The hot topic on everybody’s minds these days is the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Whether we like it or not, the disease that is now a pandemic has already had a sociocultural impact on all aspects of life. And now with the disease spreading more and more and the governments taking action to prevent exactly that, the ways in which the world will do business will also be affected.
There will be both on the short term, and on the long run. The short term effects are happening as we speak. Firstly, without any warning, the world almost came to a halt because of a wave of necessary quarantines. This created the #workfromhome movement: where it was possible, workers did continue their work, but from home, with little difference from their normal day to day schedule. But for the companies, now comes the first pressing matter. You need to send people home, but you need to give them conditions to be able to work from home and this involves certain expenses for tech; tech that could include anything from laptops to webcams to microphones would be necessary for any employee.
This financial expense also comes in a period where many companies lose business because of the pandemic. A strong analysis of what the costs and the internal expenses needs to be made: maybe that coffee for the office is a bit too much when you look at the final costs at the end of the month, or maybe Joe doesn’t need to have that personalized mini-water cooler at his desk. Of course, these examples are farfetched, but evaluating what is actually necessary to your company, from, yes, coffee, to different business partners, can help you pass this difficult period.
Regroup, trim down the fat, innovate. It’s time to do all what you have been postponing.
As bad or ignorant as it sounds, a quarantine could be a good occasion to sort things out. Rethink your logo that seems to be quite old now. That website could be considered eligible for a senior discount. And this would be a great opportunity to at 14 Reasons why you should redo your event website. All the cool kids are now on Instagram, maybe you should extend that campaign beyond LinkedIn. Everything relating to social media presence is the focus point for the moment, perfectioning the way in which you present yourself digitally to be as engaging as you can.
This seems to be also the opinion of Mark Ritson “Confronted with a 50% cut in marketing budgets, the smarter play is to actually focus more of it on the longer-term brand-building mission. Performance marketing is going to underperform in the current market conditions.”
Even if it seems like it, the world will never freeze or stop turning. It is just the moment to think about a brighter future and how we will act when everything will come back to normal. We can expect a “frenzy”, everybody wanting everything, in a way to make up for the lost time. In a way, this “down time” can be considered an opportunity to prepare for a possible large demand, from every point of view. In the short term, everybody will “fight” over the small number of clients. That is why you need to consider keeping the clients that you have right now close to you, and rather than announcing officially that you cancel everything, consider graciously delaying projects and offering to keep in contact for the next period.
In the context of social distancing and isolation, a strong digital presence is a crucial element. If before participating at different conferences and shows, could be enough to keep developing your small or medium business, a new strategy needs to be employed now. Depending on how the pandemic will or will not spread forward, we can expect that a great number of tech conferences will be either postponed or completely cancelled. Tradeshow industry is hurting and you can see a few clear situations: our friends MWC Barcelona decided to completely cancel this year’s edition of the convention because of concerns regarding COVID-19. An alternative could be transforming these conventions into digital ones, and still going ahead with them, still making them opportunities to discuss, innovate and develop solutions for the future.
A good example to follow is the one that happened in Oradea, Romania. As a solution for the momentary economic crisis that came with COVID-19, the CEO of a small company created a Facebook group so as brands should support brands. “It is for their own interest but also it is about solidarity” declared Alina Georgiu, the initiator of this project. Each brand gives and takes, exchanges and makes associations in these trying times in order to survive. Helping the one that was your competitor yesterday could help you see tomorrow.
As Mark Ritson notes:”The coronavirus crisis will test us all”. A good thing to keep in mind is to never despair and keep being rational even if everybody is spreading panic around even worse than the actual coronavirus. It is a time to think about the future, even though the present is overwhelming.But this too shall pass. We will also pass this “test”, together, onward and upward.