With several states’ announcements that they are closing restaurants, gyms and any group of 50 or more, it’s clear we need to be smart, stay vigilant and protect each other throughout this situation. The reality is now that this pandemic is affecting every part of our economy. It’s time we all take a look at how we are running our businesses and specifically what we should be doing to stay safe and to keep as many people employed as possible. This is unprecedented in our lifetimes but there are many things we can do to help our friends and families make it through this spring as best as possible. Adapting to this time from a business perspective is just one way we can.
But first off, to those suffering through this, our hearts and prayers go out to you. Real people are being affected, real people are losing their jobs, and real people will be finding things quite difficult in the weeks to come. We are seeing more individuals impacted directly as this disease spreads and we all need to be diligent in doing our part to help as much as we’re able.
One way to help: Be intentional with where you get your news. Panic can spread when all your information is coming from the mainstream news. The CDC has a great guide that is well-reasoned and outlines what you should be doing and what you should be concerned about. Check that out here – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. They keep it updated quite often. Oh, and just like your momma always said: wash your hands, stay home if you are sick and cough into your elbow.
We are doing what we can at JEBCommerce to limit the spread amongst ourselves and in our communities. One of the things we can help you with is protecting your revenue streams and keeping people employed.
With any tumultuous time, there is a chance of an economic downturn that may impact the economy as a whole or have significant negative impacts on certain sectors. Travel is having a difficult time right now, especially cruises, as can be expected. These downturns can be financially difficult for any business, but if you prepare and adapt, they don’t have to be catastrophic. We are talking about jobs here and doing everything we’re able to ensure our company and our clients weather any potential storm.
Our leadership team has been meeting about what specifically can be done during these times. Here are a few ideas you can implement and use to ensure you are best situated to survive and thrive not only in the current situation but any economically unsure times.
This sector is hit the hardest and will continue to be hit hard, especially with the President’s decision to restrict travel from Europe recently (3/11/2020). There are a few strategies that are specific to this vertical that you can employ:
- Focus your advertising on packages and destinations not impacted by the current situation. Domestic travel to domestic customers for example.
- If you have small group destinations, packages, or services, then focus on those.
- Highlight opportunities 6 months out with specials if they book now
- Include full money back refunds to entice purchases with security
Move Budgetary Spend to High-ROAS Campaigns Only
Now is the time to focus your budget on the highest ROAS possible. You may not want to be testing new things and move budget from test campaigns and low producing ones to the higher performers, or stop spending on low ROAS campaigns entirely.
Shift more budget towards campaigns you pay for after the sale. Each digital channel operates in different ways. Some are traditional advertising models – you create a campaign, pay for it, and then watch the results come in. When times are unsure and markets unclear about the future, shifting budget to campaigns where you accrue or incur the cost after the action happens will ensure your spend is better protected and your strategy more conservative and more likely to only increase as sales increase. This is most often the case in Affiliate Marketing.
Invest in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is great in times like this. We recommend shifting budget to a channel where costs are incurred only when a sale is made. You can shift your cash flow as well – you get invoiced and have terms on your network and affiliate fees. Affiliates also have the ability to rapidly change their marketing, and your results, more quickly to a wider audience. And you get thousands of affiliates testing and reacting to the changing ecosystem that you then can learn from and leverage across your organization and digital marketing.
Budget Adjustments Within Channels
Each of your digital channels most likely has multiple campaigns and/or partners. You need to evaluate the performance of each to find opportunities to shift from lower performing partners and campaigns to higher performing ones. In the affiliate channel, you have the opportunity to spend more with the high performers, a strategy I recommend all the time and in almost every circumstance.
We are seeing some of our clients’ supply chains impacted negatively. Because of that we recommend that you keep a very close eye on your product inventory levels. Make sure your advertising, SEM, content development, influencer programs, affiliate creative, and text links all are showcasing products that are in stock. This can be a huge problem very quickly if you are not watching constantly.
Highlight Shipping Time/Focus on Reducing Shipping Time
This event can lead to a large jump in ecommerce adoption. Be sure that you are sharing your shipping options with customers and think about offering more ways (think cost and speed) to get your products to them.
American Made Products
Right or wrong, people are looking for products that haven’t traveled from heavily impacted areas. Highlight those products that are made domestically to allow consumers to make that choice more easily.
Source Manufacturing Domestically
As the supply chain continues to be squeezed, you may benefit from finding producers to make your products right here in the states so you can ensure adequate inventory levels.
Pick Up in Store
Now is the time to really highlight, focus on, and advertise in-store pick up if you have that option. Consumers will still drive, but they will prefer spending as little time as possible with a large group of people.
New Businesses Need Help
If your business hasn’t been tested through one of the previous recessions or economic bear markets, you are going to need help. You can make it, keep your staff employed, and even grow during these times, but we highly recommend using agencies and vendors to compliment your team. They can add much needed expertise to help you avoid mistakes and take advantage of every opportunity you have.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Optimization of everything you are doing is paramount during these times and none can be more impactful than your conversion rate. Improving your conversion rate just a small percentage can have a dramatic effect on all your advertising and marketing initiatives. JEBCommerce launched a Conversion Rate Optimization service in 2019 and already our clients are seeing upwards of 300% lift in conversion rate on desktop and mobile. If that’s something you could use help with, schedule a 15-minute CRO audit.
Tough times test the strongest individuals and organizations. But the strongest, most innovative, flexible, and successful organizations use these times to finely tune their businesses. The above are just some ideas of how you can position your organization for success in today’s climate. If you’d like help making sure you are best positioned for success, schedule a 15-minute conversation with our highly experienced team.
While we haven’t seen anything quite like this in my lifetime, we have been through difficult times before. We put this information together with the hope it helps you create a strategy to thrive and to demonstrate our continued commitment to partnership and mutual success. Together we will succeed.
What are you doing that isn’t on our list?