With the turbulent start to 2020, many people and businesses are in a state of uncertainty and even confusion about what to do next. Each day, the media is bombarding us with panic, issues, job losses, business closures – and overall uncertainty. However, while there are unfortunate events happening around the world right now, it is also a crucial time for decision making in your business. Smart businesses and marketers are already planning their next move for when we reach the opposite side of this pandemic. Because we will reach the other side – this will pass! So, let’s take a look at our view on the world right now and what we suggest you should be doing (if you’re not one of our clients who already has this under control!).
Every day we hear news stories about stock markets crashing, job losses, business closures and so on. However, we’re also hearing about government support packages being announced all over the world. With all these various stimulus packages around the world, this means that funds will begin flowing soon. Your business needs to be positioned to benefit from that flow ASAP, so you need to be implementing plans to ensure you thrive in this environment. How will you do this?
First and foremost – now is the time to keep marketing, not slow down – if you can. If you slow down your marketing and communication efforts, then you will lose brand awareness and you will not be top of mind for potential customers. It is a falsity to believe that every single person or business is struggling right now. Everyone is experiencing new challenges and changes, but there are many businesses who will boom out of this.
Our research is also showing us that advertising costs are decreasing. How? With the temporary closure of some industries, and with the cancellation of many worldwide events – there is less digital advertising taking place and people are spending much more time online. Research released by GWI* showed 70% globally are spending more time on smartphones and increased time on computers & laptops, along with 28% of Australians spending much more time on social media platforms, so all this opens more opportunity to reach your customers. With decreased competition, this means you can secure lower Cost Per Click (CPC) costs and potentially reach even more people than you would in a normal environment. With many people at home, there are more eyes on screens now – so the best place to continue your advertising efforts is in the digital marketing space. Right now is a great time to capitalise on this, by building a larger online following for a lower cost – and then monetise it now or even more later when everything bounces back to normal. And it’s not just about customers, digital is a great way to stay in touch with your suppliers and partners too – as now is an important time to maintain a close relationship.
2. Your Business…
How is your business structured? What can you do right now to adapt to the changing world? What can you do right now that will ensure longevity and allow you to thrive post-COVID-19 and into the next 12 months, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years?
We have clients building online shops, expanding their offering, changing ways of working, picking up clients/customers in new segments. What can you do differently to meet the needs of your current market, and any potential new markets?
How does your team operate? We’ve seen so many businesses having to quickly adapt and transition to more flexible work arrangements overnight. What can you put in place to make flexible working easier, more acceptable and part of your every day business even after the pandemic is over?
If you are in a position where you’ve been able to keep your team on full-time, you’ll want to make sure they are over-servicing customers, and working on projects that no one has had time to do previously. Rather than laying off staff, can you work out alternative arrangements where team members go on annual leave, or take some leave without pay or reduce their working hours/days temporarily?
And if you’re lucky enough to be in an industry where you have not been negatively affected, then why not give your team an unexpected reward? After all, your team are the reason your business still exists.
As a leader, how you react to a chaotic situation is usually a reflection of how the entire business will react and handle it. Keep a positive mindset – this makes a huge difference. Giving your team clear, consistent and confident communication at a time like this is also key.
Overall, what we’ve usually seen in situations like this is that the businesses who are first to act and tackle it head on – are usually the ones who come out thriving. Immediately scaling back everything you do is not always the best solution, especially over the long-term. If you want to have a chat about how your business is handling this situation, please feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here to help.