Run and hide or adapt and change? Tips to help shape thinking in the time of the COVID-19 global crisis.

Run and hide or adapt and change?
What are you going to do?
No matter the size of your business, we’re all “feelin’ it” in different ways right now.
 
The COVID-19 global pandemic has rocked the economic landscape for the foreseeable future.
 
In times of economic crisis, it’s easy to pull back on marketing and think about ways of saving money for when things return to a time of prosperity.
 
If you have a clear understanding of the role that marketing plays within your organization then you know that is not the approach to take right now.
Let me explain.
 
With a solid strategy, in more prosperous times you run your plans in order to generate demand and conversion.
 
If you’ve taken a science-based approach then you understand the role your brand plays in driving consideration, sales and loyalty.
 
All’s good and things have become somewhat predictable.
 
When a giant bomb gets dropped on the economy what do you do?
 
If you understand the role that your brand, and by that I mean your very existence to the mission your business plays to the market you serve, then it gets easier to understand how to extend your brand in a way that reinforces why you exist in the first place.
(Aside: Your teams – the lifeblood of your brand – are worried right now. Please make sure to check in with them regularly. And if you do not have Brand plans on paper for everyone in your organization to understand, then stop reading this and look here.)
 
B2B and B2C customer mindsets are the same.
 
Your customers and prospects want to know you will be there in good times and bad times. The promise that you fulfill for them needs tuning for micro and macroeconomic situations.
 
To pull back on marketing investments in tough times is a death sentence – or at the very least creates a lot more expense and inefficiency when buyers are ready to purchase again.
 
Think about what happens when you turn the air conditioner off in your house on hot days. How much longer does the system have to run in order to cool your house when you turn it back on?
You must shift mindset.
 
And with that I mean an adjustment to your strategy.
 
The goal should be to re-think what your new goals are for the time being. Is conversion still the primary driver of your business right now?
 
Probably not.
 
Some things that you should consider in this time of crisis:
  1. Re-evaluate and re-tune important metrics: What’s most important right now as you navigate the pandemic? What can you do to be well-positioned for when we come through this?

  2. Be human: To your employees. To your customers. To prospects. Language matters.

  3. Operationalize listening: What’s most important to employees? Customers? Prospects?

  4. Be timely and respond: How can you operationalize your teams to be quick to respond to constantly changing scenarios. Act quickly and respond. Respond iteratively if need be. Do not have great be the enemy of good.

  5. Hang in there! We will get through this. Together.
-Todd