Much of the country might still be on lockdown during COVID-19, but your brand doesn't have to be. We get that it's unnerving to dip a marketing toe into the ever-shifting waters of our times and that your instinct might be to "go dark" until things feel more certain, but that's the last thing you should be doing. Now is the time to dig in and push forward so that you're in a strong place to weather any market shifts. Here's how.
1 Double Down on Your Advertising Campaigns
A huge swath of brands have slashed, deferred, or paused their advertising during the lockdown. According to The Drum, some 89% of multinationals have done so. But our advice is to do the opposite. That's for a few reasons. Advertising keeps your name out there and boosts top-of-mind recognition. It also suggests that you're still going strong regardless of everything that's going on. And as a bonus, ad buys are a bargain right now, meaning that you'll get plenty more bang for your buck.
2 When They Go Right, Go Left
Everything is changing around us, which means that the usual rules don't necessarily apply. But most other brands are still playing by the rules - if they're playing at all. This means that now could be the perfect time to break out that just-crazy-enough-to-work campaign, or to try out those new channels or approaches you've been thinking about. These are extraordinary times, so lean into them with extraordinary work.
3 Hands Off That Discount Sticker
Sure, sales can move product and deliver a quick cash infusion when most brands are cringing over their bottom lines. But it also runs the risk of devaluing your product and converting low-loyalty customers who will only ever pay those rock-bottom prices. You've worked hard to own that premium niche, so keep your hands off that discount button. Instead, continue to focus on value, and look at ways to bundle or combine products or services so that each sale is worth more, not less. You'll come out of COVID with a stronger cash cushion and a more robust pipeline.
4 Show Your Fans Some Love
Just as friends and family stick around in a crisis, so too do your loyal fans. They've done right by you in the past - presumably because you've done right by them - so use this opportunity to offer them something special. Can you add value to your offer, extend a subscription or provide experiential moments such as subscriber-only events or hangouts? You'll be rewarding that loyalty while also cementing it, which is great for your business in the long run.
5 Look for Opportunities Everywhere
"Buy when there's blood in the streets," goes the old investor saying. Basically, in times of crisis, there are bargains to be had. Now is the time to negotiate down your fixed costs, buy up cheap ad space, or forge partnerships that would otherwise be out of reach. If you had a business goal that seemed too lofty, expensive or unattainable, use the uncertainty of the current crisis to make it happen. You may just emerge from COVID-19 with a new product, department, or HQ on your hands.
As tempting as it is to hibernate until life returns to normal, brands that take a deep breath and keep on going will be the ones with long-term staying power. Uncertainty may make for trying times, but it also brings with it plenty of new opportunities for those who are willing to forge new paths and take whatever 2020 throws at us in stride.