Recently, WTWH Media looked to renowned economist Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics for answers regarding the current COVID-19 crisis. During a 90-minute webinar, Beaulieu explained to listeners what the COVID-19 crisis means for the economy in human terms. Overall, his message was rather encouraging, explaining that economic recovery is likely in the foreseeable future. Beaulieu talked about specifics such as the Cares Act of 2020, the labor market, and the GDP. He also touched on marketing best practices during a crisis. Here are 3 takeaways from his presentation.
1. Don’t fall victim to the doom and gloom. Beaulieu was quick to point out that what we are currently experiencing is not a depression. In fact, it’s not even a recession. He believes that many are “reacting in a very large way out of fear.” There is some pain of course, but this is not a repetition of 2008/ 2009. The cause is passing, medicine is coming, and the stimulus package will help. Beaulieu expects a volatile recovery, with the U.S. GDP reaching a bottom in June 2020, but then a peak in June 2021 that will be slightly higher than the last peak. According to Beaulieu, U.S. consumers will bounce back quickly. “It’s in our DNA to go out and spend”, he says. In summary, “we will be at record high levels in the economy here in the U.S. before too long.”
2. Marketing MUST go on. While your company may need to dial your marketing budget back a bit, completely slashing it is a mistake. Beaulieu describes marketing as “always knowing what your customer is thinking, wanting, and doing,” and says “it has to go on or else you’re going to come out of this thing blind.” It is essential to stay in front of your customers during this time, otherwise, you’ll be forgotten when it begins to blow over. You may need to make changes to your marketing strategy, as most of us are dealing with fewer resources, and that’s okay. Use this as an opportunity to hone in the aspects that seem to be working for you and focus on making improvements.
3. Now is a good time to plan for the future. Beaulieu explained that “As you’re designing products for the future, marketing has to be on your team. We often think of them as the backend, having to do with keeping our name out there and making sure that we understand what the customer wants. They need to be on the front end, helping us design what the customer wants and knowing what they’re thinking so that we can be there.” Take the time now to gear up for the future so that you are ahead of the competition when things start to turn around. When people all around you want to give up and run, that’s when it’s time to move in. Use your marketing team to your advantage to deliver exactly what your customer wants, exactly when they want it.