Be Positive and Pivot

These are certainly unprecedented times. Nothing that I’ve ever seen before in 28 years of business. We started Willow in the 1992 Recession, and we lived through it. We managed through the downturn in the early 2000’s. And we successfully navigated the 2008 recession. Is what we’re experiencing today any different?  

Well of course it is. Businesses are shutting down. Schools are closed. We have the fear of shelter in place and quarantines. And we’re all finding our new normal with “work from home” arrangements. We’re all experiencing a heightened level of concern and stress. But in many ways it’s not. We’ve been here before (minus the pandemic.)

So what words of wisdom can I share? Simple. Be positive and pivot. We’re all in this together. WIth these crazy changes comes opportunity. And we’re a nation of risk-takers, opportunists, and entrepreneurs. So let’s pivot and do something about it.  

From a marketing perspective it can be scary. But here are a few tips:

1. Focus on what you know: your customers. 

Give them the attention and love they need. Be helpful to those that have been with you the longest. Sure, you should always be doing new business development, but 60 – 70% of your new business should come from existing customers. 

2. Research your target audiences and study buying behaviors.

Use this as an opportunity to better understand them. Find out what’s keeping them up at 

night. Have their needs changed? I bet they have. Study their behaviors and how their buying has changed. 

3. Analyze and track everything you can. 

I hope you’ve already been doing this. Now’s the time to pull out those analytics and study them. If you don’t have analytics in place, do so. Track your conversion rates. If something’s not working, change it. Test. And pivot again. You can do it! And don’t abandon efforts. Some are seeing the highest click through rates they’ve ever had right now.

4. Tailor your tactics.

What was working may not be working anymore. As we’re all working from home, we’re spending more time than ever before online – both for business purposes and to pass the time. Now’s probably a pretty good time to reassess where your audience is and determine new ways and tactics to stay in front of them. 

5. Don’t cut your marketing spend.

Now is the time to be investing in marketing. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s a great article from Harvard Business Review. It’s from April of 2009 after the 2008 recession. Why? Because history does repeat itself. Please take some time and read it. Here’s a quote: “On average, increases in marketing spending during a recession have boosted financial performance throughout the year following the recession for businesses…” 

So, what do you do when all of your meetings have been canceled? What do you do when all your events have been postponed? What do you do if the business plans you put in place are now all canceled? You pivot. There are ways to stay in front of your customers, prospects, and members. But it will require you to pivot. 

Implement webinars and if you haven’t already. Start blogging and creating content. Online paid advertising is more than likely a place for you to be as well. Now is the time to brush up on best practices for Linkedin and other social media. Now is the time to maximize your efforts on email marketing. Now is the time for you to invest wisely in marketing efforts. 

Now is the time for you to be positive and pivot. And be smart, be compassionate, and be helpful. 

Need help or want to talk though some ideas that might make sense for you? We’re here to be helpful. Let’s chat.

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Written by Brad Gillum

"We’re business consultants who happen to specialize in marketing. We help people and have fun doing it."