The world is a scary place right now. We’re facing unprecedented challenges, unknowable variables, and unending requests to change the only paradigms we’ve known for our entire lives. Back in 2009, when the swine flu hit during an already difficult recession, we felt the impact that disease can have on the every aspect of our life, whether we actually get sick or not.
As the COVID-19 pandemic cuts a swath through our nation and the world, many of us are thinking about what happens next. Schools are closed for the year, cities are on 24 hour curfews, and workers are being laid off as businesses brace for the economic impact of social distancing.
So much has changed in the last week. So much is going to continue changing. At the end of the day, though, life must carry on. We can mourn and weep and wonder, but we must do so while looking for solutions.
This is particularly true for business owners. Many already live on razor-thin profits with little ability to prepare for or recover from what could be months-long closures. After all, 82% of business closures happen because their cash flow isn’t enough to keep them afloat.
One of the positives that has come from all of this rapid and sudden adaptation, though, is the realization that digital can do wonders when it comes to building a new at-home economy. Now, companies and entire industries that have been dragging their feet into the digital age are reallocating resources and ramping up their marketing efforts to stay ahead of the foreseen recession curve. It’s do or die, and the doers need to make it snappy.
The New At-Home Economy is Booming
Scroll through your Facebook feed, and soon enough, you’ll realize that now is not the time to stick to your guns when it comes to keeping up your traditional marketing strategies. Already, industries from food service to movie production are flipping the script to meet the new demand for at-home availability of goods and services.
While the idea isn’t a new one, as evidenced by the success of companies like Netflix, GrubHub, and curbside grocery pickup, it is one that we’re going to see booming as the quarantine continues.
A few of the biggest winners in this game are going to be work-from-home software companies, like Slack and Zoom, along with food delivery services. Entertainment is going to quickly nose their way into the at-home-economy race, with Universal Studios taking an early lead. They recently made the very smart choice to make their new releases available through online platforms, allowing folks to “go to the movies” without worrying about catching Corona.
But, there are less obvious contenders that may not even realize yet the power they have to go digital.
Service industries are going to have to flip the switch on how exactly they’re offering their services. Even in a crisis, people still want their creature comforts. The beauty industry has a huge chance to boom by offering mobile services for hair cuts, manicures, and eyelash application. As people are forced to avoid gyms, one-on-one personal trainers could make a killing offering sessions through Zoom. We may even see the renaissance of the personal assistant, as parents who aren’t used to working from home and wrangling the kids search for solutions when it comes to running errands, paying bills, and shopping for necessities.
With these emerging changes in the ways that consumers are seeking these kinds of services– from the comfort of their makeshift home office– it’s up to the industry to meet those demands in kind. The only real solution moving forward is working in the digital sphere.
Digital in Demand
In the coming months, don’t be surprised to see more and more companies adopt a distinctly more digital tact when it comes to offering their services. With work from home, many people aren’t losing their income in the wake of COVID, but they are looking for ways to make this situation feel less like an extrovert’s worse nightmare and more like everyday, normal living.
While we can’t be certain, our prediction is that the quarantine is going to last at least a couple of months. Even after the dust settles, the world is going to look a lot different than it did before December 31, when China began treating “pneumonia of an unknown cause.” It’s the dawn of a new era in the way that the world does business.
If that notion scares you because you’re used to the traditional ways of buying, selling, and marketing, we can help you turn that fear into action.
Monitor and Adjust: Tips for Taking Action
Max Rymer, President of NATIV3, recently sent out an email outlining his tips for staying on top of your game and making the shift to digital:
- Offering digital coursework as a revenue source. Nativ3 is a Teachable partner and we help market courses for clients. Scaling and getting people to learn best practices from your company can help supplement lost revenue.
- Become a content creator. Keep your clients close digitally. There’s an incredible Financial Times article I share frequently from 2018 called “We’re all content creators now”. Its premise has never been more true than it is today. If you are unable to meet clients, perform jobs, or travel, developing a good content calendar is critical. During times when clients can’t meet you face to face, providing free value online is a great way to make sure they stay engaged with you. Facebook, Instagram, email automation, and – in some cases – digital ads can be a great way to do this.
- Digitize your consultation. Nativ3 has built applications that allow for video chatting, instant messaging, and more 1-to-1 communication between our clients and their customers. Make sure you have a contingency plan to still monetize your consultation with clients: Zoom, Slack, or a project management software like Basecamp can help maintain communication and client relationships.
- Finally: make sure you’re not a one-trick pony. We do digital marketing at Nativ3. In a world that may be a bit more isolated, ensure you’re getting appropriate eyeballs to your name and brand. Meeting people where they are might mean meeting them on Facebook or a preferred social media platform. Presence is important. Pick 1-2 platforms you’re not active on currently for your business and commit to them regularly. Advertising and/or GROUPS can be a great way to reach new customers, even if they’re unwilling to grab a cup of coffee during these interesting times. A great simple way to create compelling graphic-based content can start with creating a Canva account.
In the words of Semisonic, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
From all of us at NATIV3, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home.