Australia has been hit hard in 2020 with devastating bushfires and now the Coronavirus outbreak.

With events cancelled and travel on hold, you may be scrambling to navigate through lockdowns and community fear.

But there is a secret weapon.


You now have control.

Now is the time to take a good hard look at your business and marketing.

As much as corona virus has invaded our lives (and social media feeds), this is a time to focus on what you can control – which is how to be more strategic in your business and work out what marketing opportunities there are.

And there are plenty.

My advice: If you are a smart business, you would market during a crisis (respectfully, of course).

Here are a few reasons why:

  • When your competitors cut back on their ad spend or not promoting themselves, this gives you time and space to re-position your brand or introduce a new product.
  • You are showing your audience you are stable in a challenging time.
  • Less competition on Social Media Advertising, which is great for awareness campaigns.
  • With less competition, you gain ‘share of mind’ with your audience, which potentially leads to future-proofing your sales.

One example is Amazon.

During the 2009 American Great Recession, Amazon’s sales grew by 28% due to advertising their new Kindle products and positioned themselves as a cheaper alternative to hard copy books for money conscious customers.

Same old, same old doesn’t get you far. Now is the time to market your business, so when people feel confident to spend, your business is the one they go to first.

Firstly, take a look at your business.

I get it.

It’s hard.

But if an Italian town can still create a community musical harmony when they’re isolated during a corona virus lockdown, then you have time to stop and think about where your business is heading.

The questions I’d be answering are as follows:

1. What are my goals and objectives for my business?

If the corona virus has thrown a spanner in your plans, then what options do you have available?

What strategic alternative have you uncovered?

Some great ways on how to discover strategic alternatives include:

Ansoff’s Matrix: Matching Products/Services with Target Markets (great for small to medium businesses)

Innovation Matrix: Enabling you to see what types of products/services need to be developed and the what types of markets you can create or grow into (great for small to medium businesses)

Portfolio Matrix: Looks at the growth potential of a product/service and how much marketing/R&D budget needs to be allocated (great for larger businesses with their own business units)

General Electric Matrix: Looks at marketing attractiveness compared to how well position you are to take advantage of market opportunities.

What are these you may ask? For more information on how to apply these strategic alternatives, join the FREE Digital and Social Media Strategy with @marinag Facebook Group.

2. Does my website need updating?

We’ve been advised to stay home rather than venture out. So, think about how your audience will be occupying themselves?

Watching Netflix, Foxtel, Disney or Stan of course (mostly).

But while watching shows, it is known people surf the internet and social media (the beautiful art of multi-tasking).

Is your website something to be proud of?

Now is the time to take a look at your site to see if it is in line with audience expectations and Google’s expectations.

Your website is your virtual online store. They may not be calling up or coming through the physical door, but you can still give them a great excuse to stay with you online for a while.

Secondly, take a look at your marketing.

Once you feel your business products and services are exactly what you want, we then turn to marketing.

You can have the best product, however, if you don’t speak the language of your target audience, then there will be communication confusion (and no sales!)

Travel industry – get ready.

I’ll use the travel industry for my example, since it’s one of the industries suffering from the Coronavirus.

Over the last few days, there have been many travel agents panicking (understandably).

Now is the time to plan and create measures to ensure your business survives this crisis.

Yes, people are not booking holidays and are fearing to venture outside. However, brainstorming ideas and turning them into a here-and-now strategy will show your audience, the many ways travel agents can still communicate in the short term!

Assess and see how you can behave differently on your social media pages.

Below are possible options travel agents can implement online now:

  • Have a WATCH PARTY on your Facebook Page or in your Private Group. Talk about the ideal itinerary and showcasing pictures, ideal sites to see and give insider tips on how to create an awesome holiday down the track.
  • If people aren’t flying and prefer to stay away from crowds, people who are well (and need fresh air) may have the ability to visit local areas, which are more secluded by nature. Visit rural towns. Or better yet, partner up with towns affected by the bushfires to create an irresistible weekend travel package to buy now and use later.
  • Create incentives – ie: promote gift vouchers that can be bought now and used within a year.
  • Email your database (you do have a database…. don’t you?) tips and tricks so they remember to book travel through you once this is under control (because you remain calm under pressure… that is your superpower…)
  • Share virtual tours of art galleries, monuments and other items people can’t visit at the moment. Create an online buzz.  Here’s an example of viewing Vatican City Art Catalog.

Visit Vatican City Online

If you are showcasing links, don’t dump and run.

Show your worth.

Especially since your posts are slotted in-between Coronavirus information and memes, your message needs to stand out more than ever.

For the Vatican City catalogue example:

Really Bad: [No post information, just a link]

Bad: Here is a catalogue of all the paintings and pottery in the Vatican City [add link]

No. No. No.

Entice Me.

Woo me.

Make me feel I am worth your time and energy.

Good: Pour some red Sangiovese wine, cut a slice of parmesan cheese and take a journey through the archives of the Vatican City in the comfort of your home. View the beauty and magnificence of what you will be able to physically experience when Italy opens its borders again [add link]

Believe me, once this crisis is over, people will be falling over themselves to travel. It will start within Australia and New Zealand and eventually span out.

Now is a great time to re-evaluate what you offer to your audience.

A great time to re-invent the way you conduct business.

And remember.

People buy from people.

So this is a perfect time to show your awesomeness.