The crisis will pass, but the choices we will make now will define our company’s and branches’ future. Nobody knows what will be the final impact of the epidemic and the quarantine on the global economy. But almost everyone says that we are facing an unprecedented situation and the biggest crisis for our generation because of the Coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19). It seems so. The economic situation becomes too precarious. Prognoses change every day, and it is not easy to find a similar ratio in them. How do you keep your business growing on the web in such a difficult period?
Daily revenue falls in one facility and grows in the other. A lot of small businesses start going out of business, without the possibility to go back after the quarantine. A huge part of others put their employees on paid or unpaid leave because they can neither provide the necessary level of safety nor ensure stable work and income. Some companies start working online and try to transform their services, adjusting them to different platforms.
Is there any chance for your business to survive? I am aware that there is no panacea for every business. There are no universal formulas or magical solutions. But, there are a lot of choices that you can make fast and a lot of data and trends that you have to take into account.
What things do we already see in the market today?
- Organic traffic is down in most industries. This decline affects, for example, advertising, agriculture, construction, e-commerce, education, energy, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, retail, software, technology, telecom, transportation, travel.
- More than 30% of companies have experienced lowered demand for its services. They also predict less demand in the next two or three months.
- Companies are delaying product launches, important events, political campaigns, or have put them under review.
- Most of the advertisements announce huge sales, free and contactless delivery, long-term refund. Increases in other benefits duration.
- Online advertising cost and review time grows rapidly, but the conversion rate falls down.
- Companies offer online training instead of offline classes (languages, sport, music, even primary school). Educational platforms offer classes for free during the quarantine.
- Workers stay at home, start using online tools for video conferences, managing projects, and tracking performance. They even send birthday gift cards via the internet.
- Some companies transfer their marketing budgets to internet advertising. Without previous experience, they launch different experiments. Consequently, a lot of people notice “strange” and not relevant ads. One of my favorite examples is the offer to buy cheap coffins from Aliexpress.
- Marketing analysts predict that consumers and business customers will delay spending decisions because of fear and the lack of information.
- Virtual offerings. Some industries, in particular, medical insurance, implemented 24/7 online medical care that allows patients to get a consultation and stay at home.
Which questions should we ask ourselves every day to survive?
What tactics have marketers to choose to keep your business growing on the web?
Should we be diverse or choose only one scenario that works right now?
We have learned a lot from articles, works, prognoses, advice, and consultations about the topic. Now, we’ve collected everything we’ve found possible opportunities to buoy.
Map short-term tactics for each team
In times of the epidemic and crisis, the situation is more unstable than somewhen else. That is why you have to be flexible in any situation. Thus, we have to be more flexible than ever before. For this reason, create short-term goals and tactics on how you will achieve them. For sure, you have to create and check more hypotheses, but this time requires more attention to your business activities.
Make quick decisions to keep your business growing
Usually, we face making dozens of decisions every day. Fortunately or unfortunately, in times of crisis, they grow rapidly.
Because of this, we do not have time to imagine a lot of possible scenarios, get approval from every person, and wait for them for a few weeks. If you are a manager – remember, that making decisions faster requires consciously giving yourself time to make them. Consequently, every delay will accumulate the number of decisions to make. Thus and so, we have a lot of risks and opportunities every day and even every hour. Quick decision-making processes will help you to implement required actions related to these risks and opportunities. If it is a problem for you, check Five Tips for Lightning-Fast Decision Making. All on time decisions can help you to keep your business growing.
Create a plan for emergencies
What is the overall objective of creating a plan for an emergency? This plan specifies procedures for handling sudden or unexpected situations. Being prepared for emergencies makes real situations less stressful.
There are four steps to the emergency planning process: planning, reviewing, training, and testing.
- Planning. What can you do on this step? Collect ideas from your employees. We are sure they are in the right place if you chose them. Trust them and brainstorm a list of potential risks together. They will notice more risks in their lines of business.
- Reviewing. Additionally, make a research on the emergencies at your branch. After that, gather all the information and prioritize all the emergencies. After all the threats are outlined, take a look at the nature of each one. How can you address the issues? Note all you can do and put in instruction or an action plan.
- Training. Together with your managers, develop a specific plan of procedures and actions you will need to minimize all the risks. Plan the level of responsibility. Share this with the whole team and train anyone who needs to be more prepared.
- Testing. You can test your plan in everyday situations and update it if needed.
Remember, that you can’t avoid all risk, but an emergency response plan will help you to keep a cold head and to survive in unexpected situations.
Take a look at more expanded Five Key Steps of Emergency Planning.
Find the way to differentiate yourself and keep business growing
The relationship between crisis and the necessity of being flexible is strong. The situation around the world challenges not only companies but also consumers’ beliefs. In consequence, competitors are trapped in a constant battle, attempting to get and retain customers.
Then, put out finding how you can help your customer a little more than usual. And do this all the time. Noticed that your customer needs more time to make a decision? Extend the benefit duration. Can free shipping and refund persuade them to buy? Implement this and make your customers happy. Can you make delivery safer and bring in a contactless delivery method? Excellent. Can you migrate online and conveniently deliver your service? Perfect. Do your best as much as you can.
Do not forget to tell your customers what you already did for them and what else you can do. Use as many channels as you can to project your corporate stability to customers. Place the information everywhere you can to assure people that you care about them and are always helpful.
No decrease in your media spend
Certainly, when an unexpected situation as a global crisis affects your business and your income falls down, you can consider reducing marketing costs like the ability to optimize expenses. It could be the wrong way. History has shown that smart investment in marketing can keep your business growing during economic downturns.
Your marketing team should take one of the leading roles in supporting your sales during the recession. This Forbes article shows a few interesting cases when companies benefited thanks to the raising costs of their marketing.
As we already discussed, the crisis requires quick-decision making and short-time planning from us. But, any issue requires better knowledge of how things are going. So, form questions and look for answers all the time. No matter what the result is, measure everything. Such conduct will allow you to get more insights into what is happening and how you can benefit from the situation. It enables you to judge your short time planning and to change the direction or start using an emergency plan if needed.
If you need any help with measuring or analyzing your data, let us know, and we will find the right person that will help your business to survive.
Be on the web and keep your business growing on the web in times of crisis!