Business in GCQ: Absence does not make the heart grow fonder

By Lcid Fernandez

Yesterday (May 18) marked the first weekday since the General Community Quarantine took effect in Iloilo City. Half of us returned to work despite the fear of the virus. Half of us (like me) stay at home, having the privilege to work while quarantined. Nobody knows what to expect. Nobody knows if a second wave will come. A lot of us are simply bracing for the worst.

This is understandable. In Daily Guardian’s SAVE OUR BUSINESSES webinar, Professor Enrique Soriano III described this new world we have as a “VUCA” situation with everything being volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. He teaches us that a restaurant could be dead if it does not “think outside the box”. If that same restaurant is renting in a mall, it’s “double-dead”. So many things can occur that would have huge impacts on our daily lives and businesses. A simple misstep or missed opportunity could be the difference in the doom or survival of your business.

In the same webinar, Prof. Soriano discussed that marketing should still be an investment that people focus on during the quarantine. I would even go so far as to say it’s what could save your business. The landscape of goods and services during COVID, even during the GCQ is characterized by distance. People are afraid to go to places which are not essential. Every business owner is, understandably rushing to reopen, but how do you serve customers who cannot reach you?

You make yourself reachable. If there was any resistance to investing in digital technology and marketing, all that must now be swept away. It’s time to take advantage of applications or push strategies to bring your products to the customer instead of the other way around. If people spend too much time away from your products, you’ll eventually be replaced with more reachable ones.

They’ll forget about you.

So how do you make yourself top-of-mind? You invest in creating a presence in the area where everyone is now forced to spend their time: the internet. I do not have the exact numbers, but all over the world, the digital content industry has grown exponentially since quarantine measures have been implemented. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is poised to become the world’s first trillionaire even after a divorce. Podcast production has exploded. The audience has quintupled. Now is the time to invest in digital marketing.

There’s no choice really. There is a very real possibility that a return to the way things were before the pandemic will not happen. Even if it does, would you rather be left behind and forgotten during the pandemic or have your presence be felt by all the customers who love you? They can’t love you if they can’t reach you.

Time to make that decision.

The world could be watching.