In this one, we consider those who have taken a deep breath, analyzed the landscape, and made the most of the last couple of months by rethinking every aspect of how they serve customers. Not all of them are saving jobs, but some are planting the seeds of reinvention that may create jobs for years to come.
If that’s not you, it’s not too late. The pandemic is bringing about a paradigm shift and with it a host of opportunities. Sure, you may be thinking, but what if you’re an airline? Or a ride-sharing company? Or a restaurant?
The glib answer to that question is The Pony Joke, in which an optimistic six-year-old faced with a mountain of horse manure exclaims with unequivocal delight, “There must be a pony in here somewhere!”
Glib or not, digging through the manure pile to find a glimmer of opportunity will contribute to getting the economy back on track. Uber may not move as many people, but it may move a lot more food if its acquisition of GrubHub takes place. Airlines are filling cabins with cargo. Restaurants—some of them at least—are turning to take-out.
Below, some inspiration for “calm marketing.”
THIS IS A TEST. THIS IS ONLY A TEST.
Surely there is no better example of calm marketing than experimenting when your hair is on fire.
Why experiment? Because we are in the midst of a massive paradigm shift for a host of industries. The path forward isn’t clear, and managing risk is critical. Experimentation allows companies to test new initiatives without commitment and learn fast; if an experiment generates positive results, marketers can (calmly) move it to the next stage.
Who’s experimenting? Companies with imploding value chains are front and center as are businesses dependent on humans for sales. A few examples:
Behavior patterns are changing at a head-spinning rate as consumers and businesses move past shock into practicality. To keep pace—OK, to survive—companies are calmly breaking old rules. The pandemic, The Economist writes, “is spurring innovation, as firms come up with new ways to keep making products despite disrupted supply chains, or, as demand collapses amid self-isolation, create new ones.”
Examples: Getting Fit: Free fitness subscriptions from Nike, Peloton, and Fitbit—not a bad way to build a pipeline of paying customers. Dinner Kit: High-end restaurant Ardyn's white-glove dinner delivery service, delivered by rabbits. Salty Bit: Frito-Lay's direct-to-consumer play at snacks.com—after eons of singular focus on grocery and convenience store aisles.
We could go on. And on. Instead, we are going to go start calmly identifying opportunities for rule-breaking and experimentation. Join us!
HAVING A MARKETING CRISIS?
Spark biz-therapy is here. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consult. We will rally the online whiteboard and help you find a path forward.