deployed
On this point the world of digital technology and marketing offers genuine and realistic opportunities for quick implementation. The best way to create and host a specific website for regional operations, establish agreements with professionals, design gift vouchers, and collect payments and manage reimbursements are all points that need to be addressed. All of these factors are real novelties for local authorities, which do not necessarily know how to handle complex operations that require a high level of expertise and are the direct result of projects related to customer relationship management, loyalty building and digital marketing.
Participating in the economic recovery
Professionals in marketing and customer relations must guide local authorities in their initiatives and make it possible for them to successfully launch their recovery projects. In this way, local players have a leading role to play in ensuring these operations are deployed successfully and must more generally position themselves as long-term partners for local authorities. Indeed, although pressure may be on to “save the season for many professionals”, long-term support will be needed to get back to normal cruising speed. This may for example mean help or subsidies for businesses and the local population.
By Cécile Devin, General Manager of Tessi’s Customer Marketing Division