Before we move on to more significant business issues and challenges, let’s start with the basics. 

People often can’t differentiate between products, offers, and ads, using these terms interchangeably when they are very different concepts. 

So, first, we understand what these terms mean, and what exactly a business is. 

Clarifying Important Concepts

Business

I’m not a business expert, but my elementary knowledge informs me that it is simply the process of profit generation. 

We spend money on it (costs) and then make money out of it (earnings). The difference between costs and earnings is profit.

The more profit it can generate, the “better” your business is.

Organization and processes are the most critical aspects of a business. It won’t be complicated to switch to food delivery if you already have a restaurant, but it will take much effort to organize it from scratch. 

Interestingly enough, businesses can change their products or services, or offer many of them at a time, and still be profitable.

Product

I am not an expert in creating and launching new products (I’ll let you know my expertise in a bit!)

Product for me is something that people willingly pay for. 

If you receive money not necessarily for a product but for the fact that you have it in stock, deliver it in time, and it has a good quality, then your service and your reputation are a part of your product.

Offer

Guess what? I’m not an expert in offer creation either, but I have some experience in creating attractive offers, so I know how these things work. 

Offer is the way we package and present our product to a specific customer segment. Don’t mix up offers and positioning. Your offer highlights your product’s best features that make an impression. 

Here’s a simple example: you sell laser tag as an adventure for children. It’s packaged as an active children’s pastime where parents don’t have to participate in play to ensure that the kids have a good time. Do you feel the difference? 

Your offer is only useful if it manages to pique the interests and needs of the segment you want to sell it to. The characteristics of the product itself are secondary. 

At the same time, it is essential to understand that if you’re trying to present your product in different ways and nobody wants to buy it, you need to change your product.

Ads

Finally, we come to my expertise. Advertisement is the way of delivering our offer to the relevant audience. The logic is pretty simple:

  • If we deliver an irrelevant offer, ads won’t be effective
  • If people don’t need the product we promote, ads won’t be effective
  • If our costs are significantly higher than the earning, our business will die no matter how good our ads are.

That’s why we need to think about our business, product, and offer together as a whole. However, advertisement is the last thing we need to pay attention to. 

Read this article to find more information and tips about digital marketing trends of 2020.

Helping Your Business Deal With A Changing World

New Rules And Regulations

Some businesses have to stop their entire operations due to government requirements such as self-isolation and social distancing. 

While other organizations have had to alter the way they work and change processes to adapt to the times, for example, implementing work from home directives for the staff. 

You’ll need to figure it out, or you could ask professional associations to help. Don’t forget to ask for tax and rent exemptions in case you need to stop your business for a while.

Consumer Behavior

The economic uncertainty and challenges brought on by the pandemic have also had a significant impact on the buyers. Here’s how consumer behavior has changed in the wake of COVID-19.

Isolation

People now prefer to stay at home instead of going out and traveling.

However, this has given rise to the need for home-based entertainment, i.e., something to do to fight boredom. The Internet gives them a chance to stay tuned during the forced isolation.

People are turning to news, streaming services, social networks, online games, and of course, online education. The demand for content and services for remote work is increasing exponentially. 

I won’t be surprised if the demand for microphones and web cameras rises as well. 

The demand for food delivery services and fast-moving consumer goods also rises as well as for sports equipment, hobbies, and other stuff that people need during coronavirus crisis.

Health And Cleanliness

Here I don’t just mean using face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers. People are worried about their wellbeing, and doing everything in their power to disinfect and sanitize their environment.

In fact, antibacterial soap was the first thing I purchased for myself at the beginning of the pandemic.

So everyone’s paying more attention to their health and immunity. It’s not a secret that a healthy person has more chances to fight COVID-19 effectively. Thus, isolation plus infection concerns will result in increased demand for cleaning and housekeeping 

Worries About Future

It’s not a secret that people worry about the future and prepare themselves for adverse scenarios. It’s only natural because the future already looks bleak for many people – some of them have already lost their jobs or faced income losses. 

This has led to reduced spending on the luxuries of life, as the majority is buying only the necessities – so no more large and expensive purchases.

At the same time, spending on things like souvenirs and gifts has also reduced considerably. But the demand for goods and services that increase autonomy rises. 

How To Respond To These Developments

You should keep in mind that the majority of these changes are temporary. 

Once science and medicine beat the virus, everything will return to normal again, and the impact of COVID-19 will be minimized. The only question is, when will it happen.

Business

Some businesses can’t operate amidst coronavirus pandemic and the resulting quarantine – these include cafes and restaurants, offline activities, tourism, etc. In this case, you have three possible options:

  • Take a break – this option is affordable if you can avoid paying rent and taxes legally
  • Put up with the loss of money 
  • Close your business

Product

If the demand for your product is falling due to the current circumstances, look for ways to alter the product so it can adapt it to the current situation. The other option is to come up with a more relevant product and launch it quickly. For example:

  • People stopped going to the cinema, so some premieres were moved to online cinemas and streaming platforms
  • Supermarkets urgently developed contactless delivery services
  • Taxi services started to offer the delivery of packages and products.

Offer

Take a closer look at your offers, creatives, and the whole communication and answer the following questions:

  • Are they relevant now?
  • Do they take into consideration the changes in people’s behavior? 

Answer these questions to guide your future developments. 

Ads

Now is the time to rethink your advertising campaigns: your product and target audience might have changed. You will want to alter your offers, creatives, etc. to ensure that you continue to make an impact on the target audience.

If you’re lucky to be in a business that faces a surge in orders during the pandemic, the best marketing strategy would be to turn all the direct ads off in case you barely manage all the orders. However, I suggest you continue running campaigns that support the company’s image. 

For example, you can use ads to tell customers that you care about them and your employees, take this situation seriously and support your people during this challenging period. If you understand that the demand for your product or service will continue to grow after the pandemic, I would suggest investing a lot in your advertising campaigns.

But at the same time, you’ll have to dedicate resources to business scaling and slow down only when you can’t cope with all the orders.

If you decided to pause your business, you need to discontinue all the ads too. Don’t disable your website; use it to deliver the message that you’re currently out of business and will get back as soon as possible.

If you saw a significant sales decline, it’s time to change your product and pay more attention to advertising. The launch of a new product without the support of digital advertising can be tough; people are overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive every day, and you need to break through the noise.

If you feel that you can repackage your product, adapt it to current conditions, it doesn’t mean that you need to stop your awareness campaigns: they can help you to deliver your message to your target audience. People spend most of their time on social media, so use YouTube Ads and paid social ads to reach the right audience and introduce them to your brand.