When economic times get tough, businesses chop their expenses to make ends meet.
And over the years, I’ve noticed some of the first things on that chopping block are the areas of communications and marketing. It never fails whether it’s a small business owner with no staff to multinational corporations with big departments, and plenty of employees, in those areas.
The COVID-19 pandemic of the past year has brought that to focus once again.
It’s an interesting dilemma to hit you straight between the eyes during tough times as most companies face a tough choice. But a certain old adage really resonates at this time. You have to spend money to make money.
I truly believe that during tough and challenging times companies should not ‘turtle’ – crawl into their shells in a curled up position in the corner and wait out the storm.
In fact, there’s a good argument to be made that they should do the exact opposite by increasing their resources and their emphasis in the areas of communications and marketing.
I am reminded of a certain company in Calgary that I often work with. When COVID hit, this company went into overdrive in the area of communications. Why? Because it needed to communicate consistently and effectively with its main stakeholders – its employees, its clients and its investors and potential investors. All needed to be kept informed about the company’s operations because each stakeholder had a vested interest in the business in some capacity.
Unfortunately, over these last 11 months, I’ve seen way too many companies do the exact opposite. They went into that shell and the longer they stayed in that shell, or even have continued to stay in that shell, the tougher it has been to climb out of it to face the new reality that is out there.
The new reality is this: we’re increasingly living, working and playing in a digital world.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. (And will continue to say it until it sinks in, particularly to those with blinders on). Companies that do not fully embrace the new reality, with its growing emphasis on all things digital, will be left in the dust by companies that do.
The vast majority of people today go to that digital world for all of their information. It’s where they search and find the hair salon closest to their home, the pizza establishment that does deliveries – even their new home.
People are travelling that internet highway every day in record numbers. And companies have all the tools in place to easily travel on that highway as well to tell their story and share their message.
Why wouldn’t you? If you are a clothing company that has ‘pivoted’ and is now making face masks, why wouldn’t you shout that out to the world? If you are a restaurant with a new concept that was initiated by COVID, why wouldn’t you tell everyone about it?
Now is the time to be visible and being visible means jumping into that digital world in a strategic way.
Businesses that ‘turtle’ during a storm run the risk of becoming irrelevant and no longer on people’s minds when the storm is over and the skies are clear.
(Connect with me to learn how I can help you tell your story, share your message and amplify it through different digital platforms)