Don’t Panic. Get Your Business Through Coronavirus

19 Mar. 2020 - - Total Reads 4,171

Marketing, Digital and Business in Coronavirus

In the words of Douglas Adams,  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Don’t Panic”. All my tips below come with the frame – stay safe and look after loved ones first. I have kids, parents and friends I love, I don’t want anything to happen to anyone.

Every business person / owner I know is going to give this a red hot shot. If you want to brainstorm, I love problem solving, small or big, call me – I’m a sounding board at the very least, or will have a solution for you. I don’t care if it’s personal or business – if you’re under pressure or have an idea. I’ve spoken to every type of business and industry in the past few days and already got lots going – so leverage what I know already. What is see as 100% happening, and quick advice is below.

Markets will melt-down and far more…. It is one crazy test for society, we are all living in a Movie. BUT Don’t panic and help others not to be idiots… ok not always easy, there is some craziness going on, those that can keep level headed, please do this for others. We have a personal responsibility to step up, pivot, and save everything we can, and take all reasonable opportunities without price gauging. We are a local and global community, let’s show it.

Take the approach – Every problem has multiple solutions.

The number one thing that is going to happen – we are all going to be online a lot more. Here are my calls on this, and, if you have a business, the game is as much continuity of service as possible, do what you do best – problem solve. Your teams, family and friends are relying on you.

The Goal
This isn’t complex. There is approx a 1-14 day (or some studies show even longer outliers) contagious period, it can spread without you having symptoms. The elderly and those with particular pre-existing medical conditions are highest risk. BUT, South Korea, Japan, China and others have massively declining daily cases. This is the benchmark. If they can get to zero cases or close consistently, everyone can. I put together a FB group on the data with references for family and friends – and I’m putting it public now –

Our governments are doing the best to get key messaging out there, social distancing, work from home, wash hands etc. Follow their advice, but make 100% sure you go direct to their websites (there is a ton of trolls writing rubbish).

You can’t tell people to be smarter, and not fill social media feeds with madness. Plus people won’t change overnight, they are being bombarded by information, let them vent, it helps us get a read on where things are at. But you can get on and sway the tide to reason. Share and post original, positive content, a short video if possible; what you are doing to pivot, where you can help, supermarket shelves full of food, how you helped your neighbour, ideas to help others personally or for business. “Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come” – Find positive examples and share, share, share.

The more we are aligned, the better we will do.

Company Emails
Please STOP sending Covid-19 emails that sound like corporate press releases, they are horrible. We all know what is going on, we all know you are smart and have policies in place – Be real – what are the exact things you are doing to help your customers and clients that are positive, that also helps your business stay open. If you’re doing well because of the virus, how are you helping? This is reality for AndMine and many of our clients. If you have an urgent update, go short and sweet, add links if you need to to longer articles on your site. Information overload at this point does not help anyone.

eCommerce, eTail, Retail
If you have any eCommerce site, especially if you have a bricks and mortar footprint, ramp up eComm now. If you can get a store or service up quickly and sell, do it. Online has a ton of tools like BigCommerce, Shopify, Payment Tools etc you can quickly add to, build or replace your website. Your customers, where they can, will support you. The more people at home, means more eCommerce.

Probably the hardest hit, get on the apps and start delivering. Go direct if you can. We all need food. If we can afford delivered meals, it means less shopping, saving supplies at home. Owners – If you can add more items, pre-packed meals, flour, milk, make it happen. If you can get us coffee, tape the tops and write personal notes. Got a liquor licence – use it. You are all trying to keep staff, little touches will make the difference and build new avenues for you. Keep it simple, sell you most popular items, what are your top 3 dishes? pre-packs? 1000s of people going through Supermarkets – who are selling out – they need help to reduce the load and people want a safe place to shop. Many variables, but I would shop at my local cafe to save it 100%. Shoutout to David Kahan who’s always ahead of the curve, says the Family Pie is his most popular seller.

Entertainment, Classes, Education
Is already moving online fast, the yoga studio, pilates, dancing; use streaming services like google hangouts, facebook or youtube to stream classes to your paying customers. They should back you. Yes you can find more customers, and a 10 person class can now be 10,000. BUT Go live FREE first, then work out more complex systems, lean, fast solves this, and will probably get you new members asap. Shout out to my man Bob Sinclair who’s doing free livestream parties from his house.

Social Media
If you haven’t started already, get on it. There is no better time to figure this out. Reach out to friends, family, customers, similar businesses. Grow a small audience, or build up your current one. If you stuff up a post, say so, be honest, the learning curve is big, but not impossible.

Be careful how you position your ads, there is enormous opportunity to grow conversions, customers, business. But, ensure it is positioned well, it is the same as the emails: this isn’t BAU, it is a time to re-think what value you really offer, and how you can help sell and spread the success with your team and clients. If you’re growing, employ.

Was already the biggest thing in digital, now this will be dialled up to 11. Conferencing – goes without saying. Don’t just post, find ways to make engaging content. Try different platforms, find one that suits you. Tik-Tok is free to get massive viewership – try that for sure. Don’t love video – Time to break your comfort zone or find someone who loves it. There are tons of charismatic foodies who talk to people ever day – start collaborating. Where Video was moving from earlier in the year – Be the show not the ad

Copywriting, Design and Conversations
For businesses, this is going to be one of the most important things to get write for posts, articles, ads. The faster you talk with people and get feedback on content, the faster you’ll know where to position your offers / products and how to. Reach out to people who have a good social / community understanding and run things past them. Most important – keep things short and sweet, if you need to over-explain something… forget over-writing, do a video. And Design – even before this, we push our clients to do minimal clean design, the less on the page the better. Pretty much everything you have out there, or will put out there, simplify. Those that have simple value propositions, that customers and clients understand, will have a higher chance of conversions.

If you are doing well, selling out, copy switches from SELL to here is where you can buy elsewhere or this is a replacement product, and.. even…isn’t our product… You want new clients after this? make sure you’re doing the right thing to help everyone get through it. Brand loyalty could not be simpler to build in this time.

Are super ready to help you. They have following, influence and you need to find ones now that can help you. Try shared platforms like Tribe, but also go direct, your new team members may have 100s or 1000s of followers. You need to try this out, some free, some paid, but everyones rates should be negotiable at this time – if it starts working, you’ve started to build a team, if there is no return- move on. Spend light on this until it is working.

Business Goals
Financially there is no company in the world who haven’t basically thrown out their models. Digital you can quickly measure the important stuff and build connections to real-world revenue. Do this now, and bridge the gap between model and reality. Google analytics, eComm platforms, Social platforms all have data, find the most important ones and dial them up.

Like lots of things in digital, there are free or low costs tools just as good as enterprise solutions, that are virtually turn-key start now. Speed to market is everything at the moment, so Google, hunt and evaluate – and if unsure, sure – ask me but come WITH options, I’m not doing the research for you 🙂

Story telling is one of those words in marketing we use to explain emotional connection. The emotion is everywhere at the moment, the story-telling is simple – what are you doing, share the truth, just be optimistic. The post photo, that’s us in Coffs Harbour in our epic trip driving the east coast of Australia, while there was tons of fighting, crying and on the whole trip, I’ve never had more fun, and now I’m sure we’d all do anything to have life go back to normal.

Speed To Market
Even before this outbreak my advice was always – don’t wait for perfect, get product into market, then iterate. This cannot be more true now. Move fast, show leadership, pivot fast. There are gaps and opportunities everywhere. But stay honest, don’t take advantage of people for a short term win.

Finally – Not Digital
You’re going to be speaking to more people than you have ever. Remember yes digital can help you connect, but real-world real-people make decisions. The more grassroots, friend and business conversations you have the faster we spread the ideas that work and we all pivot. There is going to be a change now, and many things because of the change will never be the same. Think about our kids, they are already more happy on an iPad than almost anything else they do. Virtual products to them, like skins and gifts in eGames, are just as good if not better than physical products for them. This means the world was already changing – that generational change, happens now.

Be more aware of everyone around you, pace yourself, rest, stay healthy, help others, spread the load locally, stay safe – and do want humans do best, adapt.

…The best way to contact me fast is Mobile then Social Media (Facebook or LinkedIN) Oh and P.S… this should help …

Rent, Mortgages, Loan Holidays

Banks in AU have I heard have 4% residential, 8% commercial loan buffers especially after the GFC – they don’t want to own property / cars / etc – and are offering Holiday’s from repayments – 3 Months – Call and get it now. I’ve done this and if they come through we must do the same for tenants. Dont wait for the Government! … Google “YOURBANK + Mortgage Holiday” eg;

Michael Simonetti
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Not only is Michael professional but he is also a great friend to have in your court. He is balanced in his advice, fair in his quotes and has the best twitter feed for all things tech - i highly recommend you follow him and also hire him! Clare Smith, GM – Brand & Marketing Communications at Sensis

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