Bob's Blog

The Virus

As I write, we are going through troubling times; words like ‘flood’ and ‘pestilence’ spring to mind. Our Prime Minister delivering uncomfortable truths with Churchillian matter-of-factness, and global stock markets plunging, particularly following the words of the Great Unthinking One yon side of the pond. Troubling times indeed. The problems are exacerbated by not knowing how long this episode will last or how dire the consequences are likely to be, and there will be casualties, both physical and commercial; not all of us will survive. Gloomy times indeed.

Here’s the optimism, albeit through gritted teeth. While I have a rudimentary grasp of economics - I certainly can’t claim to be an expert – it strikes me that all this last-minute-down-to-the-wire-globalised system we have may well be a little vulnerable in times like these; I may well be understating it a bit. Even if I’m a slightly correct, I very much doubt I’m the only one thinking this way, perhaps even the captains of global industry may also conclude that they may have been sailing a tad too close to the wind.  Maybe time for a re-think, eh? That will be a complete re-set of the business community but with much more resilience built in. That will mean that previous mantras like ‘customer service’, ‘value for money’ and ‘speedy delivery’ will, whilst still being important, be joined and overshadowed by ‘corporate backbone’, indeed, the survivors of the next few months will surely be able to prove it by dint of their continued existence.

Regular readers of this column will know that Big Red Moose is a marketing organisation. What you may not know is that we’ve been around in this, and a previous iteration, since 2002. That means that we’ve worked through the financial crash of 2008 and also the uncertainty surrounding Brexit over – what seems an eternity, but really only – the last three years, so the shock of corona virus and the inevitable lack of marketing activity comes as no real surprise. We may be marketers, but despite what you may think, not all marketers are charlatans, and we have a business to run too, so we can empathise with clients who are trying to take a marketing aim at a rapidly moving target, if the target is still there at all. On the face of it, now is not a good time for lead generation. However, perhaps it is. The current crisis will not last forever, and as the business pundits are already forecasting, the speed at which the markets have fallen will only be matched by the speed they will rise as soon as there is a provable end to this. Any organisation not ready for this is likely to be left behind, and with the bruising we are all likely to get over the next few months, may prove to be an ironic final straw.

While clearly we live in uncertain times, when we come out the other side of this there will have been casualties, but there will be even more survivors. How far away the other side actually is, nobody can say. Our organisation, doubtless like many others, is reconciled to having to help clients to prepare for the recovery without billing them until that recovery becomes manifest. Altruism? Maybe a little, but pragmatism rather a lot.