Doing Business in the Dawn of Social Distancing: 3 Ways to Promote Awareness and Keep Revenue Flowing During a Lockdown

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

And these are certainly extraordinary times! As individuals and businesses make drastic changes to their day-to-day, we have all been called to adapt, make swift decisions, and in some cases, completely pivot from our typical norms.

And for some businesses, these pivots have been essential to keep operations running. Today, we’re going to talk about some observations we’ve seen over the past few weeks and three ways businesses can use these observations to their advantage to promote awareness and cash flow during these uncertain times.

Here is what we’re seeing:

  1. What was once foot traffic is now web traffic. As communities across the nation are hunkering down at home, individuals are flocking to the internet for shopping, entertainment, community, and everything they once did – but now online.

 

  1. Brick-and-mortar businesses are called to get creative. Physical businesses are seeing massive shifts in their day-to-day operations, and many are pivoting to online methods of driving sales and awareness to keep cash flowing.

 

  1. Businesses that rely on event marketing and tradeshows must find alternative ways to drive sales and awareness. With events and tradeshows canceling world-wide, businesses who once relied on those methods to get in front of buyers and clients are now forced to find alternative ways to get in front of their market.

 

  1. There is a growing demand for trackable marketing practices. As businesses must make tough decisions about their budgets, more companies are flocking to marketing practices that are flexible and offer ROI tracking.

 

  1. Online ad inventory is more plentiful, reducing advertising costs in some cases. With more individuals tuning in online, and businesses pulling marketing spend, ad inventory has increased, which is driving down bid prices in some markets.

 

  1. Even in industries where demand is high, supply may be an issue. Businesses that you might assume are doing well because of increased demand, may be struggling to fulfill orders while manufacturing has slowed across the globe.

 

So, what can we take from these observations, and how can businesses of all types keep revenue and awareness top of mind during this unprecedented time?

 

  1. If you’re not already online, get online.

The entire nation, heck, the entire world is sequestered at home, on their devices. If you aren’t in front of them already, you need to be. This isn’t to say e-commerce and internet-based companies don’t have their own set of challenges during this time, but they are in the right space to stay in front of their audience.

For brick-and-mortar businesses, this means getting creative to find ways that you can bring your business online. We have seen some great examples of this already, in the form of:

 

  • Virtual classes
  • e-learning
  • Coaching
  • Live events
  • Gift cards
  • Delivery

 

  1. Stay in front of your audience – but be mindful of messaging.

With plunging stocks and challenging times, individuals and businesses may not be willing to hear your message right now. Or perhaps, you’re a toilet paper retailer, and in that case, they definitely want to hear your message right now! Either way, it is key to stay in front of your audience – both for brick-and-mortar and online businesses.

A few ways you can do this are:

 

  • Online advertising – Search and social advertising is a great way to stay top of mind while your customers are online. With flexible budget options, comprehensive targeting, and trackable ROI, online advertising is a great option for businesses who want to reach their audiences. And as mentioned in the observations, bid prices are very low in some industries, giving companies more of a bang for their buck.
  • Serve targeted ads to email list – For an even more targeted approach, you can serve ads to your email list to get in front of past and current customers.
  • Email marketing – Stay in constant communication with your clients and customers with an email marketing campaign.
  • Engage in SEO – The last two tips require an email list, but what if you don’t have one? Engaging in an SEO strategy can help build traffic to your website, increase awareness, and help you build an inbound lead list. More importantly, SEO helps get your company in front of searchers when they’re actively searching for products or services like yours!
  • Social media updates – Keep your customers and followers up-to-date with social media messaging. More communication keeps your brand top of mind, so they’ll be ready to pull the trigger on purchases or contracts once things blow over.
  • Push notifications – Send push notifications to alert your customer-base of important updates, promotions, or messaging to also keep your brand fresh in their mind.

 

  1. Use specials and promotions to influence purchase behavior.

People are at home looking to capitalize on discounts and promotional offers. For businesses, using promotions or specials can:

 

  • Promote cash flow – For businesses who are hit particularly hard right now, offering promotions and specials can help boost cash during lower-volume times. If your services or products are only available physically, try ‘buy now, book later’ promotions or gift cards.
  • Sell specific products – For some e-commerce brands, fulfilling orders is challenging right now. Using promotions and specials to steer purchase behavior towards products that are plentiful and away from backorder items can help give businesses some breathing room.
  • Leverage the increased impressions – There are more individuals online than ever before, and if you’re in the position to do so, taking advantage of this audience can boost cash reserves and profit.

 

At a time when everyone has turned their eyes to the internet, both brick-and-mortar and online businesses have more access than ever to their audience. While some companies are called to be more creative than others, all types of companies and industries can use internet marketing methods to their advantage. And when the economy does rebound, you’ll have better positioned your business to be on the receiving end of sales activity.

 

A Note to Our Friends and Clients – COVID-19

Hello, clients and friends of Titan Growth,

These are unprecedented times for which there is no playbook. At Titan Growth, all we can do is our best to keep our team members, families, and community safe, while continuing to offer our same rockstar level of service to our clients – many of whom rely on us through this challenging time.

I wanted to personally offer some insight into what we as a team are doing to keep our workforce safe, as well as some observations on how you can continue to thrive as a business during this time.

Our Response to COVID-19 and Our Promise to You

As of March 16th, our offices have gone entirely virtual. We are operating under three core values to keep our team and services as cohesive as possible. Those values are:

  1. Increased communication

There’s nothing like a full virtual workforce to put into perspective how vital communication is. Being physically apart has not made us feel out of touch, though. (Thank goodness for virtual meetings!)

We’ve ramped up the internal touchpoints to ensure our team continues to function like a well-oiled machine. And most days, we look a little like this…

  1. Increased awareness

We have an alert system and ongoing internal messaging to keep our team on top of the latest health and safety recommendations. Our main goal is to keep our workforce safe, productive, and healthy.

In addition, our team is also on high alert for your welfare. As changes in the market evolve, our team is ready to make recommendations based on what we see. That could mean increasing spend in a particular area where bid prices may be lower than typical or recommending changes to your messaging as new updates on COVID-19 roll out.

  1. Increased graciousness

A large portion of our nation is working from home right now, sometimes with full households! With work-life and personal life co-existing, and people adapting their schedules during these hectic times, our team understands your background noises, pajama days, and internet connection hiccups.

We are in no way letting this get in our way of communicating with each other or with you. So, let your hair down, and video chat with us!

Marketing + Social Distancing – What We’re Seeing

In addition to what we as a team are doing during this time, I’d also like to offer a few observations and thoughts on the current state of things and how businesses can continue to thrive even amidst the current landscape.

  1. What was once foot traffic is now search traffic

As businesses and individuals across the nation are following recommendations to stay home, people are flocking to the internet seeking products, community, entertainment, education… you name it.

This offers both online and brick-and-mortar businesses opportunities to get in front of their target audience online.

  1. Higher than typical ad inventory could potentially lower online advertising costs

With the increase of online traffic, plus, some businesses pulling back on advertising spend, there is a surplus of advertising real estate. This allows businesses of all types to stay in front of their customers and get advertising at a lesser cost.

  1. Brick-and-mortar businesses need to get creative on how to keep cash flowing

Physical businesses are seeing a massive shift in volume and are forced to re-think ways to potentially bring business and awareness online to keep their employees and community safe. I have seen some really creative ways that businesses are doing this to keep cash flow moving during this critical time:

  • Doctor, dental, and therapists offering virtual appointments
  • Wineries offering bottle delivery and ‘sip from home’ offers
  • Restaurants and bars offering sanitary pick-up and delivery
  • Event marketing companies hosting live and virtual events
  • Gyms offering virtual classes and subscriptions
  • Physical retail stores moving to e-commerce platforms
  • Grocery stores offering sanitary pick-up and delivery

  1. Trackable marketing methods are in demand

With the surge in online traffic, as well as businesses using more discretion with their marketing budgets, many businesses are more interested than ever in digital marketing. SEO, paid media, and email marketing are high ROI strategies that are easy to track – plus, they’re easy to scale.

While every industry is impacted differently, we continue to see new companies who are seeking digital marketing services, as well as current companies looking to increase spend.

We have also seen a pivot from companies who typically rely on event marketing and tradeshows, turn to digital marketing while events cannot take place.

Protecting your digital footprint has never been more vital and critical to your ongoing business livelihood. Especially once this all passes. The businesses that continued to keep their market share will see the biggest post “pop” when it comes to traffic, customers, and revenue.

  1. This too shall pass

I mentioned in our article last week, that we have been through (and came out on the other side) of the 2008 Great Recession. Though the circumstances are different, there are many similarities. Right now, we as a nation are going through a massive shake-up. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty. The markets are extremely volatile. But things will stabilize.

Some businesses will see slower or quicker recoveries depending on their industry. However, at the end of the day, individuals are eager to restore their lives and habits and to continue moving forward.

 

Through all of this, we’re here to support you. If you have questions, concerns, or struggles, we would love to speak to you about how we can help you get through this uncertain time and come out on the other side, perhaps even stronger than ever.

In the meantime, take care of yourself and each other. Wishing the best for you and your families.

 

 

The Impending Recession: An Opportunity of a Decade

With plunging stocks, Russian and Saudi turmOIL, and mounting fear of a recession, what should most businesses be doing to protect themselves?

Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

Billionaire mogul Warren Buffet said that. And right now, in the market, there is a lot of fear. It may seem counterintuitive to continue spending on sales and marketing when everyone else is pulling back. With the market uncertainty and the economy on shaky ground, it is the natural inclination to reserve assets and pull back spending – but should you?

Don’t Stifle Spending – Here’s Why

Cutting spending is harmful for two reasons:

1) It pulls money out of circulation, lowers your revenue, and further deepens the economic chasm and

2) In the name of self-interest, it prevents you from capitalizing on gained market-share.

Letting fear, instead of logic, dictate decisions is one of the reasons recessions happen in the first place. Unfortunately, many people adopt the former mentality.

But as Winston Churchill once said, “never waste a good crisis.” A recession offers an opportunity to gain market share when your competitors are pulling back.

Now, I am not an economist, and don’t advise any business decisions without much due-diligence; however, what I can tell you is as a company, we have been through this before. And, lived to tell the tale! I want to share our experience with you, so if there is a recession, you can come out afterward, not only intact but on top.

Hindsight is 2020

From war tactics to economic predictions, looking back at past events can help us understand how to better prepare for future events.

In Titan’s lifetime, we had never seen anything like the 2008 Great Recession. But fortunately, now, we have that perspective.

Circa 2007, Titan Growth (then Titan SEO) was flourishing, like many businesses during that time were. The economy was strong, and companies were spending money. 2008 brought the economy to a grinding halt and changed the way businesses spent money.

After the initial shake-up, here is what we saw in the years following the Great Recession:

  1. The companies that continued to invest in marketing throughout the recession came out very, very well.
  2. As we continued to invest in our own marketing initiatives, our business thrived – while our competitors did not. In fact, some of our best years of businesses followed the 2008 “Great Recession” because we didn’t let off the gas.

Inevitably Some Will Rise, Some Will Fall

A recession isn’t something we take lightly, and certainly not something we hope for. In fact, it saddens us to advise taking advantage of a downtrodden economy. Some businesses will suffer tremendously.

But at the end of the day, we want our clients to succeed. We want YOU to succeed. And if your company is in the position to continue spending, that alone helps fuel the economy. That alone, can make the difference between your company coming out of a downturn stronger than ever, or not at all.

After the 2008 recession, the businesses that continued to invest in marketing made it out of the recession – some, stronger than ever. We still retain many clients who have been through the 2008 recession with us. We rode it out together, and today, those companies are flourishing.

Practicing What We Preach

It is scary to continue investing when the economy is shaky. At the same time, we are not willing to risk losing ground and market-share by pulling back spending. This is why, recession or not, we will continue to invest in our own marketing efforts and outreach.

After having been through a similar scenario, and witnessing the devastation it can cause for some, and also the immense opportunity it can bring for others, we maintain a firm stance on how we will proceed through a recession. We’re going to be doing exactly what we’re suggesting you consider – continue spending on marketing channels. Because in a time when you can’t afford to lose any ground, you double down.