Building a Business in a Crisis

Businessman taking off glasses in frustrationWelcome to the new normal that, quite honestly, is anything but normal.

With little warning, the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has thrust us into an economic and emotional tailspin. For many individuals and businesses, navigating these uncharted waters can feel a bit like treading water waiting for the lifeboat to rescue us. Our instinct is self-preservation, be it by stocking up on toiletries or bringing your business and marketing to a grinding halt while bracing for what’s to come. As a marketing agency, whose lifeline is dependent on providing valued marketing services, we get it. We are nervous too.

Despite this, sometimes the most responsible counsel we can provide clients severely affected by the economic shutdown is to pause a portion of their marketing plan and spend this time ramping up your strategic thinking. Now is the time to develop your plan on how to most effectively stay in front of and increase engagement with your target audience, while also building your strategy to aggressively re-enter the market when the time is right.

The prospect of developing a plan for post-COVID-19 can be daunting, especially as we grapple with an unseen enemy wiping out our cash flow and wreaking havoc with our P&L statements. But, it’s exactly for those reasons that we can’t afford to stop thinking and planning. As we learned from the Great Recession in 2008, companies who stayed engaged with their customers and prospects and that had a plan to build their market share emerged stronger and recovered faster than those that hunkered down to ride out the storm.

Here are a few things you can be thinking about now to strengthen your business in the months to follow the COVID-19 shutdown:

  • Review your social media strategy and identify new ways to stay engaged with your customers and followers. The 2.9 million people already using social platforms for information are now spending more time using social media for health updates, family and friend connection, and entertainment. Use this to your benefit by using your brand power to meet your customers where they are.
  • Review your digital program (Google and Digital ads) and consider shifting your message from promotional/sale-focused to brand awareness and inspirational. It’s important to stay top-of-mind and to be viewed as a resource even if your product or service is not available right now.
  • Identify any new pain points being experienced by your customers in the wake of COVID-19 and determine if you have the expertise and capacity to develop a solution.
  • Emails are a cost-effective communication. Consider if it makes sense to continue your email communication knowing few email exchanges now could increase your open and conversion rates. This strategy may involve revising your message to ensure relevancy.
  • Find ways to do community goodwill. With heightened anxiety and tension, our nation and your customers crave positive news. Look for ways you can use your talent, time, and influence to make our community a bit brighter.

Scheffey is standing strong to support our clients and the business community at large. We are set-up and prepared to provide virtual marketing consulting via Skype, Google Hangouts, email, or phone. With our recently launched Scheffey Plus One, businesses can benefit from the thinking and expertise of a strategic marketing agency without committing to a sustained marketing plan. Under this model, Scheffey can come alongside your team to fill in the gaps – be it one-time consulting, strategy development for a particular project or market challenge, or implementation and execution of a plan your team developed.

If you need help with your plan to position your company for strength in the weeks and months to come, contact Hope Graby or Cheryl Irwin-Bass to start the conversation.