Business must continue
by Adam Basheer, on 20-Mar-2020 10:00:24
There is a lot of negativity about COVID-19, though there are some positives too if you look for them. What I am about to present is a marketer’s view of how to make the best of a seemingly poor situation. I will outline several markets in several industries where the coronavirus may have significant upside, you just must look for it.
Retail – Online and At Home
Nobody walking into your shop? Nobody eating at your restaurant? Let’s get on the front foot. Now is the time to be developing or increasing your online presence. Have you got a list of emails addresses from past or current customers? If so, you need to be taking your store to them.
I am working now with one food retail outlet, heavily promoting the start of the football season with the take home pack designed for a small gathering. Celebrate at home becomes a big part of the message and the ability to “pop into the shop and pick up on your way home” can be big part of the call to action. Reminders are needed that you are there.
Shop from home takes on a new level of urgency/convenience. Why not use this as a reason to communicate.
Buying Australian has never been more potent! We worked with one of our clients to promote that they are an Australian manufacturer and there would be no supply chain disruption from them. This almost immediately resulted and a six figure order that was about to go to China being given to them instead. Saving a couple of dollars a unit is nothing compared to not having any units to sell. The supply chain must continue and the talk around board rooms this month will be all about local supply. You need to be reminding everyone that as an Australian manufacturer your supply to them will not be interrupted.
Instant Asset Write Off – Manufacturing/Importing/Finance
With the Australian government announcing a stimulus packing including an instant asset write off for business, the affordability of new capital equipment just increased dramatically. The write off value has risen from $30,000 to $150,000, but only until the 30th of June this year. If there was ever a time to invest in new technology, invest in new capital, or invest in just the ordinary assets that keep business running then, now is the time. You need to be telling your customers this and putting together packages which make them think about it. The government has very nicely provided your customers with a specific deadline too. So “Act Now” becomes a true call to action for your customer.
We are working with a finance company who are now communicating with their customers to enable them to have the cashflow to make the purchase. There has never been a better time to get finance for your business then to buy an asset you can immediately write off.
No Longer going on that Cruise – Home improvement, local tourism industry
There are many people who were about to spend their money on overseas travel, but have now cancelled (e.g. My wife and I). So what does this mean? Put yourself into the heads of the people in this situation. If they still have holiday time booked, they are still likely to go somewhere. This could boost the local tourism industry. If they decide not to go on their holiday, then they may have additional money siting in their bank account. This pool of funds often tends to be put towards home improvement ideas as they seem to be in the same bucket of thoughts as travel. That is, shall we go overseas on that trip or do up the backyard with new pavers, outdoor furniture and blinds. Again, this is an opportunity for where those funds might be spent. What can you offer and what deals are going to get them through the door?
$750 payment to pensioners, and other income support recipients – Retail
Perhaps we like to think that anyone receiving a $750 bonus in their account is going to save this and spend this on necessities over time. However, it is much more likely to be spent on a new TV, local travel, alcohol or some new clothes. There is nothing wrong with this of course and that is exactly what the government expects to happen. (My mother in law already has her $750 allocated on plants for the back yard). So, what can you offer within this price bracket that will bring people into your store, or more likely online. See above re Retail online.
So there are some ideas that might assist you to find the best of the situation.
In the 1990’s I was in charge of a sunscreen product which provided a very high protection. The problem was that there was significant fear of the sun generated by the skin cancer campaigns of the time. Thus people were avoiding the sun altogether and sunscreen sales were decreasing. This coronavirus situation reminds me of the same situation… but on steroids.
Our Solution: Convince people that they have taken all reasonable precautions (that is, use our sunscreen product) and go out in the sun and have fun anyway.
The solution now: If you can suggest to people that your business has taken all reasonable precautions, then business and the world can continue as usual
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