By Ksenia Synkova
On Thursday, 12 March 2020, shares in the aerospace giant Boeing plunged 18,10%, Lockheed Martin shares dropped 12.71%, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. shares lost 16.05%, Northrop Grumman plunged 8.69%, and Maxar shares dropped 17.77%. All this happened after the announcement by US President Donald Trump about the 30-day suspension of flights from Europe to the United States.
And just like that, Coronavirus became the reason for the worst stock market crash since 1987’s Black Monday. In the past weeks, COVID-19 cases outside China have grown exponentially and the number of affected countries has tripled. As of 13 March, more than 5,400 people have lost their lives, and thousands more are fighting to survive. We are facing more than 143,000 cases in 136 countries, and the number is growing day after day. On 11 March, the World Health Organization officially confirmed Coronavirus as a pandemic.
The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted business travel, as many business trips are being canceled and the number of ghost flights is increasing daily. According to the International Air Transport Association Global, airlines could lose US$113 billion of their business if the Coronavirus isn’t contained soon. These losses would be equivalent to those experienced in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.
One of the largest space industry conferences of the year, Satellite 2020, ended a day early, and a growing number of space events are being rescheduled or canceled, including the ConnectTechAsia technology conference, Cabsat 2020, SXSW, and the Legal Subcommittee Meeting by The United Nations’ Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna.
The current international efforts focus on the development of a vaccine to kill COVID-19, and the whole world is waiting thirstily for the recession of the Coronavirus outbreak. According to the opinion of Israeli Prof. Shimon Slavin, epidemic recession is to be expected by the middle of the summer because “epidemics tend to be seasonal, peak and then fade” he says.
Yet, it will take even longer for the global economy to recover; it takes more time to build than to destroy.
Now is the time to prepare our mindset and ensure that our businesses respond wisely to the challenges we are facing. Recently Sequoia Capital, in a note to their founders and CEOs, mentioned an outspoken statement by Charles Darwin: “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
We must be proactive, look ahead, and make some shifts in order to adapt to the current outbreak.
Stay connected with clients despite the crisis
The biggest problems often offer the biggest opportunities. On the one hand, international businesses are crashing, and on the other hand, many companies let their staff work remotely. As more people stay home, they read more news, watch more television and online videos, spend more time on social media platforms, create virtual events, and schedule videoconferences.
It’s time to shift from offline activities to online activities. Did you know that in Wuhan, sales achieved 200% growth compared to the prior year’s sales? The reason for this growth is that sales have been processed through WeChat and promoted by employees via their social media channels. Due to an unstable current situation there is a risk that customers will cancel or postpone transactions for an indefinite amount of time. Therefore, it is important to prevent the possibility of losing a deal, as well as make a connection with pending customers.
Keep your presence in the market remotely
Online platforms help us to engage with customers virtually, raise our brand awareness, and drive online sales. We can now transition many types of offline advertising to online versions using a variety of digital marketing tools.
Here are my personal recommendations to keep your presence in the market and stay connected with your clients during this crisis:
- Use targeted online advertisements to get more leads at less cost.
- Schedule videoconferences with your clients to stay up-to-date about each other’s plans.
- Work on your personal brand – it’s always a good choice!
- Take time to finalize articles you started a long time ago and never published.
- Be more active on social media channels.
- Spread your business across different social media platforms.
- Ensure a daily dialogue with your audience and engage people’s emotions.
Don’t let the connections you’ve been building between you and your clients fade away easily.
The Digital Age has many benefits, but it is important to remember that if you are not active on digital platforms, you are not active anywhere. People tend to forget you if they don’t see or hear from you for a while. Remain healthy!
Ksenia Synkova is a Sales & Digital Marketing Manager at SpaceWatch.Global