These days, we’re all sailing uncharted, stormy waters when it comes to marketing and advertising. With speculation, rumor, and self-appointed experts abounding amid the COVID-19 crisis, business owners are being left with enormous questions as to what steps they should take to preserve and protect their interests.
At DAE & Company, we’re still offering the same advice as always: each business should continue to consider its marketing in terms of short-, medium-, and long-term goals and should maintain keen awareness of where changes ought and ought not to be made to its marketing strategies.
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to weathering a crisis-created storm, but there are a few tried and true approaches that, if tailored, can help your business make it through to the other side in ship-shape condition.
Short-term goals and strategies
Short-term goals and strategies span out one to three months. This period will take the most dramatic hit (or see the biggest boom, depending on your industry). The key during this time is to maintain control of those things that are easily changeable. For example, modalities including search ads, social media, and other kinds of digital promotion can be closely monitored and easily adjusted regardless of the marketing climate.
All of the hotels and resorts we work with have seen dramatic drops in reservations and have subsequently closed up shop until the dust settles. We’ve advised each of them that, despite the necessary shut downs, maintaining their Google search ranking (and, thus, their Google search spend) is critical.
It’s important in times of crisis to remember that people are generally optimistic and will continue to plan for the future. If these hotels and resorts were to go completely dark online during the crisis in an effort to save marketing dollars, they’d end up missing out on revenue derived from brand awareness and future stays.
Medium-term goals and strategies
These goals and strategies span out three to nine months and will not require the same dramatic changes as will the first three months in a time of crisis. However, though the changes won’t be as dramatic, they may still necessitate strategy adjustments for success.
For our clients, we’re recommending they evaluate in advance not only what strategies they will employ but also what they anticipate their performance to be during this period. For example, businesses should focus medium-term strategies to (1) support the most critical services expected to remain in demand during a downturn and (2) continue to maintain brand awareness.
The medium term is also an appropriate time to emphasize volume at a lower ROI. For example, when the economy is booming, we’re all afforded the luxury of demanding a higher ROI, but at times of crisis, demand drops. Breaking even or maintaining a small profit by engaging in as much advertising as possible to keep volume up and your name out there may be the best you can do. It helps to remember that, in times of crisis, keeping your business alive (rather than thriving) is a reasonable goal.
Long-term goals and strategies
Long-term strategies will roll out for one to three years. Because there’s no way to know what the market climate will be, and because this world-wide crisis is shrouded in so much uncertainty, we’re recommending that our clients refrain from making long-term changes this early in the storm. Holding tight and avoiding unnecessary dramatic changes is the safest bet for now.
Avoiding knee-jerk reactions, making smart, thoughtful decisions, employing metrics to drive those decisions, and, most of all, avoiding panic are the best steps you can take right now to ensure your business will weather this storm. Hold tight, maintain hope, keep your eyes open and stay safe!
Do you still have unanswered questions regarding your marketing and advertising in this time of crisis? Reach out to us at DAE & Co. We’re happy to help!