It’s a difficult conversation. During trying times, business owners and C Level Executives have to make hard choices. Departments, programs, and ultimately employees that don’t show any ROI are eliminated.
And there are no shortage of conversations around Marketing Departments and Marketing Programs. No ROI? See ya. But, consider this for a moment, wasn’t this always the case? Shouldn’t this have been the norm?
During a crisis, the stress can shed light on problems that were “OK” or “Business as Usual”. Acceptable status quo. So now, people are starting to ask: "That's nice and all, but is it making us any money?”
We can talk about about the benefits of continuing marketing in a downturn. Here’s a hint: Those who stay the course or double down during an economic downturn emerge as HUGE winners on the other side (Source).
And, so while some are asking “is this making money for me?”, I’m suggesting that a better question might be “What is the best marketing strategy for me at this time?"
No one is sure what the specific immediate and long term fallout (and eventual impending upside) for organizations could be. Many are unsure of what direction their marketing should take, including the option to just shut it all down.
Historically, through many ups and downs, time and again the data shows us organizations that maintain or expand communication and marketing efforts during uncertain times are much better positioned to bounce back and actually gain market share post-crisis. The internet is filled with stories where companies increased their marketing efforts in difficult times, only to wipe out competitors when things return to normal (Source).
And, because this particular crisis is a pandemic, isolated people are spending more time online than ever before. As a result, digital marketing can be more effective than ever. So what steps can you take?
- Don’t panic. This isn’t forever. Again, countless sources show that the quicker the slide down, the quicker the recovery. Long term, this has the opportunity to catapult people to success for those who are open to a long term vision.
- Failing to plan is planning to fail. For those of you who don’t have a formal marketing plan in place, what can you do to start the conversation NOW. (What do you think your competitors are doing right now?)
- Educate thyself. If you are unsure of how your digital marketing has been performing overall, don’t know what you should be doing, or don’t understand your competitive landscape, it might be exceedingly prudent to have a second set of eyes take a look at your overall strategy and analytics.
- We’re all in this together, but we are all experiencing it differently. In other words, don’t be an insensitive Jerk. Be authentic, take a breath, and more than ever, LISTEN and try to view things from your customer’s and prospect’s perspectives. If you connect in an authentic and meaningful way, you will find those that need you.