hanging in the balance: what marketers should be doing right now.
With the realities of the COVID-19 situation having set in and the unknowns continuing to unfold, there is at least one thing that is certain: Disruption is abundant. Outside of the vital medical related questions, we’re asking ourselves which businesses will survive, what will successfully altering course look like, and how does marketing need to adjust?
There is no sugarcoating that there are no set-in-stone answers to these questions—spending habits, timelines, and future consumer behavior are all unknown. And in business, hanging in the balance of extraordinary questions and no set answers that usually are the foundation for decisions is a difficult place to be.
Now that the dust has begun to settle from the initial upheaval of COVID-19 taking over the U.S.—but with the knowledge that much more is still yet to come—what can marketers do now to ensure they successfully alter course?
double down on digital assets & plans
Your website and digital plans are more important than ever, as consumers will continue to rely on these sources for key information.
Ask yourself: What assets do you currently have for the short term? What assets do you have or need for the next phases of business returning to “normal”? Do we have the right partners in place who can nimbly create content during the stay-at-home order and the months to follow?
develop a phased and segmented approach
While March and April may have been spent reactionary, the remainder of Q2 and beyond must be more strategic. This is the time to work alongside a strategist to set a phased approach for your brand that best correlates with the phased plans being released state by state.
With that being said, if you are a national company, your phased approach won’t necessarily be the same across the board. There’s a new layer of segmentation.
What phased approach are you working through? As lockdown and reopenings begin across the country, do you have creative assets ready to go for the various phases?
With budgets being cut, it is nearly impossible to think beyond keeping businesses afloat during lockdowns and social distancing. However, sooner than later the shift from a near complete standstill is going to begin, and capturing consumer dollars is going to be vital.
How are you going to cut through the clutter? Marketers can’t wait until 2021 planning, and they can’t keep relying on “we’re in this together” and “unprecedented times” as consumer facing messaging. The right big ideas that emerge this summer are going to be where the wins are.
How we as marketers can rise to the occasion now for our businesses will directly influence outcomes in the near future and in the year to come. There are no easy solutions and disruptions will continue to be abundant.
Nevertheless, now is the time to set the foundation for how you will successfully alter course ... especially while everyone is at home watching their screens. Do you have the necessary partners in place? What big ideas and strategy are you working on? Are you working on the necessary assets for the coming phases?
The next few weeks and months will be pivotal, and while there are many unknowns that will influence your course, there are things you can do now: Double down on digital assets and plans, develop a phased and segmented approach, focus on Big Idea thinking, and get it produced before another possible shutdown.