Pro Tip: Managing marketing efforts in the coronavirus era

The universal challenge facing all marketers right now is how to generate revenue in the months ahead with so much uncertainty and a bleak economic climate. Today’s reality is quite different than it was just a few weeks ago, and that means marketing is more critical than ever. Initiatives rolled out in Q2 and Q3 could become the most important, impactful initiatives in your company’s history. Unfortunately, many companies will be forced to lay off staff and many more will go out of business altogether. Navigating such uncertain times requires agility, patience and resourcefulness. Here’s how you can effectively manage marketing efforts in the months ahead. 

Keep communication lines with customers open. It’s business as usual for your customers and partners and they need to hear that message. If you were planning a mid-sized or major launch in Q2, move ahead with it. Customers need to see that your business is stable. Be consistent and over communicate during these uncertain times. Don’t go dark.

Perfect new tactics to execute planned campaigns. Moving forward with planned efforts will demonstrate that your business is surviving through this downturn. But execution will likely require new tactics adjusted for this new environment. Embrace new tools and technology, and be willing to learn, fail and adapt quickly. Did you have an event planned? Was there a trade show coming up? For now, focus on being the best company at hosting virtual events. Webinars are an obvious one. Expert panels, coffee breaks, office hours can be virtualized with some creativity and offer opportunities to build connections with key audiences.

Invest in team relationships. Maintaining your staff’s trust and your own credibility is a top priority during turbulent times. Do not lie about the current climate. Tell the truth and most importantly, invest in banding together. If you roll up your sleeves and power through as a team, you will be stronger and more agile in the long run.

Embrace a leadership role as a department. Leaders shine in times of uncertainty, and now is the time to embrace that role. Reinforce with others at your company that everyone can rely on the marketing team to lead by example, and demonstrate that through action. Map out a few examples of programs your team will be launching in the months ahead to inspire other departments to do the same, and set the example for proactive teamwork to combat the challenging months ahead. Help, don’t exploit. If you really have an offering that can help your customers through this time, then offer it. If you don’t, then don’t exploit the pandemic for your own gain. Instead, focus on strengthening customer relationships by being helpful. Offer virtual wellness programs, such as a kids concert, golf lessons or a guest speaker like an author or sports figure. Customers will likely remember your helpfulness when we come out the other side and your brand will be stronger for it.

Pro Tip is a special feature for marketers in our community to share a specific tactic others can use to elevate their performance. You can submit your own here.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Meg O’Leary has more than a decade of marketing and communications experience both on the corporate and agency sides. Prior to joining Cybereason, she was chief marketing officer at Capsule8. Meg also co-founded InkHouse Marketing+Media one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country. During her career, O’Leary has held senior-level marketing positions at Charles River Ventures, Novera Software (now IBM) and RSA Security. In 2014, she was named one of the “Top Women in PR” by PR News for her work as co-founder and principal of InkHouse. InkHouse was named “Agency of the Year” three years in a row by both Bulldog Reporter and PR News. During Meg’s leadership, the agency was recognized multiple times by the Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal as one of the top places to work in Massachusetts.

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