It’s no secret. Business owners need to be creative, adapt and reevaluate. What worked just a few weeks ago might not be the best approach now. And I want to dive into that today on this post.
Lots of people, particularly smaller businesses who feel as though they’ve lost some ground, are cutting their advertising and marketing budget and honestly I can understand why they’re doing that.
That being said, there is a optimistic message here. A lot of entrepreneurs I’ve been talking to are not panicking, they realize that although it might take some time, life will eventually take its course and we will move forward in a ”brave new world”…
They already know that cooler heads will prevail and they’re already preparing to be ready for the moment we get the ”go ahead”.
Obviously, the situation will evolve so it makes sense to be ready. But, exactly what does that mean for organizations? Where should you really be concentrating your time and effort, energy, and budget to be ready?
Let’s dive in:
Your Competitors Haven’t Given Up and Neither Should You!
You may want to pull back your marketing efforts, but it could be an error in judgment to quit, even if just momentarily. I want to share to share an article I read in multiple magazines over the years like Forbes, The New Yorker, etc and is even used in marketing course in universities all over the world:
The specific example reflects on another infamous period when organizations struggled to stay open up let alone promote their products/services to people who themselves didn’t have the liquidity to acquire them.
Well, it turns out that when this occurs it is fundamentally important to maintain your brand presence to stay top of mind…
Here is the abstract of this story:
In the late nineteen-twenties, two companies—Kellogg and Post—dominated the market for packaged cereal. It was still a relatively new market: Ready-to-eat cereal had been around for decades, but Americans didn’t see it as a real alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat until the twenties. So, when the Depression hit, no one knew what would happen to consumer demand.
Post did the predictable thing: It reined in expenses and cut back on advertising.
But Kellogg doubled its ad budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily pushed its new cereal, Rice Krispies. (Snap, Crackle, and Pop first appeared in the 1930s.)
By 1933, even as the economy cratered, Kellogg’s profits had risen almost 30 percent and it had become what it remains today: The industry’s dominant player.
This is a condensed version of an important lesson taught in marketing classes around the globe, but tells a true tale of why maintaining your brand through various marketing initiatives is imperative, and why pulling back on your budget when times are hard, could actually mean never regaining that presence again.
The big picture here is that right now is NOT the time to hole up in a bunker and wait for this to pass. You may find that the landscape looks very different when you resurface.
Every minute you spend submitting to the moment is matched by someone else out there fighting, innovating, and adapting.
Time to move on to Online Channels That Will Always Be Yours
It’s a difficult time for everybody.
But if networking events, in-person meetups, trade shows, conferences, etc. are an important part of your marketing it could seem like your world is falling apart.
Seriously, don’t despair, there is actually light at the end of this tunnel and no, it’s not a train! Although your usual marketing channels are not completely shut you can achieve the same benefits/results online. Don’t panic, just keep reading...
The essence of business is, TRUST.
Say what you would like concerning the clusterfu6k that 2020 has become (sorry but it is what it is!) , but nobody can ignore that social networking and internet based communication channels are making it increasingly simple to entertain and create partnerships, in your pyjama! OK that’s another (important) topic but let me just say that I recommend you dress for success even when you work from home…
Ok now pay attention because this can impact your future:
More than ever before, you have to go all-in on digital channels that cannot be taken away from you.
That means investing your time and budget toward generating leads through your website using a marketing funnel, social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook), phone/virtual meetings, SMS and email marketing.
You Must Adapt Fast (Like, Right Now!)
As the above story illustrates, Kellogg was able to adapt fast and double down on what’s working.
After all, it’s not survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the ones who are able to adapt.
Now let’s look at it from a position of strength: The reality is that this doesn’t have to be a “difficult” time. This can actually be an opportunity!
There’s really no question that companies that adapt fast will be much more likely to succeed and between you and I, the majority will just wait for the storm to pass waiting for any hand-outs they can get etc… Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you don’t take advantage of the government measures and the likes.
What I’m saying is that if you take a step back and reposition yourself while others are just in waiting mode, you can be the Kellogg of your industry and this could be the beginning of a new era for you business where all of a sudden you are seen as an authority in your niche.
- If having meetings with prospects or attending networking events was important for you (if it’s not we need to talk!) then you could replace that with LinkedIn outreach to build relationships with your ideal prospects.
- If speaking at events was your thing you can create online versions of the presentation as a webinar and promote it through Facebook ads. BTW some people never considered speaking at events because, well, let’s face it, public speaking is scary!, in this case this might be an opportunity to learn how to do webinars because talking to your camera is not as intimidating and I’ll let you in on a little secret but please don’t tell anyone 😉 : There is such a thing as pre-recorded webinars! Yup, you can take all the time you need and come up with a fantastic pre-recorded webinar, commonly called an everwebinar, which when done correctly can seem like it’s a live event but that’s only acceptable in very specific conditions which I can’t go into here but if that’s something you’d like to hear more about, just reach out to me…
- If referrals from friends and existing clients is an important source of leads for you and COVID-19 is killing it, you need to be proactive and create your own opportunities. Seriously, not depending on others will change your life!
The key? Much like an investment portfolio, it needs to be diversified. You need to use multiple online channels moving forward to avoid getting caught with your pants down, again…
**If you’re interested in learning more about setting up such multi-channel outbound strategies to get sales appointments every single month (yes, even now) you can simply contact me to discuss it further free of charge...
I don’t mean to beat a dead horse but here are some numbers presenting the reality of the new, remote environment: ( according to Owl Labs )
- 43% are now working remotely, and 52% are doing more calls on phone or video.
- 44% of senior leaders are somewhat or very likely going to make remote work policies permanent.
- 54% of senior leaders reported their companies are implementing virtual events as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and 45% say this is somewhat or very likely going to be a more permanent shift.
- 36% even stated they’re more productive when they’re working from home.
Now if you read between the lines you should understand that a lot of the changes people are making are going to stick long term os we are not talking about the temprary measure here – things will happen virus or no virus.
So let me conclude by repeating the main message you should have gotten from this post:
It’s imperative you adapt as quickly as you can to this brave new world that is going to replace the world we used to know. Do it now.
Don’t wait for the crowd to ”wake up”, get in front of it!
BTW if you’re already using online strategies to generate the bulk of your leads, good for you but now is the time to step it up a notch. Unless you are a Fortune 500 company you are unlikely to be be using its full potential
Look at your current setup and ask your self this question:
During this extraordinary crisis, is my current marketing channel preventing my business from growing? If that’s the reality you’re facing, or if you want to come out of this strong and well-positioned, turning your focus to digital platforms and increasing your marketing efforts will pay off as we come out of this.
Want to motivate others?
Answer this question in the comment section:
What shifts have you made or are you planning to make in your business to adapt?
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