Step Up and Stand Out as a Marketer during COVID-19 (and always!)

How can you take charge and guide your organisation during these changing and uncertain times? In our recent live Q&A with Lyn Hawkins (marketing leader and Founder of Business Women Australia) and Louisa Dahl (Founder and CEO of Interactive Minds) we discussed the implications of the COVID-19 crisis for marketers and their brands and the importance for marketers to take a leadership stance.

Here are some of the key insights from my conversation with Lyn and Louisa:

Determine your key sources of revenue and protect them

Focus on the markets or clients that are vital to your survival and growth. Reach out to your major clients, let them know you appreciate them, find out what the crisis means to them and let them know that you’re here to help.

Determine your costs and reduce them

Make friends with your CFO, suggest cost saving ideas they may not have thought of. Turn off recurring expenses that aren’t vital. Make your budget lean, just like managing your own home budget.

Build the trust of your community

We build trust by keeping our promises. Simplify your messaging, identify your key promises to develop a brand that people connect with, and that they will return to and support. Avoid playing to fear to sell, it may get you a quick result but will not do your brand any favours in the long term. Don’t lose sight of the long game, build love for your brand as a reliable ‘good guy’.

Bring people together to collaborate and learn from each other

Marketers are used to collaborating and facilitating. Help your clients by getting everyone on board to create a quick action plan. Keep a track of who’s doing what and organise the next time to meet to share what you’ve learned. Review your delegation processes to allow for fast decisions. Instead of us versus them, work together, the finance guys have worked out how to cut costs and survive, marketers can find the growth to recover.

Develop a plan for where you want to go and how to get there

Now is the time to be looking forward. What does the next three, six or even twelve months look like? Look at your strategy and goals, focus on projects that need a bit of time and thought.

Stay up to date, know what’s changing and where the opportunities lie

Look to see what other organisations are doing and be inspired. Now is the time to have the courage to do something different. A small restaurant that pivoted within a week to a funky take away has been so successful that they’re keeping their whole row of small businesses humming. If your customers are still buying then acknowledge what you’re doing differently and keep on marketing. Other trends and opportunities we’re seeing include:

  • Remote working – organisations are having to trust that staff will do the right thing and stay focused when working from home. Are there opportunities for helping them engage their workforce?
  • Video and webinars – the quality may not be great but the speed and human contact are ideal.
  • E-Commerce – organisations who had e-commerce as a long-term goal are pushing fast towards online platforms.
  • Social media advertising – if your customers are on the platform and buying products, this can be a great way to reach them. Make sure your banners are up to date with any COVID-19 changes.
  • Podcasts – it’s a great time to get a podcast up and running so that you’re ready to go-live once people start to have more space for listening again.
  • Email marketing – read rates may be down at the moment but get excited about unsubscribes, it means that the audience you have is more focused, committed and engaged.
  • Google Ads – work out where your audience is, what are they watching and listening to?
  • SEO – review yours to ensure it’s doing its job.
Above all


Be bold, be brave and have fun. Help others and help yourself. We’ve got to be the voices that aren’t all doom and gloom. We’re paid to be creative, this is what we are.

Amy Ward

About Amy Ward

Amy Ward is a business leader, management consultant, strategic communicator, mentor and board director, with deep experience in organisations and sectors undergoing change and transformation. She specialises in brand, marketing, communication and experience strategy. Amy is the founder and director of OTM and her professional experience spans commercial organisations, government and not for profits. For close to twenty years she has worked with complex B2B and innovative B2C programs and services across diverse industries such as information technology, eHealth, primary health and community care, telecommunications, mining and resources, management consulting, process control, integrated transport, geospatial, sustainability, retail (online) and more.