The title of this article is a little daunting on its own because the fact is, there is no clear answer. The answer varies from industry to industry and person to person. There are some businesses that are considered “essential” and continued as they always have. Then there are non-essential businesses that have found themselves facing uncertainty. Statistics show that up to 35% of industries have been unscathed – and even thrived – through COVID 19. The other 65% have varying degrees of transformation as to how COVID-19 has affected their business/industry.
At Central States Media, we have worked with both essential and non-essential businesses through this time. Those that are essential have had to swim through the murky waters of COVID-19. They have adapted for what is happening now while also preparing for how their business will look later. We also have other partners who are non-essential and have had to change the way they face the world during a Shelter at Home order. From carry-out food orders to virtual museum tours to shifting retail options online, businesses of all kinds are getting creative in how they serve their customers.
This pandemic has provided the world time to spend on planning, preparing, dreaming, and acting for the future. As I always say (and I cannot take credit for this statement)….”where one door shuts another one opens”. I truly believe this is the case for business strategy and planning for the rest of 2020 and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into operations for all of us this year. Everyone is feeling the effect, from our college seniors preparing for the workforce, to our healthcare workers, and many others with “once in a lifetime” events being postponed or cancelled.
We hope we never have to face something like this again, but we also know one thing – we are strong, we will get through this and even learn from it. Some of the questions we are experiencing as a marketing firm are: How early is too early to be in front of our consumers? What should our messaging be? What are consumers looking for? There is no one correct one-size-fits-all answer. Businesses must change and be willing to adapt quickly. Setting expectations – internally for your staff and via messaging for your consumers– is crucial, as it can help reduce anxiety or stress.
This has pushed most of us out of our comfort zone, into unpredictable situations. The fact is, we may not know what the new normal is going to look like. But being flexible, respectful and kind will help us all navigate this together.