Cut to early 2020, when the world of marketing was busy, hectic, and showing so much promise. We bore witness to the changing nature of consumer preferences to the evolution of new technologies and digital channels. The market was always keen on adapting to changing circumstances and raring to make the most of new opportunities.
The marketing world endured multiple world-defining moments which made the marketers resilient and gave rise to many adaptations such as a steady rise in contracting and freelancing, remote working, and even changes to employment rights.
The world under the stranglehold of COVID19
Just when the world was feeling hunky-dory with its regular chores, came the crisis out of the blue. The recent coronavirus outbreak has tested workers across all sectors in new and unprecedented ways. Governments world-over have enforced a nationwide lockdown, closed schools, and implemented strict social distancing measures. These steps will all have a knock-on effect on the way we manage our daily lives.
As of today, no one knows how long the Coronavirus crisis is going to last. But we should be vigilant and carry on with our lives as best we can which includes our roles as marketers as well. All these unprecedented changes will create or heighten anxiety in an already stressed workforce. What is that we can do to stay healthy, maintain our mental wellbeing, and be productive at work?
Let us take a few steps as both individuals and marketers to stay informed, proactive, and be at our best during difficult and uncertain times.
Develop better mental hygiene
It is recommended to develop healthy mindsets and ways of thinking to be effective marketers. It is best to practice simple mindfulness techniques to beat anxiety and let yourselves be grounded. There are three techniques you can use to stay mentally connected.
- Pause and take a breath – Take a moment to pause in stressful situations. It helps keep you grounded in calmer emotions.
- Get in touch with your calm – Pause and notice what it feels like when you are calm among the storm of people feeling anxious. Calm feels a lot better than anxiety, and when given a choice, our brains will eventually learn to perform the most productive action.
- Taking one day at a time – It is a fact that we are all engineered to plan for the future. But since the pandemic is raging all along, and the necessary information not forthcoming, planning for 6 months is tough. This is a time to take a pause and take it one day at a time.
Slow down and make better decisions
As mentioned above, uncertainty makes us crave more information. This leads us to spend more time watching/ reading/ listening to the news. Shun it all and use this time to slow down to make better decisions as it will ensure us to engage in deliberative reasoning with data.
Remindings ourselves our roles of marketers, we will need to take this time off to glean and consider both short and long term priorities for our business and what we need to do to make the right decisions. Owing to the COVID-19 challenges, this could mean suspending certain performance marketing campaigns while demand is low for some marketers, and focusing instead on long-term brand-building initiatives.
Refocus Marketing priorities
With all the confusion going on in the world, some marketers are tempted to taking action immediately. We suggest you slow down when making big decisions and take time to consider your marketing priorities.
Depending on the type of business and industry in which you are involved, it is best to review your marketing priorities and objectives concerning current events since mass gatherings have been canceled and consumer uncertainty is rife. Simply put these are challenging days and it is best to be on your guard.
At the beginning of 2020, your marketing objectives may have been geared around breaking into a new product sector or targeting new consumer segments. While these objectives should not be discounted, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak it will also be prudent for brands and companies to focus on retaining their existing customer base through content, social media, and CRM and developing their brands or business for the future.
But in the short term, it is crucial to be proactive, present, and supportive of your existing customers’ needs and concerns through your business or brand’s COVID19 advisory notes.
Consolidate marketing skills
The ample time that you have in your hands due to a raging pandemic is also an opportunity for you to reflect on your marketing skills, capabilities, and continuous professional development. Continuing professional development is important for marketers and it is advisable to take time to educate ourselves and develop our skill sets. Identify topics and subject areas that you believe will be important in both the short and longer-term and work to secure it.
You may find that certain teams or departments in your company need extra help and support at this time. If possible, offer to help and be open-minded about what you may learn as part of this process.
Although social distancing norms are in place and it is restrictive to our marketing ways, we suggest that you should continue to talk, communicate, and engage with others. You get a lot of value while communicating and it helps generate ideas and solve problems and increases productivity and morale in equal measures.
In these days of remote working, teams do their best to sustain a semblance of normalcy and camaraderie in unconventional ways. This involves virtual get-togethers or coffee breaks so colleagues can catch up over Teams, WhatsApp, Slack, ONPASSIVE’s webinar, or Skype. Marketers can use these tools to their advantage.
In conclusion, It is important that during this COVID-19 crisis, we take care of one another and ourselves. Eventually when the virus passes, as marketers we should not be in any doubt and we need to be prepared when we start returning to normal. Developing our marketing skill sets and setting realistic but ambitious objectives will be more important than ever.