How to Succeed in Business During Covid-19
By now, it is apparent that the corona virus, Covid-19, is not going to just “miraculously disappear”. In fact, a good argument can be made to say that the virus is not only here for a good while longer but perhaps is here to stay in some as of yet, unforeseen manner and shape.
How do we know that the virus is here to stay?
The annual flu, which we are now more aware of, is a corona virus that has been around for several hundreds of years. In fact, the annual flu virus that raises its ugly head each fall and winter in what is called “flu season”, is simply an amalgam of the many flu strains from the past 100 or more years.
The 1918 Flu Pandemic is still with us.
The 1918 flu virus which killed as many as 50 million people worldwide, is still with us. In 2020, the seasonal flu we all are subject to, still contains significant remnants of the flu virus from 1918-1920 flu.
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The flu strain from 1918-1920 was (and still is) a corona virus, much the same as Covid-19 is. The reason the 1918-1920 flu virus “magically disappeared” is not so much magic as it is science. The science of corona viruses is that the virus mutates each year as it moves through the population. Sometimes getting more virulent and sometimes getting less virulent.
In short, the 1918-1920 flu corona virus simply became far less potent over time. The 1918-1920 strain still exists today but only as a small part of the current 2020 seasonal flu.
What can we learn about how to conduct business in a pandemic from the 1918-1920 flu pandemic?
Looking at the history of the 1918 pandemic has taught us how we can succeed in business during these challenging times.
There are many things to consider and learn from our history in dealing with these huge events. We can consider the following events as a great way to learn. The 1918-1920 flu, the 1989 stock market crash, 9/11 and the 2008/2009 banking crisis, all Black Swan events.
However, for the purposes of this article on marketing, we are going to look at 3 simple lessons to be learned from these events, if we as businesspeople wish to succeed.
Stage 1 of the event. What businesses need to do.
Stage 1 of the pandemic/Black Swan event can be best described as the period of time where we are all pivoting to understand what the virus is, how it is affecting us and what we can do to get back to some assemblance of normal.
During this period, there are many things that a smart business marketer can and should do.
Firstly, review your current costs.
I will guarantee you that over the last few years if you are like most business marketers, you have incurred costs and ongoing expenses that you probably do not currently need or want.
This could include travel costs and travel memberships, extraneous marketing costs, perks for employees that are no longer pertinent and many more.
Make a list of what these expenses are ask yourself, “do I really need to spend on this?” and “does this expense still benefit my business?” You will be surprised at how much you can save.
Do not slash and burn your marketing budget!
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make during a Black Swan event like Covid-19, is to shutdown marketing. Do not do this.
In other Black Swan events (ie 9/11, 2008/09 banking crisis) when markets changed dramatically from an unforeseen event, those businesses that shut down all marketing investment had a much, much harder time recovering than their competitors did. As Henry Ford once said, “Stopping marketing to save money is like stopping a clock to save time”.
“Stopping marketing to save money is like stopping a clock to save time”.Henry Ford
Stage 2 of the event. What businesses need to do.
Stage 2 of the pandemic/event, is best described as the stage where you as a business owner now has a good understanding of your situation. This includes costs, revised revenue projections etc.
At this point in the pandemic/event when it comes to your marketing budget for promotional products the best thing you can do is to make sure that all employees and customers see that you are behind the move to suppress the virus. This means 2 things. Masks and hand sanitizer.
Simply put, science has proven that masks will suppress the spread of the virus from being transmitted orally/nasally. The amount of the virus (and other gross stuff) spread simply by talking to each other in close proximity is staggering. A mask will greatly reduce this spread.
Why Hand Sanitizer?
We touch our face a minimum of 150 times a day. Crazy right? But, once again science has proven this. The reason we use hand sanitizer is so that the virus we pick up on our hands from surfaces and then inadvertently transmit it to our mouth and nose is killed. Self-infection of Covid-19 may very well be proven to be the most common way we get sick.
Stage 3 of the event. What businesses need to do.
Stage 3 of the event and how to tackle it in business is best described as the time period where we have gotten our PPE in place. Our customers and our staff are protected and we are now looking at how to rebuild the business that we lost during the initial pandemic stages.
The first thing to remember is to “Think Differently”. If your competitors have stopped marketing, you should reboot your marketing. If your competition is running scared, you need to look bold.
If you look at the historical data and empirical evidence from previous Black Swan events such as 9/11, the 1989 stock market crash and the 2008/2009 banking crisis you will clearly see that those business who waited to restart their marketing either failed altogether to restart or were very, very slow to recover, allowing their competition to take some of their market share.
Marketing in tough times more important than marketing in good times.
It is always a bit of mystery to me when I speak with businesses about their marketing plans. They are all “gung ho” when business is booming and then they “pull in their horns” when times get challenging. This is the exact opposite of what you should do.
Marketing in good times is easy. Your revenues are up and there is lots of extra money for marketing. The problem with this idea is that for every dollar you spend marketing in good times your net gains are actually rather small. The market forces are already in play to your advantage. Consumers are already spending more.
Marketing in tough times is more important and more effective. In tough times many of your competitors will pull back. This means that an aggressive marketer now has more room to make an impression on the customers.
“For every $1 dollar spent on marketing during tough times, there is a $3 return on marketing investment over the next 3 years”
Does all of this information make sense to you?
If you find these insights helpful and want to learn more on how we can help you to market your business, in tough times as well as good ones, call 1-888-908-6932. Email us.