In uncertain times, some companies decide to cut their marketing investment and other costs, while others choose to continue to build their presence, to generate leads, and to drive growth.  Planning to survive or to thrive depends on far too many factors to discuss here, and most beyond marketing matters.

For those planning to thrive and mitigate risk, here are six key ideas to consider.

1. Prioritise Retention:

Your customers need you in tough times, so make sure that they know you are there for them.  Nothing, nothing, cements long-term relationships as well as proving that you are ready, willing and able to support your clients during the hardest times. Find ways to help.

2. Adapt or Extend Your Offer: 

As indicated above, the chances are that if your customers need extra help, so do your competitors’ customers.  What can you do to adjust the way that you go to market in the short term to help persuade new customers to use your products and services?  As included in point 5, a great creative agency should be able to help open your mind to new ways of framing the issues.

3. Dominate Media Channels: 

If your competitors are cutting costs and battening down the hatches, you are in a strong position to negotiate the best value in terms of the media channels that suit your sector best.  Whilst your competitors have ‘gone missing’, you can really raise your profile amongst influencers and decision makers.  This is typically a once in a decade opportunity for you to really stand out in your sector. You can reassure all stakeholders that you are the reliable, stable provider to turn to.

4. Industry Gossip: 

One of the sad but inevitable outcomes of economic turndowns is that less well-run and well-funded businesses either jettison talented people or disappear altogether – and too often, the former followed by the latter…  Keep alert to these possibilities and get yourself ready to opportunistically swoop in and pick up the best talent, assets and customers to integrate into your business.  Ruthless as this may feel, at least some jobs can be saved and the customers’ supply-chains maintained. 

5. Take Advice: 

From Cuban Missile Crisis, to the withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, to the first Gulf War, to the second Gulf War, to the 2008 banking collapse, many business people have survived and thrived through all kinds of crises – and having one or more on your board will help to insulate your business.  But the creative industry can help too; providing a different prospect on how you can adapt to new challenges and turn them into opportunities.

6. And Finally, Learn From The Experience:

Warren Buffet says ‘Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn’.  This is not specifically a piece of marketing related advice, but one way to not waste a crisis is to live it, feel it, analyse it and learn from it.  Because there will almost certainly be a next time, and you’ll be better prepared for a better outcome.

For companies with the conviction to thrive, it is essential that their agencies take every precaution to mitigate risk and to ensure business continuity.  Strategic projects need to continue to progress. Their websites must continue to be hosted and managed. SEO, social and print campaigns have to continue to be delivered.

What We’ve Done

As an example of ‘Adapting and Extending Our Offer’ as included above, this week we at Mackman invested in the latest video conferencing upgrade which is now installed, tested and operational.  This will enable all intercompany client and stakeholder meetings to continue to take place during the coronavirus period in the UK via the internet, thereby eliminating unnecessary contact.  This means that we can continue to advise clients and to be contacted by phone, by email and via meetings with no need for travel or human contact.  We see no reason why services to our clients will be impacted by the current circumstances.

The evidence suggests that this situation will continue for a temporary period. Our clients should be assured that we intend to be here throughout, helping them to maintain a sense of normality and mitigate risk as far as is possible, and ensuring they are in the strongest position to continue to thrive. 

Moreover, necessity is a serial mother of invention, and changing times often provide catalysts for innovation.  Again, we are here to help. If you need to act quickly to make the most of an opportunity, contact Mackman through our contact form or 01787 388038 at any time.

For more articles that discuss the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and the value of marketing, see below: