Businesses thrown into chaos by a microscopic killer

This is the time for you to double down. Don’t be fearful when others are also afraid.

Warren Buffett once said that as an investor, it is wise to be “Fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”. COVID-19 – the biggest digital disruptor in a decade and every business in the world has been abruptly thrown into chaos by a microscopic killer.

This is how businesses responded

Many businesses temporarily closed, some with immediate either due to government guidelines or due to demand drying up. Primark, Nandos, McDonald’s and Card Factory. Some closed for good, such as Laura Ashley and Flybe and Virgin Atlantic (Aus).

Some couldn’t keep up with demand

With everyone switching to online shopping overnight. B&Q set up a virtual queue to limit the number of customers, due to them not being able to cope and having to throttle demand because they can’t fulfil.

And some were innovative

AIRBNB Introduced Online Experiences so now you can meet people all over the world while trying something new. Join live, interactive video sessions led by expert hosts—all without leaving home.

So it’s the time for you to double down

Even if the virus slows down fast as the numbers have dropped in China, businesses are going to struggle for well over a year because they will have to make up for their losses.

For example, in China the virus caused retail sales to drop by 20.5% and the unemployment rate jumped to 6.2 in February.

You don’t have the excuse of not having the time to think; act and draw up that plan. You have a smart, digital, strategically focussed agency to back you and get ready for when the flood gates open after lockdown.

Ask yourself these key questions

1. Will your brand still be Relevant?

You may need to shift your positioning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumer attitudes and preferences evolve in line with the changing situation.

2. Are you going to refresh your digital marketing plan?

It’s time to predict, be brave and re-look at what you have. You can thrive after this. Let’s use this opportunity to market your business while competition is low.

3. Do you know which parts of your digital spend to re-activate?

Once demand is increasing it’ll be a different place compared to pre-Covid-19. More people prioritise online buying in a way never done before. Take China, restaurants are open for business, the problem is no one is going there to eat. They are still ordering in.

4. Is your brand digitally ready?

Does it have your personality, proposition, a message that is clearly and consistently shown? Check this example to see what I mean.

5. Is your website and other digital presence the very best it could be?

People will be using online to purchase more than ever before because they’ll have had months of being forced to. Do you need to consider how to make the most out of new tools to drive business through your website? This might be virtual day trips or the signing of wills and legal documents online.

6. Will you look at post-pandemic messaging?

Your customer’s attitude about your brand, and its place in the world, could very well change in a post-pandemic world. Based on informed insights like customer surveys, you may have to change messaging, content and creative to meet how your customers now think about your industry, brand or product.

The companies that survive and thrive are the ones that don’t slow down but plan for the future.

Netflix was the new kid on the block but In 2009 and in the peak of the recession, Netflix gained 3 million members.

Groupon – The company, which sends out daily email discounts for local businesses, managed to quickly spread to over 35 countries and 300 markets in its first two years, creating a $500 million annual profit.

Lego – During 2009, when most companies were holding tight to ride out the recession storm, Lego’s profits soared 63% – While the U.S. had a stagnant toy market, Lego was able to expand to Asia and increase its sales in Europe, bringing in the big bucks.

So, the question is, are you being fearful when others are also afraid?