How our assurance framework helped support Specsavers' customers through COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic presented Specsavers with a need to react quickly to changing market conditions, while delivering relevant and accurate advice ahead of key competitors. As such, our goal here was not related to revenue, but to use content to maintain customer retention by emphasising the expertise of Specsavers as a pillar of the community.
HERE’S HOW WE DID IT
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
Our strategy centred around providing insight and advice that was not only for temporary use, however would allow Specsavers to future-proof the ‘new normal’.
We developed a COVID-19 Care content hub designed to be customer friendly and easy to understand, with a view that this would be migrated into existing content at a later stage, for upcycling purposes. We were also able to identify key trends that would continue into the new normal and form part of the wider business strategy, namely the new in-store experience and the growing movement towards ‘telehealth’ and RemoteCare services.
From the initial outbreak of COVID-19 towards exit planning, our research and insight provided validation on the communication decision being made by the business. Our end goal was to ensure that we were able to deliver fast and accurate insight that could be conveyed into content of different forms for the website, social media and PR related to the content hub, as well as inform the Specsavers Customer Surveying Panel.
THE ASSURANCE FRAMEWORK
To pinpoint key areas for content development we deployed our Assurance framework which is based off a 4 stage model called the OODA loop: Observe — we used trend analysis, customer insight tools and desk research on a daily basis to identify any search key trends. Orient — we collated all insight into a collaboration repository, with any key insight discussed within a weekly report and call. Decide — within the weekly call, make a decision on the key parts of insight that will be taken forward. Act — agree on creative option for the content and on what platforms it could be used (website, YouTube, social media, PR)
From our research we were able make recommendations on the conversations which Specsavers should consider being a part of, as well as provide insight to partner agencies (such as social media and PR) in order to guide their own tactics.
TACKLING THE 'BLUE LIGHT' BOOM
One key insight gathered from our assurance report was the rapid increase in searches for ‘blue light glasses’. While there is no clinical link to COVID-19, searches for “blue light glasses” grew by 170% from March 2020 to April 2020 due to the increase in people working from home. This said, the jury was still out on the effectiveness of blue light blocking glasses, with reliable scientific research finding no proven benefit of wearing them for your eye health.
Using our assurance insight, Curated were able to respond to this trending topic with a myth-busting piece around the effectiveness of blue light glasses. Working alongside clinical experts, we were able to inject Specsavers expertise within the blue light conversation — despite not even selling the glasses.
Within 2 months of going live, the article “Do blue light glasses really work?” already ranked in position 1 for “blue light glasses” — a keyword that averages 60,000 searches per month.
Curated’s process resulted in Specsavers creating genuinely useful and authoritative content which met the needs of customers at a difficult time. The goal of the project was not to drive booking appointments or revenue, but ensure that Specsavers empathised with customers and addressed their concerns, as well as providing a source of expertise for the whole of UK and Ireland.
Our content resulted in a great amount of traction over the coronavirus lockdown period and even into the recovery stages of the pandemic. In particular, following search trend insight, we developed a piece of content around “How to stop glasses fogging up with a face mask”, and collaborated with Specsavers’ PR and social media teams on how this insight could inform wider channel activity. From July to August 2020, the piece saw huge organic success:
“As happened to many other businesses, CV19 caught us off-guard whilst we concentrated on longer term plans. Curated helped us re-set that long-sighted focus on the immediate term: dealing with the ever-changing landscape whilst this (I daresay) unprecedented pandemic tightened its grip across the globe. With government guidelines and research showing new evidence daily, Curated used up-to-date search insights to help us carve a path through the noise and ensure information that made its way on to our site was fit for purpose, with the right content coming in the right context and at the right time. To paraphrase Kipling slightly, Curated managed to keep their head when all about them were losing theirs....“
SENIOR DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER — SPECSAVERS
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