RECESSIONS ARE NOT CAUSED BY VIRUSES. RECESSIONS ARE CAUSED BY HUMANS.

We look at the concept that battening down the hatches in difficult times, is good for our corporate health, and ask; maybe it’s not so good for our health… We give an alternative RoadMap.

My good colleagues in our Insurance Clients, show me the data, and it goes something like this – those companies who abandon their marketing and sales ship in any ensuing storm – will lose around 23% of their revenues that year. And it will take them a further two years to recover.

I do “get” that the above scenario is tempting. Our Press and Media do not get our attention by publishing good news stories. The constant doom and gloom which populate all of our news feeds and Inboxes, gives the end of the world impression of reality.

Except that it is not reality. Our experience over the past two months, in monitoring our corporate colleagues and clients, is that it is a true case of “be careful what you wish for”. Maybe you haven’t thought this through…

The fact is that, how you proceed now – is a choice that you yourself will make. Your reaction to events is the same as any other business decision.

So…. This is how it is.

If you persist in treating your sales and marketing facility as a discretionary spend as opposed to an essential lifeline, then you cannot be surprised if your revenues shrink in the immediate and long term.

What we have found is that those companies that continue to go develop their business, do continue to build up their pipeline, and continue to get new business, come what may. We have seen an increase in Meetings, and very little difference between face/face meetings; and Virtual Meetings. Surprisingly, there is actually quite a positive buzz. Our own clients tell us  they have continued to win new projects.

The evidence we have, is that those companies who suddenly stop – will not be perceived as “serious” when the sun comes out and all this darkness goes away.

So what is the answer? We have a RoadMap which you might like  to consider:

1. Keep your marketing and direct sales efforts alive. People do understand the global situation, but they still want to see you and hear from you.

2. Don’t let your people go. The good people will not be there for you when you come back.

3. The longer you leave things, the more difficult it will be to ramp up again. This is because there will be exponentially more competition not necessarily in your space, but in the availability of your customer to see you.

4. Your excuse of using this period for “planning” – does not fly. The same pressures will soon apply as before, when you restart – expect that you will be in a worse state to achieve the results you need to get. You still have the office rent to pay, after all.

5. Remember that your key asset – as we are frequently told – are your people. They will indeed continue to be that – but you have to do your part too.

New Advances in Coronavirus solutions. Such a Pity…

We look at the equal march of COVID-19 and solutions that describe themselves as being “the answer”, and ask;   Why has it taken this long for them to come to the fore… and is COVID-19 the excuse of choice, for both marketeers, and people who didn’t want to go to work anyway.

——-

I can’t say that we have received thousands, this is not a nationwide chart of  major instances – but  certainly in their twenties. In the time since mid January, when we have started to wake up and then be immersed in an epidemic of confusion as to where this is all going, I am beginning to regret turning on my Inbox in the morning, – in the same way as ~I have long since turned off my radio at 07.10 each morning – to see yet another announcement of a major Coronavirus breakthrough.

COVID-19 has become the marketeer paradise. It gets everyone’s attention. We are glued to it and them. And we want good news. What more is there to love?

And each announcement does indeed bring good news! I publish here just a few snippets of our latest ones;

DeeDee Rubenstein writes: ”

“One of the side effects of COVID-19 has been a mental health crisis in the United States. Isolation and uncertainty has created a sudden shift in our country that has never been experienced before. Last month the “Disaster Distress Helpline” at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration experienced a 891% increase in calls.

The sudden decline in mental health is an alarming indicator that telehealth for mental health should be implemented in a cost effective and accessible manner. Below are two companies that are addressing the new COVID-19 mental health crisis.”… etc…

And we have this from the MDClone company:

“Collaborate and compare insights with healthcare organizations worldwide to combat COVID-19.  MDClone has launched a fast-to-install platform to understand and manage COVID-19 efforts, dramatically increasing the ability to use data to improve quality and operations in a streamlined, efficient package.

With the MDClone Pandemic Response Package, healthcare organizations are able to leverage COVID-19 relevant data to understand performance and engage other like-minded systems, enabling the healthcare community to collaborate on new ideas, apply lessons learned from other organizations, and come together to better understand the virus.”

And Vani Edwardson of the Macadamian company sends us this Good News (he actually uses these words too) -story, about their Self-Screening mobile app, for COVID-19 health workers;

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for health care providers both in Long-Term Care and in hospital settings to have the ability to assess and monitor the health status of their front line to both mitigate risks and respond accordingly.

Screening is a primary line of defense in keeping COVID-19 out of our Long-Term Care and hospital settings, yet the screening process can be time-consuming. Be it on paper or on a web-based solution it adds an extra step to the start of the shift at a highly stressful time. Lining up for screening also creates challenges with respect to adherence to physical distancing, within an essential workforce.”

All of the above solutions have merit. And they  all deserve our attention.  But for COVID-19, they are probably already too late, even here in the UK where I am writing this, and when our nurses are struggling even to get hold of face masks let alone clever mobile apps. There is a distinct feeling of jumping on bandwagons or shutting doors after horses have long since gone.

And that is a pity, because the issues described above, are serious, and the solutions should be relevant for the future not just there present.

But equally, have we now already got used to being in lockdown, being away from our office, and if we are not  mentally ill, or we are not in the front line of  health,  -isn’t it all still quite a lot of fun working from home in the  morning, and playing with the kids in the afternoon?

Because we have now reached the tipping point.  If the number alas of people sadly passing away from Coronavirus at this time, is less or equal to, the number that would normally decease at this time – and this might already start to be the case – then just how much damage are we doing continuing this situation or developing solutions for a situation, that is now damaging our way of life in other ways more sinister than our original virus?

I can’t answer this. And perhaps  that was never the point. Because the marketing people have already succeeded in getting my attention – and that is what they wanted all along. Such a pity it will all end soon.

 

 

IS OUR NEW REALITY – A REALLY GOOD IDEA?

We take a look at the current turbulence in business and ask – maybe this is the change of focus that can really work for all of us?


It is a fact not commonly understood, that a business that battens down the hatches in times of troubles, will end up in a worse place when the troubles are over – than from where it started.

It’s not me that says that says that. Entrepreneurs that I talk to over recent weeks, have without exception, been quick to advise – give it a few weeks, but then get creative, don’t let your customers and future customers forget that you are there.

And yet every day, as soon as prophets of doom appear on our media radar, we see immediate downsizing, firing of trusted and loyal employees, and the very people that are described as the “most valuable asset” for any corporate, in their PR blurb and announcements – are the first to be discarded when things get tricky.

The result of all this, is that – when the good times start to roll again, companies are in no position to make the most of it, people remain unemployed, and costs go up, – because we are having to hunt for what we want, – when it used to be readily available.

But what if we look a it a different way?

What if, we use the moment to seriously examine the way we are doing things generally, and whether we really need to be doing the same things at all? And there are some good examples.

If we have now found a technology structure where yes indeed, we can work from home, without the stigma of not being “visible” in the office, because nobody is actually in the office – then why don’t we continue with this process?

National Geographic has noted that the waters of Venice are now clear again – because they no longer have the big ships, the industrial output from across the water, the small vaporetti – because none of us are travelling any more.

Pollution above Wuhan, China, has disappeared since people stopped going to work as such. In short, nature and healthy living and better climate resurgence, have come to the fore, by accident.

The question is how can we keep it that way? The answers may be simple and practical.

First – if we do away with the social need for travelling to an “office”, – then we save on our commuting, have time to see our kids, get a better work/life balance, live longer.

Second – don’t cancel the sales outreach. Just do it differently. Use the power of your email and redesign your material to something that actually engages with people. If people now have more time to do something, then make sure what you send and create is something people actually enjoy looking at.

Don’t forget that you absolutely must do something to build your business. This process never stops.

And finally – don’t be afraid of change. Use the moment, now that you are online remotely – to look at your established practices and ask – if they are what you have always done, then they are probably not working or fit for purpose any longer.

As said above, it is a fact not commonly understood, that a company that has been doing things the same way for years, is probably in need of a good wake up call.