We are in interesting times. I started my company during the greatest recession of our time. For those who know where to look, there is also immense opportunity.
This is Shama Hyder, CEO of Zen Media. I hope everyone is staying safe, washing hands,, and loving their children and dogs. Okay, now let’s get back to business.
We are in interesting times. I know things are looking uncertain right now. These are unprecedented times, and for those who know where to look, there is also immense opportunity. This is one of my favorite quotes of all time, “Opportunity comes infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.” It’s by Warren Buffet.
I started my company during the greatest recession of our time, so I know a thing or two about what it takes to launch and build a business during economic downturns and challenging times. Generally, people and companies fall into two big buckets. You see this happening right now. One bucket, I call us this the panic group. They get scared, they hoard, they pull back on key drivers, such as marketing. These folks are scared, and in the very short term it makes them feel better. In the near and longterm they face disastrous consequences, not fun for everybody. Then there’s the other group. This is 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. They become essential for someone to do business with you, because make no mistake, when the dust settles, and it will, there will be market winners and market losers.
Here are my top five strategies and tips for you so you can come out on top. Number one, sharpen your brand. You have a captive audience and people are bombarded. Make sure your creative, copy, messaging, and calls to action are airtight. The market will trust leaders, not just those who are leaders, but those who are perceived as market leaders. Get the difference? It’s quite important.
The second strategy, look for media buying opportunities. This is what happens during a recession. I know, I’ve been there. Huge conglomerates and fear-based VC-backed companies all start to pull back. Competitors start to make mad and bad decisions based on fear, and all of a sudden, market opportunities that you couldn’t have access to before start to pop up. Juicy marketing opportunities that you could never get your hands on before now become a reality, they become available. Please, please, please take advantage of these opportunities.
Third, market recognition equals market share. If I could scream something from the rooftops, it will 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, doesn’t matter. Yes, buying cycles will get longer, but what you invest now in building trust and visibility and community goodwill will pay dividends down the road.
Four, sales and marketing need to be best friends right now. 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 that company is hitting MQLs and SQLs is for everyone to work together. It’s absolutely crucial.
Last strategy, 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 you do it by attracting, engaging, and clearly being the go-to solution in your industry. Pushing harder right now without a strategy in place will actually backfire.
These are critical times that we’re living in. We’ve seen economic downturns before. Of course, in many ways, these are unprecedented times with COVID-19 upending all sorts of industries, but if you look, there’s also a lot of opportunity to be had.