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Last week the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic and since the global situation is evolving pretty much by the hour. Exactly how should marketers behave during such an unprecedented time?

In the same vein as the panic buying and hoarding that continues to go on, I see some of my fellow marketers and business owners resort to some frenzied and frankly questionable tactics.

When it comes to promoting our businesses, it’s essential that we elevate yourself above the chaos and begin responding in a thoughtful and ethical manner.

Most of us have a sixth sense for businesses that are exploitative of people who may have lost or are on the verge of losing belief in survival of their business or future.

The vast majority I know in business and work with possess a strong moral compass. Unfortunately there are also plenty of charlatans who do the rest of us a great disservice. One example in particular is the area of life and business coaching. Unfortunately for each trustworthy coach that is out there doing great work for their clients, there are several that come across as superficial and, frankly, opportunistic.

But unfortunately the coaching sector is not the only example. I’ve seen plenty of very questionable practices over the past week in particular.

This is exactly why the certain sectors as well as the marketing profession gets a bad rap.

It’s time to stop the frenzy.

It’s time to stop reacting and start responding.

Think Ethically

This is the time to think proactively, strategically and above all ethically. Only then, can we take an elevated view of our clients’ and our own situations and respond rather than react.

Responding vs Reacting

Remember that, even during difficult times, there’s always a solution. As marketers and business owners it is our job to unearth that solution. For ourselves as well as our clients.

It’s absolutely possible to do this and serve your business in a way that allows you to go to bed each night with a clear conscience.

If you help your clients out during the tough times, people remember and will repay you with their loyalty when times are better.

Make Time to Think

Make the best of the change in pace. Whether you’re in self isolation or experiencing a quieter time in your business due to the COVID-19 crisis, this is a great time to find a comfortable space to think and write down what comes to mind.

Some questions to ponder:

  1. How can I deliver real rather than band aid solutions during this time
  2. How can I create maximum value for my clients
  3. What are 2 or 3 ways in which I can grow my business ethically during this time
  4. What does my client really want?

Shift Focus

Now is the time to shift your focus to outcomes. Businesses and consumers will be keeping their hands on the purse strings. No doubt. But here’s the thing, they will still want certain outcomes, particularly growth (personal or business).

If you take time to think deeply and strategically you will find solutions. Maybe that solution is that you need to (temporarily) change direction or rethink your product or service. The thing is that, without making time to think, you will merely be reacting.

Always be guided by how much value you can create for your clients. Make them feel understood and people will be compelled to work with you.

Long Term Suffering or Temporary Pain?

Don’t you wish we had a crystal ball and could predict what is going to happen over the forthcoming weeks and months? Now more so than ever. One week ago seems like ancient history. This is the most uncertain global economic time that I have experienced. A time that rivals the GFC in terms of its severity.

There is and will be suffering for businesses small and large. But this time will pass. How we respond today will absolutely help us mitigate some of the suffering and has the potential to turn long term hardship into short term pain.

Take Action

It’s time to stop gawking at the chaos, wash our hands and get back to work.

We must all transform ourselves into results-orientated leaders. How can you help the right people (current clients and qualified companies that you’re already engaging with) today? Be on the mission and crusade with them.

Tough times don’t last. There are actions you can take today that will multiply many times over when the market recovers.


Wendy Coombes

Written by Wendy Coombes

I help small business and independent professionals get started with digital marketing and marketing automation, so they can attract and close more of their ideal customers.