Marketing your business in the middle of a worldwide crisis

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

It was a hot November day in 2008, I was standing in Sydney between meetings, staring at the Sydney Harbour Bridge when my Blackberry buzzed and the call I had been waiting for arrived. It was my boss, the Director of the major international franchise group I worked for as their head of marketing - that day he was meeting with the board as they decided what to do next. You see the group was a franchise based group in the real estate industry, with over 330+ offices around the world and was a trusted, recognisable brand. It was a business that I loved and had at the time over 30+ years of operations under its belt, but the GFC was breathing down our neck and everything was changing.

The call was to confirm what we had already discussed was likely, that my team would be dropping down to one person. It was about a 1 minute phonecall, ripping the bandaid off quickly is always the best way. I should have felt panicked, surely there should have been worry or a pit in my stomach... but no. I knew what it signified and it was something that I'd always known I would do - perhaps not so early (I was in my late 20's with 8 years industry experience), perhaps when I was more secure (I was single, had a mortgage and a serious high heel addiction) but there was no worry. No fear. Just a quite calmness that it was time to go out on my own and start my own business.

Two months later I hugged my coworkers goodbye and knowing full well that we were in the thrust of the GFC and businesses everywhere were cutting marketing budgets and in some cases closing down - I started my marketing consultancy which 11 years on is known as Polished.

The early days were FULL ON. It was early starts, late nights designing and writing into the wee hours of the morning but I thrived on it. The economic status of the world continued to dip and dive but I didn't let it get to me. I worked with brilliant businesses, especially in the professional services sector and helped them to not only 'survive' this period of unrest and uncertainty but to flourish and grow.

This isn't to say it wasn't hard. It was heartbreaking watching what was happening around the world and the amount of people being effected growing each day. The time that we are experiencing now has many similarities to that time, especially economically speaking. This time around we have the added fear of the health aspect as Covid-19 preys upon populations and put so many at risk. What we need to remember though is the economy needs us to continue, to find a way to make it work as we move through each day of our 'new normal' - even that changes from day to day and hour to hour. Businesses keep the economy going, we keep people employed, families fed, bills paid, we generate taxes that provide services and hospitals that the greater population relies on right now. It's our duty to keep going.

We want to help our fellow business owners do just that. We have developed this quick reference guide for some marketing do's and don't during the current climate to help businesses navigate through this period. There is no need to submit emails or any details to download, this is our gift to you - we hope it helps.