(or, yes, even in these hard times, there is a path to business recovery)
Who’s zooming who?
Only a fool would pretend that the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 has not been disastrous on almost every imaginable level. Its negative impact has been national, international and global.
And the impact has been personal. Real people have been faced with completely underserved hardship on a scale not experienced in generations.
Weak businesses have disappeared. Sound businesses have found themselves unable to trade. And unable to trade, they face existential crises that not only threaten their present, but also their future.
For the businesses that do survive, only a few can honestly claim growth. Zoom is one, of course, and we should not deride its idiosyncrasies. For some people, it has been a real lifeline.
For some companies too, Zoom (other similar apps are available) has enabled business to function almost ‘normally.’
Conventional or unconventional? Where is the wisdom?
Faced with a crisis many people’s instinct will be to hunker down and hope to ride out the storm. If they have the resources, this might seem sensible. But where does it leave them when things get better? Probably where they were when things were bad…
For the business that can afford to, investing when things are tough may be the counterintuitive solution. This might be investing in capital projects, but it’s more likely to be pursuing market share via intelligent marketing.
Perhaps the best known example is about Kellogg. In the great depression of 1929-33, Kellogg doubled their advertising budget. Their main competitor, Post, did not. And although Post survived (Grape Nuts, anyone?), Kellogg’s market dominance hasn’t been disputed since.
Can we learn from this? Kellogg was already a powerful company with deep pockets and it took a calculated decision to invest because it could. Not every business can do the same, but the general principle still applies.
It’s a fair bet that during the pandemic, every business knows what resources it has – probably to the penny and to the name of each employee and the name of the janitor’s cat.
From an audit of resources follows an appraisal of options. What opportunities already exist? Which can be created? How and at what cost? And what is the opportunity cost of not acting?
Caution is required, particularly for the small business tempted by solutions that seem too good to be true. These ‘snake oil’ cures are easy to find online but most only work in a particular sector with specific products. The big question is whether they are suitable for your business, here and now.
The key is to focus on core activities – the things you do really well – without losing sight of changing market trends that could either be a threat or the next opportunity.
And (with apologies to the accountants) ring-fence a marketing budget. If your audience doesn’t know you’re there…
Plan, act, respond
Unplanned marketing activity is a waste of money. And you can’t afford not to do the marketing.
So plan your campaigns carefully. In fact, planning your actions should be cheaper than just spending in the hope of a miracle, so it pays, in every sense, to do it properly.
Have a strategic approach where marketing and advertising are complementary. If social media is the route to your audience, make use of social media and planned, renewable, and proactive activities. If your market is reached via online journals, that’s where your efforts should go. Either way, make it original, such as with high quality video animation.
Monitor activity and see what works, and ideally why it works. Accept that you may need to adapt – for example to the increase in online retail or a growing preference for sustainably produced goods.
Be consistent – and speak to an expert
Without consistency all of these tactics are chaff in the wind – so as well as re-doubling efforts in your chosen field, it really pays to do everything you do, well, the whole time. And that includes the marketing.
And sometimes – perhaps often – these activities can’t be done well and consistently in-house. This is not a judgement; it’s a fact of life. The call on staff and time is often too much. And when that realisation comes, don’t prevaricate. Find an expert to help you out. Doing so could avoid wastage, improve your bottom line, and help you thrive - when your competitors are still in their bunkers!
#businessrecovery #coronaviruspandemic #pandemic #counterintuitivesolution #intelligentmarketing #coreactivities #marketingbudget #videoanimation #GoProactive
Image: Post Grape-nuts - © BrandlandUSA
Image: Kellogg's Original Cornflakes - © Image may not be subject to Copyright
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