By Steve Smith
While working at home, meeting via video conference, wearing face masks and just plain staying home, many of us are thinking: How will my business emerge from this crazy thing? Smaller? Smarter? Unrecognizable? It’s a safe bet that in many ways you and your organization will never be the same.
On a video conference the other day, one of the participants reminded our group of what we all should be doing – figuring out how we and our businesses will be different when reopened and released from our “Coronavirus Cocoons.”
Admittedly the overused phrase, “We’re all in this together” does apply here. Every business in North America, and around the world, nonprofit or for-profit, should be considering how it will emerge from the strange-but-true reality of the coronavirus.
As business owners prepare to reopen, they’re asking, “Am I ready? Will my consumer communities be receptive, or apprehensive?” How will their needs change? How will changes in our social norms affect my relationship with them?
Will you be like a tempest-tossed Dorothy Gale opening the door from her black-and-white, post-twister wreckage onto a candy-colored Munchkin landscape? Or will you be looking at more of a post-apocalyptic, I Am Legend / Omega Man scene?
Given the fact that the pandemic has been so completely politicized, how do you appropriately reach people who think the pandemic is overblown and those who think we aren’t responding as responsibly as we should? Ryan Phelan’s Marketing Land article sheds some light on this and offers advice.
Now is not the time to go dark
Think now about how to implement content marketing tactics that will pay off later. Keep the storytelling “drumbeat” going. Carefully consider what meaningful and memorable stories you want to share. Stories about first responders and COVID-19-related heroism are great for the moment, but the moment will pass. It’s important to share stories that bring it back to your mission.
Going a step further, now is the time to do the planning you didn’t have time to do during “normal” times. For example, how about finally documenting your Content Marketing Strategy? Or what about some soul-searching to redefine your positioning strategy? Is your website in good shape, or in need of a long-overdue makeover. Maybe now is the time to study the feasibility of new distribution channels or new markets.
Time to Make a Fresh Start?
For many, this will be an opportunity for a fresh start. In many ways it’s an opportunity to re-think, recalibrate and perhaps start over. During the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009, many business owners did just that. It was a time to re-think everything, throw out what wasn’t working and usher in a new way of doing things.
Looks like that time has come around again.