CMOs on coronavirus: 250 marketing leaders on what to do now

By John Koetsier April 13, 2020

Support. Communicate. Be sensitive.

Don’t stand still. Try new tactics. Offer something special.

And above all, don’t try to profit from a crisis.


Marketers at every company on the planet are wondering what to do in the coronavirus era. Over a million people have fallen ill with COVID-19, hundreds of thousands if not millions are at risk of dying, and cancel everything is the mantra of the day. Social distancing is required for protecting lives—but not everyone can work remotely, and the economy has lost millions of jobs, with the looming potential of millions more.

Those jobs support families. They pay for health care. They support lives. And marketers keep the wheels of commerce turning that fuel that engine. While there is some good news, marketers worry. A down economy seems imminent, and that makes growth hard.

So I asked about 250 marketers for their top three tips for customer acquisition and growth in our current challenging situation. Here’s what they said.

Marketing after coronavirus: don’t stop

Not one marketer said “shut down.” No one said “give up.” Everyone said that now was the time to act with courage. And every marketer insisted that the proper response—with sensitivity—was to find a way to connect and help, and prepare for the future.

What many of them did suggest is that first, marketers double down on empathy to the community and service to their customers.

“A pandemic is not the time to sell, it’s a time to serve,” says Sara Vami, CMO at cloud communications platform giant Twilio. “Make sure your organization is providing tools and information that are of value in the moment.”

And, while you’re doing that, now is also not the time to think small. On the contrary, it’s the time to expand the possible.

“Creative, bold ideas … enable marketers to find success despite economic burdens,” says former Apple CEO John Sculley, now chairman of the board and CMO at medical company RxAdvance. “Marketing professionals should continue to explore gaps where they can reach … audiences and acquire new customers.”

4 major themes: More, New, Keep, Build

Because I asked marketers an open-ended question, I had to draw patterns and lessons out of unstructured data in over 250 responses. (Deja vu, marketers?)

Four themes dominated, but one was central: don’t stop, but do adjust.

That means more digital commerce, says Tom Murray, CMO of the world’s largest bedding provider, Tempur Sealy. More of a focus on research and science, hygiene and safety … and knowing where people are.

“People will continue to spend more time at home—on TV, on their phones, and on news and social media channels,” Murray says. “As a result, in-person and live events will be different. So, just as what marketers say now is increasingly important, so too will be where we say it in order to best reach consumers.”

It’s important to be clear: it is not being insensitive to the unfolding tragedy around us to keep working and continue marketing. We don’t have to completely stop everything and absolutely give in to the crisis to show respect for those most impacted in terms of lives and livelihoods.

Quite the opposite.

It’s actually a productive response that, done correctly, can help pull all of us out of the economic crisis that is following the health crisis.

“For so many people, life has become so unexpectedly hectic and frightening,” says Jaime Punishill, CMO at Lionbridge. “It’s important right now that businesses keep going. Marketers are on the front line of the economy. It takes sales to pay vendors and employees, revenue to keep a business running.”

We do have to stay respectful. We do have to find ways to help, especially those who are on the true front lines: doctors, nurses, and other health care practitioners. But keeping the lights on is an important way to help everyone who depends on the economy for survival. Revenue to keep a business running is rent money and food on the table for employees.

And that’s what pretty much all of us need.

73% of marketers suggest doing more marketing

Whether it’s doubling down on advertising or doubling down on content marketing, most marketers think that now is the time to work harder, not take a break. We might be in our home offices, but we’ll have to put our work boots on.

Almost a third, 28% of marketers, said they would double down on advertising. Many, like Bob Benz, president at Advanced Telecom Services, argued that ads are cheaper now. Advertising, he says, is literally a better deal today:

“It’s counterintuitive to purchase stocks when the market is tanking, but all the experts will tell you it’s the best time to do so,” Benz says. “It’s the same with advertising. Today, Facebook and Google advertising is 20% cheaper than it was pre-coronavirus and internet use is at an all-time high. Take advantage of it! You may never have this opportunity again.”

About one in five said that now is a good time to increase your content marketing, realizing that while closing new business might be harder now, customer acquisition starts long before someone enters credit card details or signs a contract.

“Focus on current content that builds relationships with those who can develop into future customers,” says Chelsea Carlyle, a social media marketing consultant. “Now, more than ever, content is king. While someone may not be able to convert [everyone] to a client/customer because of the economy right now, you have an excellent opportunity to put helpful content in front of them that puts you top of mind in the future.”

Others pointed out that marketers need to make hay while the sun isn’t shining.

“As many businesses quiet down during challenging times, this is a critical time to push ahead and stand out,” says Anna McNaught, an entrepreneur and Instagram strategist. “It’s a chance to create innovative content, inspire potential customers, and become a leader in your industry.”

About 15% of marketing leaders suggested focusing on organic growth over paid marketing tactics, and 12% were planning to focus on social media.

64% of marketers suggest adjusting your offers, strategies, and tactics

A majority of marketing leaders also plan to adjust their marketing strategies and tactics. In other words, they’re not just doubling down on what they’ve always done: they’re changing because the world changed.

“Right now we’re not just facing a down economy, we’re facing a shift on how people become familiar with, purchase, and receive products and services,” says Ian Kelly, VP of Operations at NuLeaf Naturals.

How companies react to our new and evolving normal is critical.

“It’s not the biggest or strongest that survive, but those that adapt best,” says Vanesa Levin, CMO at HCH Management. “Similarly, in order to survive and grow during a down economy, companies must be able to adapt and stay relevant.”

That means that marketers need to craft creative strategies, Levin adds. That means shifting your value proposition and adapting to the times. And it’s not just about lipstick on the pig. It’s not only about marketing. Your product may need to adapt too.

“Give them a quick-start solution,” suggests Tammy Jackson, CMO at Sonic Foundry. “Chances are your prospects are trying to solve challenges they’ve never faced before, and they’re trying to do it quickly.”

While 43% of marketers are focusing on new strategies and updated product offerings, 21% are also going to the place that most marketers never want to: discounts.

“Offering discounts works,” says Morgan Taylor, CMO at LetMeBank. “Right now that is what your potential clients need, and what you can do to help them. Which in turn, will help you.”

Others suggest a free tier of service, a limited-time offer, or creative discounts that don’t cost your company too many missed dollars, but do have high perceived and actual value. Some of these options might be painful, at least right now. But they might be necessary to maintain, share, or grow.

“Make compromises in the short term to benefit in the long term,” says Greg Holtzman, a director at Brainbase.

54% of marketers favor focusing on retention and service

A dollar in your hand is worth two in the forest.

Maybe even five or ten dollars.

Keeping your existing customers is the first essential step to growing, as all software-as-a-service companies know. And keeping your existing users in already-paid-for cohorts is also critical to long term return on investment and return on ad spend, as all mobile app marketers know.

“One of the best survival tips that you can ever have is to take care of and keep in touch with your clients,” says Chad Hill, CMO at Hill & Ponton.

“Marketers should be throwing out their old playbooks filled with third-party data strategies and instead focusing on retaining and supporting current customers,” says Richard Jones, CMO at Cheetah Digital.

New customer acquisition is hard at the best of times. New user acquisition, in mobile apps, is expensive, and most of your new users leave within a few weeks. So an extra emphasis on treating your existing customers and users like royalty goes a long way to solidifying existing business.

A major bonus: you know how to contact them essentially for free.

“Double-down on re-selling to your past and current customers,” says Stacy Caprio, who leads marketing at Her.CEO. “People who have already purchased from you in the past, and know and trust you, are the most likely to respond to an exciting, special, or discounted new offer or product, and you can even use low-cost channels such as email, organic social, or low CPM re-marketing to target them and drive up sales.”

45% of marketers are building capability now for future benefit

Down time, if you have it, is a great time to invest in long-term priorities. Some of the urgencies that ring your phone or ding your Slack have tailed off. Now you might have some time to pore into projects that will help you immediately, but also pay dividends well into the future.

16% of marketers suggest focusing on improving marketing efficiency via attribution, optimization, and other means.

Others, about 15%, are spending time building systems, processes, and capability in their marketing teams that, they hope, will pay off after the crisis. And 14% are doubling down on digital transformation projects around the company to be better aligned to serve customers via mobile and web.

The goal here is to emerge from the coronavirus crisis lean, mean, and positioned to win.

“This is a time to laser-focus on your marketing attribution model,” says Aaron Branson, VP of Marketing at Netsurion. “Clear ROI is going to be demanded from each marketing program spend. Cut spend in the soft spots, double-down on the areas that are generating quality leads, not just quantity of leads.”

That’s good advice at any time. It’s vital counsel during a downturn. And when recovery hits, efficient marketers who extract the maximum ROI from their campaigns will be best positioned to reinvest in faster growth.

One of the reasons why it’s especially important now?

It’s an existential need.

“The bean counters are coming for you. In a recession, marketing is usually the first to get cut,” says Mike Terry, VP of marketing at Anvil. “Prove your value by sharing the measurable results of your marketing efforts and your marketing team.”

Proving your value is great. Finding the activities that are the most valuable is essential. Most critical of all is keeping a tight lid on user and customer acquisition costs, because you don’t have the same probability of ROI in a crisis that you did in a growth economy.

“Examine all your marketing spend and double down on those activities that are yielding the
lowest customer acquisition,” says Mary Ellen Dugan, CMO of hosting company WP Engine.

“Focus ruthlessly on acquisition costs,” says Carly Brantz, CMO of DigitalOcean. “Set limits around spend and your expectations around results so that as you see areas of growth, you have the ability to increase spend and if you don’t see growth you can pull back. Most importantly, don’t invest during this time in channels that don’t have a clear return on investment.”

The best of the rest: CMO’s coronavirus advice

There was simply too much input and too many great quotes to not include more good advice. Here’s a selection of the other quotes I received, organized into a few key categories.

Double down on empathy and service
Focus on organic growth
Adapt focus/strategy/tactics
Double down on quality advertising
Build now for future growth
Create new offers, discounts, price tiers
Improve marketing efficiency
Focus on retention
Don’t hijack a crisis
Stay calm … and engage in self-care for your team

Double down on empathy and service

Come at sales with a service mindset. Think in terms of what customers need now as opposed to what they historically needed from your company.

Wendy O’Donovan
CEO, Big Buzz Inc

Give back and invest in your customers’ success. This time is hard for everyone. So now more than ever it’s time to be empathetic and ensure that you are giving value to your customers. We’re taking time to give our customers our time—learning about their successes and struggles and seeing how we can help. Their feedback is key to how we’re thinking about our future products.

Tricia Gellman
CMO, Drift

Provide value. A pandemic is not the time to sell, it’s a time to serve. Make sure your organization is providing tools and information that are of value in the moment.

Sara Varni
CMO, Twilio

Acknowledge the situation. Show empathy. Don’t hop right into how great your product is.

Momchil Koychev
CMO, CodeGiant

Do good things. Tell people about them. In this time of crisis, look for areas where your company can help.

Jeffey Duran
CMO, GroupSense

Now is not the time to sell. Many execs are receiving a barrage of hard selling from companies desperate for cash. Everyone’s under the gun to streamline and tighten budgets. The last thing they need is you hounding them for a project.

John Pabon
Founder, Fulcrum Strategic Advisors

Keep building relationships and practicing empathy. During this uncertain time, it’s important for sellers and marketing teams to practice empathy. Things are not business-as-usual and it’s okay to acknowledge this in the conversations you’re having and the content you’re creating.

Russell Wurth
VP Sales Enablement, Showpad

Don’t pitch, listen. In a down market, if you have a sales call it’s a gift. Don’t squander it by giving your typical pitch. The situation is not typical so listen to the experience your client is having. At least you’ll know more about what they need.

Keren Moynihan
Co-founder, Boss Insights

Now isn’t the time to stop talking, it’s the time to adjust what we’re saying. It’s all about pivoting previous content strategies. What problems are your clients/customers facing and what information or services do you have to help?

Chelsea Carlyle
Social media marketing consultant

Enter the conversation going on in your prospect’s mind. Now is the time for extreme empathy. What are their dinner table conversations like right now? You can (and should) still promote your product, but you must first acknowledge and speak to their current situation.

Billy Bross
Founder, Linchpin Media

Focus on organic growth

A down economy is not the time to get complacent. We have to get aggressive and creative. Really work on asking for referrals and word of mouth, network, build out your online presence and work on increasing your search rank … things that generate leads with minimal capital investment. Being creative is what makes a business thrive regardless of economic trends.

Gabriel Bertolo
Radiant Elephant

Our current clients have been given the option to pause their monthly fee with us with the simple exchange of them putting us in touch with a potential new client, a referral. We have made five new contacts and have client proposals to arrange over the next two weeks.

Brett Downes
Studio Fifty-Four

Utilize email marketing. The companies I’m working with are seeing a big spike in email open rates, clicks, and sales during this coronavirus pandemic.

Billy Bross
Founder, Linchpin Media

Adapt focus/strategy/tactics

Plan marketing outreach on a week-by-week basis rather than a monthly or quarterly basis. This situation is changing quickly and customer sentiment on how they want to be approached is linked to how they feel.

Benish Shah
Chief Growth Officer, Loop & Tie

Don’t kill events. Rethink them. We’re planning invite-only events where people can learn and grow and really talk to each other. The key is to ensure these feel like a special event, not just another webinar.

Tricia Gellman
CMO, Drift

A bakery in my neighborhood retrofitted their shop with a walk-up window two days into the crisis, and their ability to move quickly to new customer needs has saved their business.

Sarah Stockdale
CEO, Valkerie

Tweak your value proposition. The reasons why people bought from you before may be different than why they’ll buy your product now.

Vitaly Pecherskiy
CMO, StackAdapt

Prioritize the aspirin products. An aspirin is a true painkiller that solves a real problem for a company, like enabling e-commerce in a time where physical shops are closed. Vitamins are nice-to-have products that can increase efficiency here and there, but they’re not essential to run the business. It will be hard for companies to sell vitamins in the next quarters, so business leaders need to shift their focus on their aspirin products.

Marcel Hollerbach
CMO, Productsup

When the economic strings tighten, it’s important to focus marketing efforts on prospects who are showing intent. Now is not the time to cast a wide net. It’s important to focus efforts on those who are in-market, as your sales cycles and opportunity win rates will be significantly higher.

Shane Phair
CMO, Decibel

We have become people-to-people, conversational in everything, let’s hear from you and talk about how we can help you continue your work. Everything we’re doing now is more interactive and we’re taking the time to respond in a way that I hope lasts beyond these next few months.

Cynthia Gumbert
CMO, Smartbear

Focus the marketing organization on a single messaging track … your audiences are likely dealing with the crisis and economic downtown in a similar way, so remember to empathize with them and highlight how you can help them. Evolve your messaging so it resonates today,

Karl Van Den Bergh
CMO, Gigamon

Make it as easy as possible for customers to work with you. Make the sales process as self-serve as possible. Take out any bumpy parts of your process. Give them multiple ways to do business with you—talk to rep, email, fill out online form, etc. That might mean adopting new technology into your processes.

Kim Saxton
Professor of Marketing, Kelley School of Business

We created a #RaveFromHome series that has been very successful and is a direct response to the virus outbreak … we are shifting our marketing from mostly festival clothing to focus now on other uses of our clothing such as lingerie or loungewear.

Brandon Chopp
Digital Manager, iHeartRaves

Be flexible: once you’ve really heard what the market needs, change your product to meet the needs of the day. Package it differently or allow a customer to use only what they need.

Keren Moynihan
Co-Founder, Boss Insights

In a down economy, it’s more important than ever to understand your true value propositions and how you are different from your competitors. Don’t assume you know what makes your customers love you and refer you. Ask them. Interview your best customers and ask them what is the #1 value they get from doing business with you. Use their responses in your messaging.

Marilyn Heywood Paige
CMO, Paige Black

Really solidify your brand positioning. This gets overlooked in a great economy. When it is easy to make money few go the extra steps to really create a solid position. These are the ones
that tend to fail when the economy is slow. A slow economy is a great time to
really understand your branding and refine your positioning.

Gabriel Bertolo
Radiant Elephant

Double down on quality advertising

Do more marketing. While most companies are decreasing their marketing spend, you should double the time and money spent on marketing. People are locked up and all they do is read and follow what brands are doing.

Jane Kovalkova
CMO, Chanty

With our brick and mortar stores closed, we have increased advertising and exposure online. This includes social media and paid search. With many of our competitors totally shut down and our company still able to ship out product, we have seen a huge increase in online sales.

Jeff Moriarty
Marketing Director, Moriarty’s Gem Art

It’s counterintuitive to purchase stocks when the market is tanking, but all the experts will tell you it’s the best time to do so. It’s the same with advertising. Today, Facebook and Google advertising is 20% cheaper than it was pre-coronavirus and internet use is at an all-time high. Take advantage of it! You may never have this opportunity again.

Bob Bentz
Advanced Telecom Services

At a time when brand budgets need to go further than they ever have, marketing leaders should take a close look at where spend is allocated and if it’s optimally netting customer visibility/acquisition in this unique media consumption environment. In 2019, it was reported by ComScore that roughly 60% of all digital ad dollars went to Facebook and Google, yet according to what we found in a new consumer survey with the Harris Poll, this is not necessarily the best use of marketing dollars. There are quantifiable reasons to reallocate funds to the open web – sites like, Candy Crush Saga, and

Joey Leichman
VP, OpenX

Build now for future growth

Communicate! Your consumers want to hear from you.

Jeffrey Tower
VP Marketing, Charge After

My favorite growth strategies right now are all focused on building long-term assets that will help you accelerate sales whenever the world starts getting back to normal.

Yaniv Msjedi
CMO, Nextiva

Play the long game by ensuring engagement and adoption doesn’t slip in order to protect your renewal and then look for ways to promote user expansion or complementary elements of your portfolio.

Mike Hicks
CMO, Igloo Software

The best leaders I know use downtime to invest in their business to come out stronger. My advice is to keep close to your customers. Focus on serving, protecting and retaining them. Understand their changing needs and anticipate how you can help them now and when the economy heats up again.

Jakki Geiger
CMO, Reltio

Think of the long game. A lot of people aren’t able to spend money right now, but you can still earn their trust and provide value. Interact with them on social media, and don’t push a ton of sales. Provide value, and establish yourself as a leader in your industry. Any farmer can tell you that you have to plant the seeds to get the crops. Use this time to plant those seeds with potential customers. Earn their trust, go the extra mile for them, and provide them with valuable content. They’ll appreciate the extra attention and make a purchase with your company when their life and finances are back in order.

Nick Flint
CEO, Pure Cut Supplements

Shift your key performance indicators from sales to audience reach and engagement metrics. You won’t be able to prove an ROI while you have nothing to sell, but you can cultivate new customers who are ready to buy when you reopen. Then you can measure the ROI of all the marketing you did while closed.

Danielle Glick
President, Training Owl

Offer something for free as a sign of solidarity. Not only is your company being seen in a positive light, but giving away something for free can also help to introduce companies to new potential customers who may otherwise never have considered doing business with particular companies. Travel companies could for instance offer free virtual tours.

Roy Morrison
Growth Strategist, Meaningful Profits

Pay it forward
Clients might need something other than what you can provide. Connect them to the right people. You won’t make a sale, but you’ll help your client, gain a networking contact and be seen as a problem solver.

Keren Moynihan
Co-Founder, Boss Insights

Just like my clients, I too have more time on my hands than normal. It’s important to use this extra time to accomplish to-do list items that have been put off due to a hectic schedule. Instead of shutting down, tackle your marketing projects and emerge as a stronger company/business when this is over and business gets back to normal.

Ryan Hardy
Luxury Real Estate Broker, Gold Coast Realty Chicago

Build brand loyalty. Hard selling isn’t going to work right now, but you do have the perfect opportunity to reach out to potential customers/clients and see if you can help. This is the time to be visible, and helpful. In the long-run this could be work better than directly marketing, and helps to establish what your brand stands for.

Morgan Taylor
CMO, LetMeBank

Direct your strategies to email acquisition. Consumers are more reluctant to purchase right now; grow your email list with gated content for now and then prepare for a bigger launch once things return to normal.

Andrew Maff
CEO, Bluetuskr


Create new offers, discounts, price tiers

Offering discounts works: One way to help your client base is by offering remote consultations, discounts, and showing you are willing to go the extra mile. Right now that is what your potential clients need, and what you can do to help them. Which in turn, will help you.

Morgan Taylor
CMO, LetMeBank

Make compromises in the short term to benefit in the long term. We recently announced that Brainbase will be the first and only licensing management platform brands can use for free forever … even though we are giving away our product for free to these companies who qualify, we are hoping these companies turn into paying customers if their businesses grow and that the good PR will bring us greater awareness.

Greg Holtzman
Marketing Director, Brainbase

In a slow economy, people are more prone to shop around and give more thought to their purchases. Adding more value than your competition is a key way to stay afloat and even thrive in a recession. Whether it is giving something free, offering more for the price or offering better discount strategies like these can keep a business ahead of the competition.

Gabriel Bertolo
CEO, Radiant Elephant

Adjust your rates to cater to a struggling economy – In doing so, you may be a more viable option over your competitors while still providing the same level of high-quality services. This is a perfect time to offer discounts for new customers, add-ons or bonuses, and additional value for longer-term partnerships.

Anna McNaught

You need to have some kind of sales funnel that starts with building trust. Give them something they need and make it free. People will be looking to start over and need to do so at little to no cost.

Dan Bailey
President, Wikilawn

Improve marketing efficiency

This is a time to laser-focus on your marketing attribution model. Clear ROI is going to be demanded from each marketing program spend. Cut spend in the soft spots, double-down on the areas that are generating quality leads, not just quantity of leads.

Aaron Branson
VP Marketing, Netsurion

Fight for your marketing budget … the bean counters are coming for you. In a recession, marketing is usually the first to get cut. Prove your value by sharing the measurable results of your marketing efforts and your marketing team. Brands that increase advertising spend during a recession, when competitors cut back, can improve market share.

Mike Terry
VP Marketing, Anvil

Double down on your data. We all complain about not trusting our data, but the reality is the room for error here has gone to zero. Now more than ever we need to know exactly what is happening in our business, what levers we can pull to impact change, and we need to know that information now – not tomorrow, not next month, not during business reviews but now.

Lauren Vaccarello
CMO, Talend

During an economic slowdown, you must optimize your sales efforts. The best way to do that is to dig into the intelligence of your customer relationship management database. Your CRM is a treasure trove of insights that can guide you during a slowdown to greater productivity and sales.

Marilyn Heywood Paige
CMO, Paige Black

Repurpose your events team … with in person events, conferences, and even meetings now a thing of the distant past – everyone initially wanted to switch to virtual conferences. A dreadful idea that guarantees zero engagement and little actual attention. What has been effective is switching to virtual customer advisory and community sessions where you facilitate (non-competing) customers to share with each other and enable a two-way flow of communication.

Andrew Hatfield
Director of Product Marketing, Portworx

Act, don’t operationalize. This is hard for me, because I’m a systems thinker. I typically implement repeatable processes and technologies to be efficient. In a disruption-driven economy there’s no time for that. The market is in such turmoil that anything you build today won’t apply post-pandemic. Now is the time for action and you’re in a battle to stay alive.

Bryon Morrison
CEO, Proxxy

Focus on retention

Resist the urge to send mass emails or communications. Start at the top with company executives calling the most loyal customers. Work on down, having salespeople and marketers make one-on-one calls to customers as well. The opening line on these calls is, “I wanted to check in on you. How are you doing in this moment?” Very few competing organizations are likely to do this, and it will go a long way in stabilizing the current customer base, building brand equity and even inviting referrals.

Wendy O’Donovan Phillips
CEO, Big Buzz Inc

One of the best survival tips that you can ever have is to take care of and keep in touch with your clients.

Chad Hill
CMO, Hill & Ponton

Marketers should be throwing out their old playbooks filled with third-party data strategies and instead focusing on retaining and supporting current customers.

Richard Jones
CMO, Cheetah Digital

Maintain current clients and provide added value – It’s important to maintain the relationships that you currently have in order to acquire new customers. During hardship, people need to stay connected and by staying at the forefront of your client’s mind by offering helpful solutions, not only are you adding value to them but they will most likely refer your business to others.

Anna McNaught

Talk to your customers EVERY DAY and ask what they need to be successful and
what makes life easier for them.

Nicholas Farmen
Digital Strategist, Spire Digital

Focus on staying in contact and connecting with your existing customer base. During this time consumers are going to stick to the brands that they trust best.

Andrew Maff
CEO, Bluetuskr

Double-down on re-selling to your past and current customers. New customer acquisition is
particularly hard during this time period, since people aren’t looking for new products or services, or even to spend money in general. However, people who have already purchased from you in the past, and know and trust you, are the most likely to respond to an exciting, special or discounted new offer or product, and you can even use low-cost channels such as email, organic social or low CPM re-marketing to target them and drive up sales.

Often, you can even create a more in-depth and higher-priced offer that offers more than you ever even thought of offering in the past, and sell this at a higher profit margin to your most loyal customers during this time period, making it an opportunity to make this one of your best months or quarters.

Stacy Caprio
Consultant, Her.CEO

Don’t hijack a crisis

If you don’t help with coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis specifically such as masks or other medical necessities, don’t use those phrases in your marketing. It’s capitalizing on a tragedy and your audience may not forgive you. Rather, focus on the situation that the crisis has caused and how you help. For example, do you help employees collaborate in a “work from home” environment?

Bill Evans
CMO, Netwrix

Marketers simply cannot ignore COVID-19 and act like business is usual. At the same time, adding more noise to the conversation only adds to the paranoia.

Sarah Tourville
CEO, Media Frenzy Global

The biggest marketing turn-offs these days include tone-deaf business-as-usual promotional messages as if nothing’s going on. On the other end of that spectrum are marketers trying to make everything about COVID-19 all the time.

Cynthia Gumbert
CMO, Smartbear

Stay calm … and engage in self-care for your team

Be transparent and support your team! We frequently communicated our short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans well over a month ago. We reassured our teams of where they stood, the health of the company, and the levels of responses we would initiate to remain sustainable over time. While we have not enacted anything extreme yet, the transparency has helped our teams focus on the job at hand, rather than their job security in such a time of uncertainty.

Nadya Khoja
CGO, Venngage

It is important to stay calm and don’t make any panicked decisions. It will be tempting to follow other companies’ lead, but this is unknown territory for everyone so what others do, isn’t necessarily the right move. Stick to your marketing strategy, organize, don’t go overboard and don’t make it off-brand.

Kine and Einy Paulsen
Partners, Kinfizz

If you can’t avoid a downturn in business, complete as many projects as possible from your marketing wish list. That way you can have things in place for when the economy rebounds.

Dan Gower
CEO, Buddy Gardner Advertising

Dig out all the recent research reports that you have had no time to fully read and go through all of them with a fine comb. Perhaps then your professional life had been too hectic, but now is a good time to read and understand everything carefully. That will better prepare you

Mayank Batavia
Director, Marketing and Partnerships, QuickEmailVerification

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