By David Jones, CMO, Executive Vice President
As many marketers are hunkered down trying to figure out what’s appropriate today and what next month will bring, the pressure is building. None of us know when the COVID-19 pandemic is going to subside, but we all know that when it does, things are going to look very different.
So, what do you do? Full speed ahead with your current plan? Pull back and save budget? Re-craft messaging and tactics to “capitalize” on the situation? Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size fits all answer. It depends on your industry, your product or service, your customer base, and even your brand’s equity.
But regardless of your current approach, if you want to be ready post-COVID-19, there are five things that should be on your to-do list.
- Plan for Recovery
Plan for afterwards: Sports leagues are creating plans based on multiple scenarios; brand marketers should do the same. Depending on your industry, come up with best-case and worst-case assumptions as to when things will return to some semblance of normal and what that may look like. Then create your plan for each of the scenarios.
- Create Content
Now is a great time to be creating and disseminating content. From social media, to white papers, to video content, most of your customers and potential prospects are hungry for content. Face it, people are bored. How do we know? Two words: “Tiger King.” Need I say more? And like always, make sure your content is smart and relevant, not salesy.
- Jump Start Creative
Even if you’ve slowed your current marketing and advertising, use this time to get ahead on future creative development. We have one client who wants to be ready to go with a new creative campaign in August, so they are spending this time engaging us in creative concepting. And if you’ve been thinking about a digital facelift, this is a great time to work on a website refresh.
- Tackle “The List”
Now is the time to pull out your long-range to-do list. We all have one. You know, that list of very important but rarely urgent projects that never get completed. Branding work, strategic planning, updated content plans, website updates, etc. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve helped clients strategically think through a brand extension, develop research questionnaires, create an integrated sports sponsorship program, and we’re even rebuilding our agency website. And on the event side of our business, we’re strategizing a post-COVID approach and putting associates to work spring cleaning our warehouse and event equipment.
- Plan now for 2021
The second half of 2020 is going to be crazy. Consumers are going to be back in the market, a year’s worth of sports and events will be crammed into a few months, a national election may interest a few, and media will be at a premium. So, late in the year, when marketers are often planning for next year, you may not have time. As much as you can, create your 2021 marketing plans now and then update them near the end of the year.
All of us are limited right now. But now, more than ever, no one should stop marketing.