I started my company during the recession…
So, I know a thing or two about what it takes to launch and grow during economic downturns. Generally, people (and companies) fall into two buckets right now.
– The Panic Group. They get scared, they hoard, they pull back on key business drivers such as marketing. And, in the (very) short-term it makes them feel better. In the near and long term, they face disastrous consequences.
– The “This Is Our Moment” Group. This is the group that knows there has never been a more captive audience. While their competitors get scared, they get braver. They know that in times like these trust and preference become more than a nice to have. They become must-haves.
Because make no mistake. When the dust settles, and it will, there will be market winners and losers.
Here are my 5 top tips for you:
- Sharpen your brand. You have a captive audience and people are bombarded. Make sure your creative, copy, messaging, and calls to actions are air-tight. The market will trust leaders. Not just those who ARE leaders but those who are perceived as market leaders. Get the difference?
- Look for media buying opportunities. This is what happens during a recession. Huge conglomerates and fear-based VC backed companies pull back. Competitors start to make mad decisions based on fear…and all of a sudden market opportunities that you couldn’t have before start to pop-up. Juicy marketing opportunities that you could never get your hands on before now become available. Please, take advantage.
- Market recognition = market share. If I could scream something from the rooftops – it would be this. Right now, there is a very captive audience and they need solutions. They want trusted sources. It costs way less right now to establish yourself as the go-to brand. Even if you have mega competitors (see above.) Yes, buying cycles will get longer but what you invest now in building trust and visibility will pay dividends down the road.
- Sales and Marketing need to be best friends. Marketing has to provide air cover for sales. No ifs and buts about it. Demand gen has to work with lead gen and right now the only way to make sure the company is hitting MQLs and SQLs is for everyone to work together.
- Resist the urge to “hard sell.” There’s a time to sow and a time to reap. This is the time to sow. You can reap as well but do it by attracting, engaging, and clearly being the go-to solution in your industry. Pushing harder right now without a strategy will backfire.
Some epic resources I’d like to share as well:
- Forbes8 Summit: If you could get all the top experts and authors in one (virtual) room right now to help you – what would you say? I would hope you’d say YES! Forbes8 is bringing together the top experts for a f*ree e-summit this Friday! Topics range from how to sell digitally, how to manage remote teams, and more. Oh, and this is a stellar line-up. Including Chris Brogan, Rohit Bhagava, Charlene Li, Goldie Chan – and yours truly. Register here: https://forbes8.forbes.com/esummit/. #Forbes8Summit
- Restaurants. OneDine, is offering to turn any restaurant with a parking lot into a “sonic” like take out within 24 hours using their technology – for f*ree. Meaning: Restaurants can let people order, pay and pick-up without leaving their cars. If you run one or know one, please contact OneDine.
- Facebook: Facebook just created a $100 million dollar small business grant. Eligibility requirements will soon follow. You can keep tabs here: https://www.facebook.com/business/grants.