How Do Businesses and People in Marketing Handle the Coronavirus?

It is no secret that all of what is going on right now is throwing us for a loop. Business owners are trying to navigate an unpredictable economy. People are trying to figure out just how to pay for essentials while waiting for the pandemic to blow over. Some of them are in the thick of everything, fighting the virus directly at hospitals, or are losing loved ones to what is currently going on. So, when I say it isn’t business as usual, most people wouldn’t dispute that. But business owners and people in marketing still have to adapt to the current health and economic climate. After all, this is a totally new climate we are not used to dealing with. So, businesses have to either adapt to this great change or perish.

This begs the question. Who are the businesses that are adapting well during all this? What are the marketing strategies that are hitting home? Is there any reason behind the choices they made? Did this whole thing help or harm their business? What innovative practices are coming from this? Either way, it could be interesting to see how marketers and businesses are shaping around this moment.

Businesses that are Thriving are Adapting their Models

It’s no secret that the marketing sector is scrambling to figure out how to make things work in spite of what is going on. While some businesses, can’t or will not adapt to the situation at hand, others are adjusting surprisingly well. This is because the businesses that are refusing to change are relying on an outdated SWOT evaluation model. SWOT is something that all modern-day digital marketing teams and businesses use to determine the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. From there, we use it to pinpoint what we have, what we need, and what obstacles or opportunities are present in the current situation.

The businesses that are refusing to change their format, are relying on their old SWOT format, something that worked during business as usual but is useless during COVID-19. Meanwhile, we have businesses, both big in small who are reworking their strategy to serve the needs of customers and find a way to keep the operations running. So, the more successful businesses are either changing their logistics, messaging, or prices. All for the sake of adjusting to the needs of the populace at large.

What Does Business or Marketing Adaptation Look Like?

Whether it is a small mom and pop shop, or a giant multi-million dollar corporation, most business owners have an awareness that the community is hurting right now. People who work essential jobs are risking their lives every day. Nonessential workers are currently laid off. Parents with children are trying to stay indoors as much as possible. Just today, as I am writing this a lot of people lost loved ones. Some of them can’t even see them or give them a proper funeral.

So, given the situation, the businesses with resources and time are doing what they can for who they can. Larger corporations like JPMorgan Chase and Federal credit unions are directly donating a lot of money for the relief effort. Local elementary schools are giving out free lunches for children that run the risk of going hungry. Retail places that are staying open during this disaster are retooling their policies. Usually by are offering alternatives to the usual shopping methods to keep people safe.

When it comes to marketing, a lot of the messaging comes in the form of PSA’s or mentions of gratitude and comfort. A lot of these PSA’s tend to boil down to either telling people what they can do to slow the spread of the virus or to offer the occasional advice to get past feeling stir crazy. On the gratitude side of the fence, there are often messages of worldwide unity or gratitude towards public service workers and doctors.


Some of the more successful strategies mostly include positive messaging, honest communication, and ease of accessibility. The CEO of January Digital, a high-end cosmetic marketing agency sums it best with this statement.

“Always err on the side of humanity. Far too often, we think our businesses are far more important than they actually are. While our respective businesses do play an important role in some of our lives, they typically aren’t that important to greater humanity. If your first thought is about the broader picture, that sentiment will trickle down and ensure your brand is acting appropriately.” -Vic Drabicky


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