An opportunity lies between difficulties & problems.” – Albert Einstein

By now you’ve probably read a million articles on the COVID-19 virus. Not only is it infecting thousands of people worldwide, but it is also infecting media and business. Most schools, businesses and facilities are closed, and employees, like myself, can be found working from an at-home office (aka my couch). PredictHQ indicated that in February alone, concerns about the coronavirus led to a 500% surge in cancellations and postponements of significant events. It’s wild and sometimes difficult to rationalize, but research is proving that there is light and opportunity at the end of the tunnel…and maybe even inside the tunnel for those who are optimistic about coming out ahead. Now may be the best time to create an updated marketing strategy and here’s why.

Viewership is at an all-time high on all digital channels. We are also seeing a huge increase in broadcast ratings. A newly released Nielsen report says that “staying put in our homes can lead to almost a 60% increase in the amount of content we watch in some cases.” When Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, for example, there was a 56% increase in viewership. 

We are also seeing a dramatic increase in digital screen-time. With many people stuck at home, the iPhone screen time report has become a badge of shame — or honor, depending on your point of view.  From a media manager’s perspective, this is absolutely wonderful. People are using their phones for a variety of things, so no matter the industry you’re in,  you can connect with the users you’re looking for. People are online but the big question is, are you?

Take a moment to think about your website, logo and social profiles. What are people seeing when they come across your brand online? Is it time for an update? Does the quality of your site represent the quality of your brand? Have you wanted to update your logo?  Now is a great time to think about your brand image and voice. You may have more time to think about what message you want people to see and act on.

A common question I’ve been asked is “Are people buying?” The answer is “Yes.” People are always buying! Whether it’s toilet paper, stock or ad space people are always willing to invest in what they value… even in a crisis. You need to bring value through your digital messaging. We are seeing many businesses exhibit empathetic advertising. Learning how to use your privilege during this time is extremely important. For example, many restaurants are offering discounted meals or curbside pickup to support families at this time. This brings in revenue for the business and shows the community that your business is here to support others during this crisis. This is a home-run from a PR perspective and some smart marketing inspiration for everyone!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned these past few weeks, it’s that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s your job to protect your health and business, and it’s our job at Absolute to protect your business with a team of experts ready to help. 

Earlier I referenced a quote by Albert Einstein as a reminder to seek opportunities during this time. As a business owner you are allowed to worry but please don’t forget why you started. Bring your values forward through messaging. Yes, things are different and sometimes scary but that doesn’t mean that opportunity isn’t available. We are here to work with you! Afraid of the cost? Don’t be. We’re offering free marketing planning services to local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We love our community and only want the best for the business owners that make it thrive.