” Doom is near… get ready!”
I heard a frail wail from my neighbor while I was passing by. He was saying with a smile.
It seems like an oxymoron when someone is speaking on impending doom coupled with a sly smile. Was he taking it seriously, or is he just cracking a joke on the state of things around the world? I just nodded and walked off, not knowing whether to smile or to look serious. Things are heating up as I write this. It is hard not to hold your forehead and sigh when you witness the damage that the vile COVID-19 is showering mercilessly around the globe. Businesses and people are affected on a scale that most of us have not seen in our generation.
No one knows how many people will be infected and die, but it has caused catastrophic damage to the stock markets to crash and businesses alike. Few are seeing positive upturns like the finance, groceries, and healthcare industry. Even the media industry is getting a lot of traction with people turning on different channels that provide the latest updates on the COVID-19 stats, which seems to be on an upward trend, unlike the stock market. The worst-hit is probably the travel industry and the dependent verticals. Apple is closing stores, and Virgin also has asked their staff to take unpaid leave, and many are following suit.
Our digital agency with clients all over the world is bracing for the worst, and some of our clients are holding back on spending while some are actually planning to do more campaigns with us. We see more companies wanting to spend on digital more than ever now because they see opportunity.
As Mr. Warren Buffett once said: Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful, now is not the time to stand still. Even if you do agree with him and go ” GUNG HO” and do something out of this world, this is definitely the time to be positive and not get enamored by the negativities bubbling around like sewage.
Your competitors could be cutting down on expenditure, but if you focus on building your brand and getting your message across now when the turn of the tide comes, your target audience will come looking for you because you are currently getting your message across right now.
So what to do now?
Here are some quick tips.
Focus your efforts on digital.
With more and more roadshows, exhibitions, conferences, and other events being postponed or canceled and “social distancing” becoming the new buzzword, companies are impacted adversely. People are now online more than ever, and hence you could focus on digital marketing rather than traditional marketing like billboards, posters, flyers, and brochures. Even salespeople are told to do a call or a teleconference. So you can focus more on digital marketing and also content creation during this downturn and increase the level of platforms you are on. The more channels you are in, the more reach you are going to get… simple!
Even buying ads in specific mailing lists with excellent circulation can prove beneficial. Advertising in a trade or customer-centric magazine is also taking a positive surge because people are avoiding the streets, and hence the “streets” are coming to their homes as advertisements.
E-Commercify Your Products/Services
Is E-commercify even a word? Who the heck cares as you know what I mean anyway! If you are selling something, regardless of how it is priced, you can probably get it online because people are now buying online more than ever, for they fear the “human touch.” They want to avoid getting in contact with our fellow species, and so they probably will order online more, and if you are selling a lot of consumer goods, you can probably go online to sell or jump onto the vast array of E-retailers.
Even professionals are giving consultation online via different platforms like Zoom, Webex, Gotomeeting, and others and getting paid via their website by integrating various payment providers like Paypal, Stripe, and others. Booking appointments are also accessible with 3rd party booking applications, which your prospect or client can book for an online meeting. You can always modify your business model and ensure that you get paid even if you do not have to meet your customers. If you are selling products, then you better have it online so that you can get them to your customers’ doorsteps instead of waiting for them to come. They may not want to see your face at all, not because you don’t look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, but the current situation warrants it.
Improve Your Online Conversion
Search traffic is dropping, but what about the ones who are coming to your website? Now is the time to focus even more and take great advantage of the measly numbers trickling in. Drops matter now more than ever.
How is your online customer journey?
Have you optimized their journey?
Are you improving the online conversion?
Conversion optimization is crucial to make you generate more qualified leads. So let’s say if out of 10 who come, two buys from you, it is a 20% conversion. If you improve your customer journey online, which means you increase the conversion hence out of 10 who come four may buy from you, which is 40%. You easily double your profits. So with the traffic slowing down and fewer people visiting your business, you have to focus on conversions.
Webinars are the in thing right now. Webinars are here to not only present your products and services, but also it can be on-demand. It can be played anytime when people come to your website, and you can also send it to your clients to watch it anytime. It can help sell, educate, and even increase the conversion rate of your potential customers.
Webinars can position you as the subject matter expert, and if you have a digital agency that can help you, you can even make really powerful webinars not only with you but with influencers, though, and industry leaders who will create a significant impact on your target audience.
Now your competitor is probably going to cut spending online, perhaps waiting for COVID-19 to subside and then start their marketing and advertising. So you can see that there is less competition, isn’t it? So when there is less competition, you don’t need a massive war chest to be visible and compete with your competitors. In fact, the field will become less congested, and hence you can spend less to be equally, if not more visible, and get your message to your target market.
So now you can do more with less and spend less and get more.
Also, many companies are going bust, so if you have the cash, go and buy them over. They need the funds, and since most companies have cash flow problems or going down the hill because of the COVID predicament, it will be useful to buy into your competition or event buy them out. In this way, you can grab more market share and streamline your process and market strategy.
In other words, this is your opportunity to strike and gain market share and become the leader.
So these are some tips that you can implement at this very moment as well as in the future because the future is anyone’s guess. Yes, COVID-19 is here to stay, and we are going to lose many good people along the way. Life is cruel, but we should not bow down and take the beating without a fight, especially when you are a business.
It would be best if you kept the ship steady. The only way is to move forward. Steer well!