With the COVID-19 outbreak and the stay at home orders, individuals and companies have had to quickly adjust to the way their businesses are operating. In an event-heavy industry, being unable to come together for trade shows, business meetings, and networking events has significantly impacted the business model for most, if not all media brands.

Now is the perfect time to focus on reinventing elements of your brand and business – both in the short term and in the long term. Coming up with a plan of action will be extremely beneficial for setting your brands up for long term success. Things to think about and ask yourself include:

  1. What can you do in the next six months?
  2. What elements about your previous business operations are going to change down the road?
  3. How do you ensure you incorporate short term business decisions into your business model?

Identifying Short Term Solutions and Opportunities

Obviously with the uncertainty occurring nationally and globally right now and with the inability for large groups to gather for healthy and safety concerns, there have been some immediate shifts in the media industry’s typical operations. Events have been cancelled, corporations have shifted to work-from-home policies and technology to connect remotely has soared in necessity. In these next six months, there are many opportunities to reinvent elements of your brands.

Attend and Host Virtual Events

Right now, virtual events are on the rise. All industries and brands are looking for short term solutions to replacing their annual events and trade shows that they attend. While the virtual events may have some drawbacks to live, in person events, there are still opportunities to be successful and drive revenue for your brands. Though it may seem overwhelming to pivot to virtual events right now, especially if you are planning one, there is a plethora of resources available to help you succeed.

Examine Who Makes Up Your Audience and What They Are Looking for in Your Brands

A side effect of many events and plans being cancelled is the opportunity to explore where your brands are currently at and how to improve them for your audience. Setting up questionnaires and surveys for your audience members to fill out can help you to better understand their needs and interests. Identifying the key areas that they rely on your brands is a great shell to then reinvent some elements of your brand. Through connecting with them, you may be able to identify areas where you can provide further value to your audience and strengthen relationships with them.

Look for New Areas to Explore

Right now, especially in the short term, everyone is looking for guidance and answers. Every industry has been affected by COVID and the social distancing orders. This could be the perfect opportunity to provide value to your audience that your brand never focused on before. Whether it be an additional newsletter that concentrates on the current status of how COVID-19 is affecting your brands, creating video content to compliment your written publications, starting a podcast or hosting a weekly industry round up run by your CEO, there are plenty of opportunities to engage and help your audience now.  

Planning for When “Normalcy” Returns

Live events are going to come back eventually, though they may look a bit different than they did before the outbreak. Keeping track of the safety modifications and updates, new legislation and regulations that are being implemented, and any other societal changes that occur from COVID-19 will be helpful to ensure you are prepared for when events do begin again. Some elements may be of more importance, such as making sure that you have spaced seating, occupancy caps or flowed traffic patterns for your attendees. Other touches will be less essential, but it is beneficial to make attendees feel comfortable, such as no touch check in options, sanitizing stations, and virtual streaming for those who still may not want to attend in-person yet.

Incorporating All of Your Efforts Together

One topic that needs to be stressed is that the new efforts your brands take need to be incorporated back into your current business model and built out for future use. Where are you storing the new data and information you are gathering as you find new ways to engage? There is a lot of value in finding new ways to interact with your audience, however the organization and management of the efforts is essential for them being successful.

Audience data and information that is collected through your new engagement efforts needs to be stored in your database in a cohesive way along with the previous existing data. Be weary that if you do not set up a structured process for adding in these new information sources into your database, this could lead to additional work down the line or unpreparedness when the industry starts to change again. Any new information you collect through surveys, webinars, virtual events you attend or hold, and any other new engagement efforts needs to have a system for implementing it back into your database. Make sure you have one place to host your audience data so you can have as robust a view of your customers as possible. Omeda’s Customer Data Platform solution is set up to allow data from any engagement efforts to come together in one place. Grow your data, but more importantly, understand your audience.