There’s a good chance your inbox is filling up with messages about COVID-19/Coronavirus.
Breaking news stories about ANOTHER thing canceled…
Alerts from companies about what they’re doing to serve people during the “outbreak”…
Tips on how to stay safe and healthy…
(I heard a report on the radio earlier where they were literally discussing how it’s important to not inhale other people’s sneezes. Thanks for the tip, y’all….)
So obviously you don’t need to hear any more of that. Everyone else has it covered.
My concern is your business – how is Coronavirus going to affect it, what steps can you take to mitigate risk, and how can you come out the other side of this with a stronger, more thriving practice than ever.
Yes, this is a long email. But I’ve sectioned it out for easy reading:
- Why 2020 is the best time to be alive in human history
- The “temporary” mental framework
- How the fear-based news industry works
- People’s desire for normalcy
- Things getting worse (for a minute) before it gets better
- Your patients should know you care
- Opportunities Coronavirus represents for businesses
- “Social Distancing” as a huge leverage point
- To Advertise or Not to Advertise during a recession
Skip a section if you want, but be sure to read to the end where I talk about how “Social Distancing” is a huge leverage point for you, and whether or not you should stop advertising in a recession…
First and foremost, right now – 2020 – is the best time to be alive in human history.
We have better tech, better communication, better solutions than ever before, in the history of mankind.
We are so fortunate to live in this Golden Era of abundance.
Does that mean we won’t see minor set-backs and challenges like Coronavirus? No.
But we are better equipped to deal with these challenges than ever before.
And that should give us all hope. That the world is working together to solve this potentially massive problem.
That the best brains and best technologies in the world are coming together to battle and defeat this virus. And we will win.
On that note, keep the mental framework that this is temporary.
Most “modern” catastrophes are temporary.
The sub-prime mortgage market crash of 2008 was temporary. The swine flu pandemic of 2010 was temporary. The stock market taking a swan dive off a cliff this week – temporary.
There will be an “other side” of this.
Yeah this may be hard to remember when you find out that March Madness is just straight-up canceled.
And that the NBA and NFL have suspended their seasons indefinitely.
And Broadway shut down.
And mega-star Tom Hanks has Coronavirus.
And all the other insanity that’s happening.
But it’s temporary.
The news business is built around fear.
I find it hard to stay hopeful with the news media talking doom and gloom 24-7. But just remember, that’s the entire M-O of the news.
The news wasn’t “happy” before this Coronavirus thing started. I rarely watch the news, but if I happen to catch it after a ballgame, the format is typically…
Murder. Scandal. Murder. Arrest. Murder. Some awful thing that happened to a kid. Car crash. Scandal. Murder.
And that’s just the traditional 30-minute TV newscast. You also have news channels and websites that have round-the-clock publishing schedules to fill.
Of course they’re going to fill all that space with whatever sensational stories will get the most viewers and the most clicks- which are usually negative and scary stories.
Unfortunately, the news is a broken model, designed to paint a particularly horrible picture of society.
Maybe you love watching the news. That’s fine, to each their own. But love it or hate it, my description of the news is accurate.
So don’t forget – now is the best time to be alive. And humans are resilient. America in particular is resilient. And we’re going to get this figured out.
As bad as Coronavirus is, it’s temporary.
People want to get back to normal.
The aforementioned doom-n-gloom news industry has everyone in a tissy.
You’ve seen the pictures of people buying out Costco’s entire stock of… toilet paper (still haven’t figured this one out). Along with cleaning supplies, bleach wipes and hand sanitizer (those make more sense).
But ultimately people want to live their lives, go to work, take their kids to school, go to the movies, go to the gym, go to their favorite restaurants, spend their money, live their lives.
And this actually works in your favor.
Regardless of how bad this actually is (we really don’t know at the moment), the perception that it is awful is what’s driving the panic.
And the biggest driving force of panic right now is the unknown. Case numbers – relatively small. Especially if you compare it to the flu, or heart disease, or cancer, or any other major killer condition.
(Which are actually bad comparisons – even though people are making these comparisons all the time – but we won’t get into that today)
We KNOW what those things are.
We know what the flu does, and how to treat it, and how bad it normally is, etc.
But what the heck is Coronavirus? People still don’t really know.
And when given a gaping hole of dangerous unknown, people will fill that hole with their worst imaginations.
Even so, people want to get back to normal, and they will as soon as possible.
It will likely get worse before it gets better (but maybe not for long).
As all these testing kits get out into the world, no doubt the result of MORE testing will be MORE diagnoses, which means more news headlines and more panic.
But ideally, this will also reveal that more people who have Coronavirus are also overcoming it, with more accurate numbers showing lower death rates.
At the same time, we’ll continue finding more effective ways to treat it.
So we’ll get to KNOW more about what Coronavirus is, what it does and how to defeat it. When people have this knowledge, it’s no longer the scary unknown. It’s a less-scary, known issue.
And we can fight an enemy we know.
Your patients should know you care.
There’s a sort of “balancing act” when you have an issue like this. You generally don’t want to bring up bad news if you don’t have to.
You are in an aspirational services business. You help people become better versions of themselves. So you want to maintain a positive, forward-focused message as much as you can.
BUT sometimes news gets so big, that if you don’t talk about it… you come across tone-deaf. Or like you’re not dialed in. Or like you’re just ignoring a big problem that society in general is facing.
I would say with COVID-19, we’ve crossed that threshold. It can’t be ignored.
So I’ve been working with my clients this week on the best ways to share these messages with patients, prospective patients and referring doctors. (a mix of social, email, website updates and more)
Let your patients know you’re aware of the concern and possible issues with Coronavirus, and what you’re proactively doing to keep them – and your team – safe.
This signals that you’re dialed in to the national conversation, you’re taking it seriously, and you’re doing whatever you can to serve your patients. (which is part of your overall mission anyway, right?)
What opportunities does this present?
Hear me out – I’m not suggesting or even celebrating the idea that businesses should profit off disasters.
But fact of the matter is that just because something like Coronavirus shuts down parts of life, people still need what they need.
So what businesses have opportunities for growth right now?
- Online schools/colleges/education platforms
- Homeschool curriculum companies
- Amazon and Amazon Prime (and any grocery delivery service)
- UberEats and other food delivery services
- Solar Power/Solar Panel Companies (I don’t think this is going to affect the power grid, but some people do)
- Non-Perishable Food Companies
- Gun manufacturers (some people thing this is going to be armageddon, and they want to protect themselves)
Telehealth is a rising trend in healthcare.
If you’ve been toying with a mechanism to do remote consultations or FaceTime-like evaluations with prospects, Coronavirus is one of 15 reasons this is a good idea.
In fact, now would be a great time to test it.
How your practice marketing can benefit from “Social Distancing”
One of the big recommendations right now is Social Distancing. This is an umbrella term for “staying away from other people.”
This may include avoiding public gatherings, not shaking hands/hugging, and even working from home.
We already talked about all the canceled things – sports, conferences, gatherings, concerts, travel, etc.
Much more free time – and even “work time” – will be spent at home.
So what are people going to do with all the extra time that “social distancing” has created?
The same things they already do at home – binge Netflix, shop on Amazon, watch TV, surf the internet and scroll through social media.
They have more time to research your procedures. They have more time to engage with your content.
So keep up your social posting. Keep your social ads running. Keep your digital presence as strong as ever.
Because as much as Coronavirus is a distraction, plenty of other distractions (read: “going out in public for anything”) have vanished overnight.
Take advantage of this…
To Advertise or Not to Advertise – What do you do next?
During many national tragedies/disasters like this one (still not sure if it is, but let’s just call it that for sake of the illustration), businesses are inclined to pull back and be less aggressive in their marketing and patient attraction efforts.
I’ve gone through a few of these situations in my 15 years of medical marketing (market crash of 2008/9, etc), and I can say from personal experience…
The practices that keep their foot on the gas pedal during a recession are the ones who have momentum and advantage – and ultimately gain market share – once everything returns to normal.
You can look at datapoints from the last 100 years that reinforce my anecdotal experiences. Rather than repeating them here, see several examples in an ASI brief here.
So my recommendation is to:
- Remember this is temporary
- Play the long game
- Gain market share as the dominant player in your market = WIN
And if you have questions, let me know.
At LogiCole Consulting, we’re all hands on deck for our clients at times like these. Susan, I and our team aren’t slowing down.
Let’s defeat this ridiculous virus and come out stronger, more powerful and more dominant than ever before.
Audaces fortuna iuvat,