An unproven playbook for how to founders and marketers should approach growth when the sky is falling.
📉 DOW drops 1,400 points.
✋ SXSW, Facebook F8, Google I/O: All these conferences are canceled.
🏀 NBA cancels games.
Covid-19 is having a ripple effect that I’ve never seen.
We will recover, I think? We recovered from the Spanish Swine Flu and SARS . . . but they had a massive impact.
Because this is new to me, I’m left to write my own playbook on how to grow my clients and my own business.
So, What About My Business?
Historically, with corrections and recessions, the companies that are cash strapped and living month-to-month are the ones that suffer.
They are exposed and forced to restructure or, worse, shut down.
But, if you have good margins and strong cash reserves then you can come out of this even stronger with a bigger market share or with innovative ventures.
Some companies that emerged from recessions:
- Domino’s Pizza
All were companies that were byproducts of a recession.
At my Growth Marketing Agency, I’m somewhat cautious right now to not bet big on moonshots but focus on growing the core business. I’m gearing my team and my balance sheet to be ready for anything. And that could mean snagging some amazing talent in the downturn.
Some of our startup clients are fundraising and I am not sure if they will close their rounds on time. We’re looking to dig in more with our partners to structure a plan during this potential downturn.
On the flip side, the recession could help shine the light on the value of some of our client’s products. With clients in the personal finance space or related to the gig economy, this could catapult them to the next level.
What Should I do With My Marketing Team?
We’re thinking through potential opportunities that might emerge from this slowdown. That means brainstorming scenarios to map out possible opportunities that could reveal themselves for our clients and our agency.
QUICK QUESTION: How can we learn from history so we don’t repeat those mistakes? I’m also sourcing books around recessions/downturns and the companies that emerged from them. Please send suggestions. Here is one book for you. And here is a great article from Paul Graham about Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy.
How Do You Map Out Scenarios?
We’re going through the bull and bear scenarios and what the means to our market, our clients, our business and our balance sheet. What is the domino effect (good and bad) as things shift? How can we play offense and position ourselves to come out of this even better?
That means thinking about:
- Where are ad dollars not going to be spent?
- How does this change the user persona and your value proposition?
- Based on your customer data, how can you find opportunities to help them in this climate? (EX: How have their priorities changed?)
- Where are people’s money and time-shifting? (EX: Travel vs. investments, events vs. online entertainment, etc.)
- What trends will emerge or grow from this? (EX: Virtual work, gig economy, online delivery, etc.)