The current situation, the COVID-19 pandemic, is forcing all departments in our organizations to question, re-evaluate, re-project, and finally re-plan.

If many find themselves with declining revenues and consequently, in many cases, budget cuts, what is the right approach to take?

In Canada, last week was the first week to be strongly impacted by the situation. You haven’t heard much about us at Toast because we preferred to let our clients and partners coordinate, question, re-evaluate and re-project the foundations of their operations for the weeks and months to come.

Like many, we have maintained our operations, our strategic consulting, production and content deployment capabilities, and we can raise our hand and say loud and clear “Present” at this new stage of re-planning.

Chances are that your consumers and audiences are currently experiencing great stress and upheaval that is shaking up their habits.

Their priorities have temporarily changed, and they themselves are questioning and re-evaluating.

Depending on your product (whether consumer, media, or other), you must ask yourself how your brand can approach such a situation.

One thing is sure, there is no point in cutting everything.

Evaluate your planned campaigns, put a stop to your marketing automation (immediately if you haven’t already), and re-plan your message for the next 4-8-12-16 weeks.

This is an opportunity for your brand to be present, to bring value to your audiences, to demonstrate who it is, beyond its promotional messages.

In many cases, performance marketing will not be appropriate, or even effective, for a certain period of time (depending on the product you have).

It’s time to play the long game. Ensuring a relevant presence for your brand is preparing next year’s sales right now. No performance marketing campaign can have a major impact in the very short term.

This is the time to prepare the ground for the post-crisis period.

It’s time to bring relevance and vision to your audiences.

Your brand has the capacity to do this.

In conclusion, I also recommend that you read this editorial by Mark Ritson, published by MarketingWeek, a reflection on what we are currently aiming for as brands, as marketers, as leaders.