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What Marketers Need to Do During the COVID-19 crisis is P.I.V.O.T.

Facing the unknown is scary. But I remind you we have been forced to adjust our marketing and communication strategies before . . .

Remember 9/11 when the world stopped? The stock market closed; and businesses came to a screeching halt because of what felt like an “end of the world” scenario. No one knew how to act, respond or what was even important anymore.

Remember 2008 – 2009, when the financial underpinnings of America fell off the cliff. Businesses, both big and small were dealt a gut punch. Many were forced out of business and those that fought tooth and nail adopted a “new normal” mentality. You have heard so many say that in the aftermath the mindset was “working harder for less.” Although that may or may not be true businesses did survive.

Now is the time to revisit how those companies survived.

I would like to use one word to describe what happened in the business world after 9/11 and the financial crash. PIVOT.

Plan…Take a breath, then put pen to paper and plan a course that is different than your same old, same old. At this stage it is difficult to know the unknowable. Paying attention to what is going on outside your business will allow you to adjust. Do not make long term commitments to anything because the situation is fluid and your plans need to be as well. Gut reactions and emotional overreactions need to be guarded against. Failure is not an option.

Innovate and Initiate…Now is the time to take a hard look at those strategies you may have on the shelf. Especially the bold and aggressive. With budget as your guide, take the biggest steps you can. You want to come across as the strongest, most stable and effective player in your niche. Produce videos, write a blog, interact on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Add a new level of outreach. Public Relations opportunities with media and other content outlets should be explored. If you can insert yourself or your company in the current story lines, you will gain exposure as an expert or a great corporate citizen willing to help others in bad times.

Value Proposition…Because everyone is feeling the economic pinch (or worse) you need to highlight the value of your product or service. Your message needs to focus on the overall benefits you provide while stressing the economy you offer. Discounts and offers should not be so drastic that you create a perception that your normal prices were too high.

Outcome Based Strategy…Understand that you will need to monitor your efforts very closely. You need to specifically identify the goal of each – brand recognition, lead generation or sales? What metrics will you use to understand your results? What you cannot measure you cannot manage. Strive to make incremental tweaks and changes that improve the outcome.

Tenacity…Be religious about implementing the plan to the MAX. No deviations or alterations until the results develop. The plan becomes your bible, your playbook and your lifeline. Make sure everyone in your organization gets it. Without 100% buy in your Plan, Initiative, Value Proposition and Outcome will be for naught.

Businesses survived the aftermath of 9/11 and the financial crash and they will survive the Coronavirus crisis.

Be one of the survivors.

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Greg Demetriou

Greg Demetriou

The author, Greg Demetriou is the CEO of Lorraine Gregory Communications, the founder of GregsCornerOffice.com and the host of the Ask A CEO video and podcast show. He can be reached at [email protected].To learn more about Greg, read Greg's full bio page.