If you’re like most businesses during this pandemic, you’ve had a rather one-sided conversation with your budget manager demanding an answer to one simple question: What can you cut?
With revenues falling and bills to be paid, the natural response from the people who watch the money is to whack expenses as fast as possible. Snip snip here, chainsaw there.
While we’ve seen similar cuts across the communications agency business, we’ve been fortunate at Indelable to keep our adjustments to a minimum. That’s partly because we’re a small firm that’s built to flex up or down depending upon customer needs. Better still, we are blessed with clients who sense a downturn can be a time to get creative.
Early in this crisis, as the economic reverberations were just starting to be felt, one of our clients looked at his order book and texted us: What can we stop doing right now?
We quickly itemized all the ways they could reduce cash outlays for communications and marketing to zero: Halt website redevelopment, pause social media, stop search advertising, and yes, suspend our retainer for as long as necessary.
We also suggested an alternative strategy: Play offense rather than defense, especially while competitors with more overhead were in retreat. Expand your offer to meet the crisis at hand and make a compelling case that your services are more necessary than ever. We offered to quickly finish the lovely new website, adjust the copy to highlight the new offer, create adverting on Google and Bing, and promote it all through social media.
Thanks to their steadfast belief in the value their business provides, they stepped up rather than down and found new customers around the world. Now they are looking at new ways to serve and expanding their markets further.
As businesses now begin to emerge from the coronavirus bunker, it’s important to think in a similar fashion and ask yourself three questions other than what to cut:
DEFINE. Now that the world has changed, how are you different?
PROMOTE. Recognizing that customers have been through a trauma, how do you reach them in a way that speaks to where they are now?
DEFEND. While a crisis facing your company may have gone dormant during the pandemic’s peak, how are you going to get ahead it as the world begins to stir again?
We’ve all been through a significant shock, and we may not fully recover for some time. But we can build a more hopeful future by recognizing the changes around us and adjusting creatively.
Let us know if you’d like to talk. We’re still right here, same as before, but also a little different.