An Open Letter from One Business Owner to Another

You’ve spent weeks, months, years of your life creating, developing and perfecting your business, building a circle of loyal customers, learning from them, building, expanding and then BAM… Coronavirus comes along and effectively pulls the rug out from underneath your feet. 

We all find ourselves in this moment of stillness amongst the chaos, we question everything we are doing and everything we have done up to this point and then… we panic. We wonder how we are going to survive, how our businesses are going to last this ultimate test of time. Then from here we have to adapt… and quickly, all within the confines of our homes.

Thankfully, in these times we are all intrinsically connected within the web of the internet, people can be reached, at a safe distance, from their homes.

You should use this to your advantage.

Advertising your product to reach potential new customers doesn’t mean that you are insensitive to the times. Yes, we need to stay empathetic and understanding in our marketing efforts but as a business we have to keep going to market. We have to keep selling. But we have to think differently than ever before. We have to challenge ourselves, our co-workers, fellow business owners. The boundaries have shifted but there’s still an appetite out there and people still need and want your products and services.

The ‘Wait and See’ strategy will do more harm than good to our businesses.

We have to fight to survive in these challenging times, for ourselves, for our families and for our businesses that we have worked so hard for. 

So I ask you a question; are you using the current times to your advantage? 

That is the question on so many business owners’ minds right now. Many ask themselves if they should be thinking this but the clever will appreciate that to survive, one must ride the waves of the times, no matter how unprecedented. 

This can be done tastefully, however.

In a survey conducted by Kantar Media, more than 35,000 global consumers were questioned and just 8% thought brands should stop advertising completely. 

Out of those who thought advertising should continue, they said that life and the economy go on, there is still a demand for products and services and so ads should continue. Some reasoned that advertising provided a sense of normality, a form of escapism and a distraction.

However, 74% did say that companies should not exploit the situation. This shows that there is room for tasteful marketing, without the need to stop completely.

Kantar also conducted a theoretical test on an unnamed, but real beer brand. The test found that if the brand stopped spending completely on advertising during this crisis, there would be a 13% impact on sales in the long run and make market share hard to recover. However, a 50% decrease in ad spend would result in just a 1% drop in sales.

Food for thought in terms of your ad spend, stopping completely could have long term adverse effects compared to just decreasing your ad spend and remaining visible as a brand.

And so again I ask you, are you using the current times to your advantage?

Help your business survive this crazy storm, invest in your advertising, plan your digital strategy, get your brand out there and be noticed whilst competition is decreased and most importantly be prepared for this journey. No one knows when we may return to ‘normal’ so all of us as business owners have to come together and adapt to find our new normal, albeit, digitally for now.

And who knows, this forced slow-down of life may just be the making of many of us and our businesses, the time to finally do all of those things we keep putting off, the time to reach out to other business owners, to connect, to voice thoughts, to get feedback on ideas and to stir the pot of creativity. Your list can go on.

Yes we are frightened, yes we are uncertain but one thing to be sure of is that we will rise out of the ashes of this fire. When? No one is entirely sure but we will rise. 

And how will you emerge?

1 comment

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