It’s likely your organization is already adapting to the abrupt economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and these adaptations may benefit your long term strategy. As of Thursday, March 27, the coronavirus case count has surged to 85,000+, blowing past the total lifetime reported cases for China. The United States is patiently waiting for House members to vote on a third aid package of roughly $2 trillion coronavirus response bill intended to speed relief across the American economy. The bill, known as the CARES Act is meant to keep businesses and individuals afloat during an unprecedented freeze on American life.
It would be naive for any organization to think the impact of the pandemic will not have long term implications. From SMBs to Enterprise organizations, everyone is adapting to coronavirus. This article is a means to provide positivity in a time when both our economy and the health of those we love are at stake. As marketers in the digital space, it’s our job to help organizations find their voice and audience in the chaos. This is the time for us to band together and ensure critical communications are making it out into the world.
Don’t be an alarmist.
There’s plenty of advantageous content and fake news circulating the web, alongside bright red and alarming graphics published by the media to incite fear. Instead of letting fear be the motivation for change, organizations should see this as a time of opportunity.
There’s an immediate need for rapid adaptability— that is, short-term, strategic decisions necessary to keep the ship afloat. Brick and mortar stores are hustling to launch e-commerce sites, SMBs are taking advantage of bridge loan programs and special financial aid, and organizations with traditional sales and marketing channels are looking to digital. These adaptations will inevitably lead to long term change. For this reason, it’s important that thoughtful strategy and long-term vision (not fear) be the driving force behind them.
Adapting to Coronavirus Will Benefit Long Term Strategy
With events canceled and sales and marketing activities transitioning online, there is a scramble to get up and running. Those tethered to a desk have become Zoom, Teams, and Gotomeeting experts in the last two weeks—a perfect example of immediate demand providing an opportunity for those who are quick to respond. Agencies have adapted, offering workshops specifically designed to teach staff how to use and leverage platforms that thousands may never have interacted with otherwise.
For organizations used to attracting new customers through word-of-mouth referrals or on the strength of a hard-won reputation, the loss comes as a shock and may render extreme hardship. There’s a massive opportunity to be online right now, especially if you’re a supplier that has been historically slow making the move to digital. Even when organizations return to their previously scheduled live events and in-person meetings, the critical changes made in this time will have a lasting impact on overall strategy. Digital may prove to be an extremely viable channel and a wonderful addition to sales and marketing strategy. The reality is that the sudden need for organizations to adapt may very well provide lasting benefits that would have otherwise taken years to achieve.
Predicting an Unpredictable Future
No-one has any idea how long this will last and whether this will lead to longer-term change. Most are in agreement that whatever “normal” looks like post-coronavirus, the way we conduct business will be changed forever. Long term benefits can and will come from the rapid adaptations taking place today.