It’s no secret that with the recent coronavirus outbreak, businesses across the globe are hurting. Globally, the World Health Organization has reported over 110,000 cases of coronavirus, with more cases reported every day. With the situation rapidly growing, many companies and small businesses are being affected by the supply-chain disruptions.
As many of these businesses rely on their Chinese imports, the economic fallout has been drastic, leaving several of these businesses with unanswered questions. If the coronavirus outbreak has put your business into a frenzy, it may be time to consider the marketing expertise of yorCMO.
With the help of a chief marketing officer (CMO) from yorCMO, we can help you navigate through the noise of the coronavirus with fractional marketing practices. We’re going to show you how to do just that.
It’s a hectic time for businesses, and trying to figure out what marketing tactics to use to ensure customers feel assured can be challenging to navigate. As you take a closer look at what you could be doing with marketing efforts, ask yourself the following question:
Can you create and offer something to your customers that will set you apart from your competitors? Is it something that your competitors haven’t done yet?
For instance, recently, Amazon created a 5 million dollar relief fund to help aid small business owners in Seattle who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak. According to Amazon, the Neighborhood Small Relief Fund assists those businesses to retain and pay employees, pay for rent, and cover various operational costs.
With that example in mind and the help of a chief marketing officer, you can determine marketing best practices based on the industry your business resides. Consider the following for fractional marketing efforts as it related to industry:
With the coronavirus progression, CVS Pharmacy has tailored its marketing efforts to those who are at risk, quarantined, or otherwise to deliver medication to customer homes for free. CVS has stated that the free home delivery would be offered immediately, as of March 9, 2020.
With the example of CVS in mind, consider what your healthcare business can do to accommodate your customers. Are you capable of extending healthcare through telemedicine services? Or is it possible to waive criteria for those who can qualify for paid-time sick leave?
The businesses part of the transportation industry, along with the healthcare industry, are considered to be the most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. If your business falls in line with this industry, it may be time to implement some of the practices leaders in this area are currently applying to their customers.
- Many airlines are providing not only disinfecting services before and after flights, but many are offering passengers the freedom to change their flights free of charge.
- Ride-sharing companies are currently working to ensure that customers and drivers are safe. Lyft released a statement saying that should any of their drivers become individually quarantined or infected with the novel coronavirus, that they would support the driver financially.
If your business involves the educational system or entertainment industry, finding the right marketing practices and messages to release is difficult. Many chief marketing officers work to create the right message to those who are affected or may become affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
For instance, Elkhorn Community School District in Nebraska eliminated ‘Perfect Attendance’ Records to allow students peace of mind to stay home if they aren’t feeling well.
Significant events had a difficult time releasing the right message to not only ticket holders but to the various businesses they are sponsoring. For instance, the New York City Half Marathon, scheduled for March 15, 2020, has been canceled due to the pandemic. The marathon recognized the unforeseen circumstances and allowed those who signed up to receive a full entry fee refund or divert their entry into next year’s race.
As you work to tailor your marketing best practices, remember there is often a cost for innovation. With the help of a CMO, you can show that you put your customers first, ahead of the business.
Increase Your Online Presence
The public is relying on new information, and for that information to be as transparent as possible. Building on the marketing expertise from someone who understands the right message to release will pay off. As you dive deeper into your messaging and how you want to be recognized online, consider the following:
- Tailor your message to include keywords that are currently trending online. One thing a CMO from our office can help you with is researching which keywords may perform the best and create a messaging practice that will be effective.
- Become visible and transparent on your social media platforms. With a strong following on your social platforms, you can make a significant impact on customers and your employees by providing them with updates on what the company is doing during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Make seminars or events accessible on the web. If your company had plans for a large gathering but are required to cancel, consider offering attendees a discount or partial refund for the event. You could also make your event accessible through a web seminar or conference for a discounted rate.
With healthy fractional marketing practices in place, you can create a safe but effective presence online. Also, one tip to consider for advertising: Highlight your delivery services or, if applicable, the fact your business or product can be used in the safety of the customer’s home.
Create a Crisis Communication Plan
If your business lacks a crisis communication plan, it’s time to reconsider. This communication plan is an essential element of any business marketing plan. yorCMO can help your business get a crisis communication plan put together quickly, to ensure all of your employees and shareholders stay informed during the outbreak.
Step 1: Protect Your Team
We can’t emphasize this enough. One of the first things you can do to ensure the protection and health of your employees by developing a plan to keep the office space sanitized and clean daily. You can also maintain secure internal communication by:
- Communicate to employees that their health is a top priority
- Outline what the company is doing to brace for impact of the virus
- Offer work-from-home options, insurance information, etc.
Step 2: Protect Your Brand
When communication between your employees has squared away, please take it to the next phase of your crisis communication plan: protecting your business. Your chief marketing officer will be able to help you set up alerts and notifications to customers, shareholders, and sponsors as information changes.
Remember that responding to questions will go a long way in the success and survival of your business. So make as much information as public as possible.
Step 3: Be a Leader
Take control of the situation at hand. Keep in mind that several of your employees and counterparts have some level of fear they are feeling in terms of their job security and health. Be willing to share helpful advice or tips, and offer to listen to concerns. Encourage positivity as it comes, whether that’s highlighting a sale goal or an employee — it will go a long way maintaining good morale.
Don’t Wait, Act Now
Knowing how to handle the coronavirus from a business standpoint can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With stocks entering a bear market, the need to create the right messaging is crucial.
Let’s create the plan-of-action your business deserves with the help of a fractional marketing plan by yorCMO’s team of dedicated & experienced Chief Marketing Officers. We’re here to guide you, call us today at 402-807-5414.
About the Author:
Kevin is an extraordinarily-focused Marketing Leader with 20+ years of experience building high performing teams at a leading Fortune 25 big-box retailer, a nationally renowned advertising agency and at an international media/publishing firm. With a passion for influencing consumer behavior to drive revenue and a proven track record of using a variety of tactics including content marketing, digital/social campaigns, in-store marketing, traditional advertising and public relations.
Kevin is based in the Greater Atlanta area and has strong experience working with clients in Retail, Manufacturing, Publishing, Marketing/Advertising and in the startup space.