Marketing and communication in a collapsed market

key takeaways from Marketing and communication in a collapsed market session.

“We are in crisis mode”. Hannes Putzig, Managing Director, MR WOLF Consulting GmbH opens his session with this frank statement. While this pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced before, it’s still a crisis. And as with any crisis, having a communication strategy is paramount.

“Don’t be a grasshopper”

Hannes refers to the fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper to show the importance of being prepared. While the grasshopper spends his summer singing, the ant spends the time working to store food for the winter. When winter comes, the ant lives comfortably while the grasshopper starves. Businesses can be more like the ant by doing three things:

  • Build a cash reserve to fall back on in hard times. This could be anything from three months to seven years’ worth of savings
  • Invest in client relationships. Relationships need to be worked on and developed all the time, so that should a crisis happen, your network has your back if you need them and vice versa
  • Grow your social media following. If you already have a large online following, you can immediately turn to this audience and pivot to a ready-made digital distribution channel

But what about after the crisis hits?

Hannes lays out a three-point strategy for marketing in a collapsed market. Without a strategy communication can break down quickly, which could further damage your business in a crisis.

  1. Keep breathing and think clearly – This is a leadership moment. As a leader, you need to be clear on your thinking and take charge of the situation. Seek advice and be a beacon for your team in stressful situations.
  2. Provide information and orientation – After establishing a direction, use a ‘cascaded’ approach to communicate information to your stakeholders. Your employees are the top priority, then customers, key partners and finally investors and other stakeholders.
  3. Experiment, test and learn – What used to work doesn’t work anymore. Now is the time to experiment and try new ways of marketing to your audience (just don’t overload them with emails!)

Hannes ends his presentation with this quote from Seneca:

“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you”.

There is a light at the end of what feels like a very long tunnel, and simply getting through it is reason enough to be proud.

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