As you may have experienced during recent weeks, many companies are reaching out out to clients and customers outlining their plan to address the current and pending situation with regards to dealing with the impacts of coronavirus. As such, we are doing the same.
It goes without saying that we are all in this together and we must endeavour to look after those most by taking extra precautionary measures to significantly reduce the spread of the virus.
Fundamentally, this post is to inform you that business at novi.digital will be continuing as normal. During recent years we have had in place a remote working policy to accommodate our flexible working arrangements for our team. This is something that we are trialling out with a full work-from-home day for all employees during this next week. We have already conducted a full audit of all working environments and each of our team already work from home up to 4-days per month at present, so for us, this isn’t a change from the norm.
We will be available as normal with calls being conducted predominantly via Zoom video conferencing and emails unless otherwise arranged. We aim to do everything we can for our employees, our clients and the wider network that we are a part of. Should you have any questions, please do reach out to your point of contact within our team for guidance, we are happy to help assist in any way we can.
The impact of coronavirus is certainly wide-spread and far-reaching, we are already seeing this in the physical stores and the high street. During recent weeks, there has been a radical shift in consumer purchasing trends. We will all have seen the empty shelves and the nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer. With this said, as yet, there’s been a very little negative impact on digital, if any. In fact, due to an increase in working from home and self-isolation, we are seeing an upward trend in purchasing of products and services online.
In businesses and organisations, with events, client meetings, training sessions and essentially anything face-to-face / on-site being postponed, we are seeing an upward trend in B2B enquiries. This is likely due to having an increase in available time to work on sourcing new suppliers. As well as this, we are seeing a substantial increase in B2C demand with regards to online product purchasing.
Uncertain times such as these can be difficult and challenging for businesses, but they can also be an opportunity to help others and this how we see it. Whether this is helping others in your community, or helping businesses, this is a time for us to unify our efforts.
Some companies, such as those in travel and hospitality sector are changing their policies, notable examples include AirBnB who are offering free cancellations, whereas Treatwell is reducing their cancellation policy from 24 hours to 1 hour and offering full refunds. In the food industry, both supermarkets and takeout delivery applications are offering contactless food drops.
Consider how you can help others and make it widely known, but be considerate with your messaging. This is fundamentally a global pandemic that is causing substantial illness and loss of life, it is not an opportunity to capitalise on money-making. With this said, it is important to have a business continuity plan and ensure that you weather the storm.
Forrester has released this playbook: https://go.forrester.com/blogs/responding-to-coronavirus-playbook-for-marketing-communications/, whilst this is primarily for larger businesses, there are some key takeaways.
Additionally, here is an interesting article discussing timing and message, which is well worth a read: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/how-to-survive-a-brand-quarantine-during-coronavirus/.
As stated above, it is crucial that you focus on your customer service. It is your customer experience during these challenging times defines your business.
As the MerchantSavvy article above shows, these are normally The Biggest Challenges for SMEs In The UK:
During this time, these priorities may to be realigned. Instead, you could focus on:
Whilst pausing of brand messaging might be key, pausing of ads for inbound marketing, as your key revenue source, could hinder your cash-flow and isn’t advisable. If your campaigns are continuing to run profitably, as they should be, then there is no reason for pausing such campaigns. It is likely that some sectors will see an increase in sales and enquiries during this time. If you work in a sector that is seeing increased demand then we are happy to work with you to ensure you are best placed to benefit from this demand in order to best serve your customer base.
As a side note, I’ve personally cleared my calendar of everything non-essential for the next month so that I can offer my time to help support business continuity for our clients. I’m happy to offer free consultation via video calls or phone calls to discuss any concerns, questions, ideas or otherwise to help your business during this time. It’s crucial that we are all doing everything we can to ensure support is given to individuals and businesses.