A Top 25 Business & Marketing Podcast
Marketing in the Coronavirus Pandemic

March 18, 2020

Marketing in the Coronavirus Pandemic
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On this special edition of the Radical Marketing podcast, Ryan and Robbie discuss how brands and businesses should manage marketing in this uncertain economy and market, including answering these questions:

What should be your marketing focus?
What role does marketing play in all of this?
What budget should be allocated?
What messages should be conveyed?
What are the key tactics to deploy?

Lots of great insight and perspective for businesses of all sizes. Stay safe out there and let's support local businesses struggling the most.
Please share, review, and subscribe!
Radical Podcast is always looking forward to meeting both aspiring, and grounded professionals across the country! Slide Ryan or Radical a DM on Instagram and let's make it happen!
@radical_results on Instagram
@ryanalford on Instagram
www.radical.company


On this special edition of the Radical Marketing podcast, Ryan and Robbie discuss how brands and businesses should manage marketing in this uncertain economy and market, including answering these questions:

  • What should be your marketing focus?
  • What role does marketing play in all of this?
  • What budget should be allocated?
  • What messages should be conveyed?
  • What are the key tactics to deploy?

Lots of great insight and perspective for businesses of all sizes. Stay safe out there and let's support local businesses struggling the most.

Please share, review, and subscribe!

Radical Podcast is always looking forward to meeting both aspiring, and grounded professionals across the country! Slide Ryan or Radical a DM on Instagram and let's make it happen!

@radical_results on Instagram

@ryanalford on Instagram

www.radical.company

 

Transcript

Intro (Recorded) 

This is a special edition of the Radical Company Podcast. Robbie Fitzwater and I talk about e-marketing among the virus and the ongoing pandemic. What should businesses and brands be thinking about? How much should they be spending? What are some tactics that they might be considering? You go hard, go heavy, or do you hide away? Well, I can tell you it's not hiding. That and more on the latest episode of the Radical Company Podcast. 

Ryan Alford [00:00:29] Hey, guys, it's Ryan Alford. Welcome to a special edition of the Radical Company podcast. A little bit of a lighter or heavier topic. With things that are going on, I'm joined by my good friend and marketing strategist Robbie Fitzwater. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:00:47] It's good to be here. We're in a very sterilized room with the lights and microphones and. 

Ryan Alford [00:01:04] And we do have a good bit of social distancing going on here at the office. There's we're in five thousand square feet with five people and everyone's in a different quadrant. So I think we're safer than just about anywhere other than maybe like a bathroom at your house alone. But even then, it brings its own challenges.

Robbie Fitzwater [00:01:26] It’s a whole different danger there. 

Ryan Alford [00:01:29] Exactly. But, we wanted you to get together. I mean, it's an important time. I mean, there's a lot of stuff happening. And we don't Robbie, we aren't coming from some place of judgment, critique or have all the answers. Look, this has never happened. We're in a time of a pandemic and it’s unprecedented. But I do think as marketing leaders as guys with points of view and working with a lot of businesses, big, small and indifferent, they want to hear, how should we be thinking about things? What are some points of view on marketing and messaging? And I think it's important that we give an opinion and we state some recommendations. But, I think it's a time for opportunity while also recognizing the sentiment, the tone and the reality of what's going on. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:02:28] I couldn't agree more. It is indeed the largest pandemic we've seen in years. And marketing was definitely a very different space at that time, very different. And right now, it's that gray area where everybody's trying to understand exactly what's going to happen, what it's going to look like, and try and look forward to what their life is going to be like in two weeks and four weeks and six weeks and maybe like however long this piece goes on for. And right now, we're just starting into the early phases of that. And you see grocery stores just completely wiped out. If you're trying to get bread, you're going to be waiting a while. If you're trying to do a lot of things, people are still going through that panic phase and having got into that like let's get into a rhythm, let's get into cruising and let's try and understand what our life is going to be like. So I think there's a lot of fear and a lot of angst around it. And when those things happen, I think some of the things that have come out of this already that we've seen have been cool. I think some people are using the technology around us to do really fascinating things like on Instagram, we see people are live streaming yoga classes or workout classes just to be able to help people continue to find some normalcy and get some energy out while they're cooped up inside. And you see people taking the platforms we have and doing some cool things with them and allowing people to express themselves in a different way and also reach out to a larger community of people that are all in this together because it's not a few people in the corner dealing with this. It's everybody from big, small, medium, large. And it's impacting some people differently than it's impacting others. But at the end of the day, everybody wants to be safe and healthy. 

Ryan Alford [00:04:32] And I think that's the biggest thing - it’s safe and healthy first. But I think it's important and innovation is happening. You see that it's I don't want to shake any will. I told you so to anyone. But the need for e-commerce, for online channels of doing business, the need and opportunity with buying and selling a car online, there are so many things. And you're seeing people now see what the opportunities were there for innovating, the convenience of it. And now it's not only a convenience but a necessity. And so the yoga stuff is fascinating. Like we have a yoga studio next door. And I walked over there, we shared restrooms and they were doing an online version of the class there. They've already pivoted to that. So people are embracing that. And, it's definitely bringing a sense of community back. And in some ways I think you realize how fragile certain things are, but how connected we all are. You think everything's so big, but everything is so connected. The interconnected interplay of all of these things, from the technologies to the currencies to the day-to-day reliance on how many times have I heard supply chain this week? 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:06:13] If you're working on logistics or supply chain, good on you. It's not a fun place, I'm sure it's not a fun place to be right now. And like you said, we're going to see we're going to feel some after-effects of this when supply chains haven't been hit for us as hard as they may, maybe at some point stuff is still able to be delivered here for in some capacity. But, some of that may slow down and we don't know what that's going to look like. And we saw that gray area in front of us. But like you said, the cool things that are happening are people really finding ways to connect with each other and form a community and grow that community. Like, yoga classes. There are art classes taught by artists in real-time that kids can view during the day because they're out of school and they're trying to find ways to keep people entertained. Musicians are doing live streams at concerts at any given time. I think like Coldplay, one of my favorite bands was doing a Livestream the other night that my wife and I watched for 45 minutes. And it's just ways that they can get people are using their gifts to give back to society as a whole to try and make people feel a little bit calmer, which is I mean, at the end of the day, they may not be intentionally doing marketing, but they are doing marketing. I mean, they're growing. Either building a passionate fan base and they're ideally trying to make people's lives better without asking for much in return, but they're building relationships and building fans. 

Ryan Alford [00:07:43] And I think that's the key. And I want to tee up a couple of things for you, but that very point is marketing and communication. And right now for brands big and small, that communication is building your brand for the future. And so what do I mean by that? It's the steps that you're taking for your community, and the steps that you're taking for your workforce. It's the things that you're doing and putting out there that are building a reference point for how you handle both the best and the worst of times. And that is marketing, for brands right now and in a lot of ways. And you see the ones that are, and I'm going to call out some good players and some bad players here. But, you see the ones that are stepping to the forefront and then you see the ones that call out my boy, Richard Branson at Virgin for telling everyone to go home for eight weeks unpaid. And he's got 20 billion dollars in the bank, our three billion whatever. And look, I'm not saying, look, I'm a capitalist. I mean, I believe in just giving your money away necessarily, but. I don't know, there are certain things that are like telling in moments of crisis and I think. There's going to be commerce happening while this is going on, and there most certainly is on the other side of it. And so I think you got to remember both the now and the then. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:09:11] And that's one thing that you make a good point of taking a long-term view of this, because, again, this feels dire. I completely again, I'm sure, again, people in 1819 or 1919 thought this was going to be the end of the world. There's going to be nothing at the end of this. But we are going to come through this at some point in time. And what happens now is going to be the most transparent version of what life is going to be like for them. And when you're a brand, people always say what's up with transparency? And this is really a time where brands are really going to be focused to act with transparency because you see where they've got to put their money, where their mouth is. I mean, you see groups coming out of the woodwork saying, “hey, we're closing our stores”. “We're still going to keep funding our employees. We're going to make sure they're comfortable and safe”. And from that perspective, if you're looking for a commodity, great. You're going to buy a commodity. It's not going to matter. But if you're looking for a brand that you're going to do business with and have exchanged commerce with for a long period of time, those are the brands where you want to say, “hey, what did they do in a really tough time?”. Because you want to know you're doing business, somebody you can trust. And if you can build that relationship and build a level of trust, you're going to have that for a longer period of time. So right now, I mean, while it's making a tough investment, when I mean when everybody's having to tighten their belt, I mean, if even if you really have to do that in long term, if you can afford it, it's a smart decision because it's going to pay dividends in the long run. And if you're executing your business in a way that's straightforward and transparent, then you have nothing to worry about. But if you're trying to hide stuff, it's a time where people are going to start asking questions. And because so much of the economy is shutting down at this point, it's you don't be putting people out on the street when you don't have to be. And if you can take care of your employees and take care of your business, then that's a much better place right now than it would be moving forward. 

Ryan Alford [00:11:16] So let's do a little of lightning round the right way, but we can get a ‘yin and yang’ on this a bit. So for business owners and small to medium businesses that might be listening to this and thinking, “what should they do?” I'll go one or go tit for tat here. What do you do from a marketing perspective? What's a domino one for you if you're a brand manager, a marketing manager or a business owner for how to handle this.  

 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:11:56] First thing I would think about is what you have, you have your core customer base, you have your core community, how has their behavior changed from where it was usually to right now? What are they thinking? What are they feeling and what are they really searching for? And if it's comfort and stability, if it's some sense of normalcy, understand how you can work to help provide that through the context of your brand. “Hey, I know my community is at home huddled up. How can I add value to them that is going to be in line with my business?” “It's going to fit in line with what I would normally be doing in marketing.” Your marketing may change from a more promotional focus, but you can still add value through content. Again, I'm always going to beat the drum of content, but you can add value in different ways. So how can you add perspective? What are the best movies in this certain vertical to watch or what are the best horse movies to watch? If you have a question business. How do you find different ways to keep people engaged with things that they're already doing? People are indoors, they're wishing they had access to the things they want to do outside. But you don't always have that luxury. So how do you bring that to them and bring the lifestyle along with it? There are also great ways that you could also take this as an opportunity to get to know your community better, get to know your customer base better. And I mean, trying it again while I say like the live yoga, the live streaming, I think it's a fascinating example of “hey, this is a person trying to build a relationship.” And ideally, that's going to be a two-way dialog. So you can take that time to really focus and understand and get to know your customer base a lot better than you would in any boom-time when everybody's just going guns blazing. So from that perspective, getting to know your customers and understanding their behavior. But then from a messaging standpoint, how do you continue that drumbeat of communication, even though it's not always easy? Because you can't, you've got to go a little bit more creative. You can't say, “hey, we're going to do a sale here and do a sale here.” And if anybody has the coronavirus sale, please, like just if you have that brilliant idea, please just stop right now, because it's just horrible because we're probably gonna see a lot of bad sales. Like understanding how you can add value to your community and brighten their day. And those are the things that marketers are going to do now. They're going to hopefully be a big reason that people want to get involved in the long term. And if you can partner, a lot of people are hurting right now. I've seen a lot of cool examples of people partnering with a nonprofit to help people get the things they need and to live a little bit better life. If you can spend some time doing that right now, when you're not spending time on other things, then that's time well spent. And that's a good story you can tell about your brand and about the mission of the organization.

 

Ryan Alford [00:14:54] And my number one is first, consider your opportunities for pivoting. And so you're seeing that with restaurants. That's the most obvious one with pivoting from in-store dining to pick up and delivery. Some of them should have been there already, but they're pivoting quickly to that. Another example, we've worked with indirectly for you, Mizzi Cosmetics – they do cosmetics for women. They also do dentist grade, medically-approved lip balm and different things that are in the medical community. But they've pivoted because they saw the shortage of hand sanitizer. And so they're making hand sanitizers now. And so they made that pivot because they have the resources, they have the facility that they can make anything cosmetic, semi-medical. And they pivoted. And, I don't know what their sales are going to be, but I saw some of their posts today. And I like this is brilliant. This is a perfect pivot. It's a segment that is selling out unnaturally because of the demand. I think that'll change. But they're filling a need in the market. And they had products that fit in there because they're doing it. They're doing some of the more I think it could be more of cosmetic stuff. But they're also doing a medical brand that can be used in hospitals and things like that they've reached out to that's there. They have the capacity. Obviously, I don't think they can't serve the entire country, but they've made that pivot. And so I think first, if you're a business, no matter what you are and what you do, you need to be thinking and whiteboarding, pivot opportunity, natural opportunities for things that you already do, but maybe a different way that you can serve it up.

Robbie Fitzwater [00:16:48] Like if you want to be the buggy company when cars are becoming more and more popular. You don't want to be that guy that's in the train industry. When they're in the transportation industry, they're again a good example of that. And during times of crisis in the United States, like there's a precedent for that, what was it back in the day they made “hey, Maytag, could you build tanks and Maytag? “Maytag suddenly goes and builds tanks rolled toward, too. I mean, those are ways to make a pivot, to add value, add value to society. And again, the health in the beauty industry, especially if people are spending more time inside, you're not going out, you're not getting dressed up. So the value of cosmetics at that point is plummeting in some ways because maybe you might get dressed up for a Skype call, but you're not going to be getting dressed up as you would be on a daily basis. So I think, if you're a lounge product, go for it. Like you have free reign to do well for yourself. If you are sitting around all day like sweats and snuggies are going to do well. But it's a good pivot and it's a good way to look at a business a little bit differently. 

Ryan Alford [00:17:59] What do you think is the natural inclination on budgeting? And so there's obviously efficiency and budgeting properly is definitely needed. So, as an agency owner, as marketers, no one is saying that everything is the same, nothing stays the same with what's going on right now. But what's your perspective on, growth versus hold on versus just the overall budgeting of marketing considerations? 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:18:34] So my normal perspective on budgeting is I always say let's take the 70 20 10 approach. 70 percent is your core business. 20 percent is what you're doing. That's what you're doing. That's moving towards a more innovative side of things, but not completely. And the 10 percent that experimental moonshot, it's going to be high risk, high reward where you're going to find the big bang or really not much else. Businesses are going to have to keep that 70 percent running as much as possible. But that innovative side, you're going to have to find that through different means so that that budget that you've been setting aside for innovation, you're not going to be able to experiment with that the same. Where you would be normally, so you're going to be pushed, pushed to run a little bit more, lean on that on that aspect, but. From that perspective, it forces you to to try new things and experiment from a different perspective in your business, where you may be investing a lot of a lot in certain certain capacities, you may be forced to try different things that may be hack's for part of your business, but you're probably going to find different innovative ways to use them. And that's where I think some of this innovation is going to happen. It's like nobody writes great songs on a full stomach. I mean everybody does going to hear better songs on an empty stomach when somebody is going with somebody who has things, just things to sing about. So I'm from that perspective of like your budgets are going to be pretty cut back around like 25 percent. I mean, across the board, that's probably going to be the place that people end up, because a lot of the business, a lot of their business, depending on what it is, is going to be cut back. So marketers are going to have to get more scrappy and get leaner. It's going to be a place where they're not going to be able to do the same things they've always done because that's the way they've done it. They're going to have to really assess – what are we doing, what's effective, what's not and where are we; where are we investing your time and resources? Because time is also part of your budget, because if you are wasting time and they're not doing anything. 

Ryan Alford [00:20:41] And my answer on the budget part is a lot of it has to do with your risk. How risk-averted are you versus those? There's definitely risk involved as much as anything. Now, I will say that you can't stop investing in your brand. And so whether that's content development. And the way the brand is not I'm not talking about TV ads, but the brand, your communication strategy, your PR strategies, your blog content, back to some of the things that you said. I think you've got to stay true to that. But now is the time for innovation and testing. I am more than anything. I've sent out my emails to some of our clients. Look, if you own a restaurant, you went from, 100 to 0 overnight, obviously there are some other considerations. But when you still have demand for your products and there's still a natural buying cycle there for what you're selling, I think that's what we're talking about here. Now is the time to consider innovative new approaches. And what might that be? Well, maybe you've fought the change to digital. Like you've forever run in print magazines, but you've needed a better website all along. Maybe you've relied on great imagery, but now is the time to test some video strategies that use more of what gets engagement, again, all through the lens of the right message. So it's the combination of testing new channels, new things with whatever that redefined budget might be. But now's the chance to push it out maybe in a different way than you would have. All through the lens of respect and understanding the mindset of the consumer, so it's not well now we should just instead of doing a sale on TV, we should do a sale through a display ad. No, you need to think about, well, how about we give 20 percent of all proceeds of this goes back to the travel and tourism industry sale or like how can we this needs to be about if you can break even for these next two to three months and be feeding back into the broader economy. That's probably the way and I'm not a capitalist. I believe in all that. But you need to be thinking of ways with which you can deliver. And keep your people working, but deliver those messages, those products and the services through the lens of the proper context. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:23:28] You don't want to be. And even if you are doing quite well, if you're thriving during this time, if you're in the hand sanitizer business that's just doing toilet paper. Toilet paper going through the roof. Nobody's heard of a bidet.

Ryan Alford [00:23:40] But even the ones that are crushing it right now. If you don't if you can look at this as an opportunity to be a peak or you can look at it as a way to increase the overall forever because think about it; if I was Charmin toilet paper, I would be saying that we're giving back 80 percent. Like whatever it is, think about the goodwill that they could build that then increases their sales forever over time instead of just being this one time peak. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:24:13] Or how do you partner with different groups to try and give back? And I think that's one of the things you hinted at, is the partnership opportunities here are really unique to is how do you how businesses partner together to make the pie bigger for everybody else right now. It's not necessarily competition as much as it is let's work together to all get through this. If we can break even. “Hey, you can piggyback off of what we're doing here.” We can piggyback on what you're doing there and hopefully keep the boat stable for everyone else if possible. 

Ryan Alford [00:24:41] The high tide or if we can keep the low tide as low as possible for everyone, all ships can stay there. Because if all of your customers or all your B2B competition goes under, guess what? It's going to be a problem for you down the line. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:24:58] And so from that logical perspective, if we can do that, how do we think of what are some ways you think of that businesses could achieve right now with their messaging? 

Ryan Alford [00:25:10] I think primarily it's listening to your customers and knowing what they're needing and feeling and then building your messages accordingly and thinking about what matters to them. And so, in a community like Greenville, we know how bad the travel and tourism and restaurant industries are being hit. I'll give an example. All practice what I preach. We run a club called Green for entrepreneurs. A group in the community called Greenville Hustle and we've been working this week on limited edition T-shirts and with all the proceeds we're going to do a big promo behind it. We're going to be working with the city and do a bigger push than we normally have with all proceeds going to that industry. And so, that's because we're, being an agency, we're tied to the community and tied to that industry and we're seeing the impact. And so we're trying to, again, pivot an entity that we already had in a way that can impact the community in some way. And I don't know whether that is why we did the math. Fifty thousand T-shirts and itineraries. That's fifty-five hundred thousand dollars. That's nothing to sneeze at. And so again, through the lens of practice, what you preach, that's the way I think brands and companies need to be thinking, is what's something we're already doing that could be. Have that kind of impact in a different way based on what's happening in the community. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:26:46] Yes, partnering and supporting and that's what during times like this, people are looking for ways to do that. And they're not always necessarily right. Available for you and finding ways, “Hey, how can we support a business that's in line with what we do, but not necessarily who we view as a direct competitor? How do we think there's going to be some cool collaborations happening with brands partnering with each other to say, “Hey, I've got an audience, you've got an audience”, “Let's work together to find ways that we can maybe people Jack Russell Terrier and others. And we're going to combine combined efforts to try and engage that audience or hopefully add some value to their lives. We're going to support this different group in this different capacity. Any gift card bought from this organization. We're going to match half of it for ours. So those are opportunities to keep the wheels spinning for some of those businesses. But it's a cool story you get to tell about your brand, your business in some capacity. 

Ryan Alford [00:27:47] The biggest thing is if I'm giving counsel is for the leadership out there for the. It's time to step up and to Satine, the barrier heads look, it is our job as leaders, as owners of the business to keep this economy moving and running. And so I consider it my job, not knowing to keep our agency moving and running and working with the clients we have, helping them innovate. But I don't look at it as well. Running a sale or taking advantage or how can you promote something that someone might go by? Look, this is about consumers. This is about business. This is about needs that people have. We're driven by an economy and it's our job to keep this economy moving. And you keep that moving with the right messaging and the right marketing and the right principles. But it's not time to just go up the world over or go bury our heads. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:28:50] One of the things is maintaining a consistent understanding of what's going on, how things are happening and how things are affecting you. This is probably one of the times you can least afford to set it. Forget it. Marketing like, “hey, we got all of our campaigns scheduled. Let's just let it go and let it fly, because you're going to something bad's going to happen at the wrong time. You're going to come across as completely tone deaf, which is you never want to be in that position. But, yeah, you've got to keep abreast of what's happening, but then try and really go out there and live it and try and create as much consistency as possible. And if it is supporting the local businesses around you, doing as much of that as you can't like, we all have great ways to support businesses that that we love and care about as individuals share or celebrate more people on Instagram stories on your own personal accounts and find ways to do that to kind of. Celebrate them in a little bit different way and hopefully drive some business in their direction and I mean, hopefully everybody's making a little bit of a little bit of room if they have the capacity to go support local businesses as much as possible. I mean, make an effort to eat takeout food more than you normally would because those businesses are on the razor's edge and hurting a lot of capacity. Maybe maybe go buy gift cards from a store that you may not necessarily need something right now, but give them a little bit of cash flow to get to to keep things going. And gift cards may not be the best example, but doing something where you're trying to reinvest back in your community, those dollars are going to be more than those dollars are going to stay here. That shop local mindset is there's never a more opportune time for that. 

Ryan Alford [00:30:29] Maybe one last thought here, Robbie, if there is a tactic we've taught pretty high level that I always like to try to boil it back down to the ground a little bit. Is there a tactic that you think maybe and when I say tactic, I mean a marketing channel, marketing vehicle, is there one tactic or another that you think now's the time to be hammering or appropriate? We've talked about the filter of the message, which is this is more important than probably any of it. But is there a specific tack that you would say, hey, try this or do this or this is something that you should be if you're not already rocking and rolling and you should start? 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:31:14] Thinking about the behavior of everyone right now. If everyone's trooped and right now they're spending a lot of time on the couch watching Netflix. That's what's going to be going on. But they're also going to be having their phone with them at any given time. So they're looking for information. They're looking for entertainment. They're kind of looking for an escape. So kind of all of those, again, unfortunately, like spending more time. I want to say. There's a lot of information going on so there's a lot of information about our email. Those are the two places I would naturally go to first. Instagram's going to be the channel. People are going to be spending a majority of their time on and focusing on right now and email something that's going to be consistently available and accessible. Finding a way to keep both those running right now and Instagram stories is probably the best and most effective way to do that right now because people are spending a lot of time there or Instagram live has actually been a really viable channel right now. I think that's been kind of where a lot of the unique things have come from so far. From what we've seen personally, I'd rather not spend as much time on TikTok as I should, but that's where I've seen a lot of great things happening. LinkedIn, while I want to always be the LinkedIn drum, I don't think that's where people are going to be spending as much time right now just because they're focusing on keeping their personal lives together and keeping that focus. I think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs – the need for safety and security and safety like those are like you need for a new job or career. Opportunities like those are going to be those that are a little bit higher up, but farther down to where you want to feel safe and secure. So that's where I think people are going to be spending a little bit more time. And again, I'm always a fan of email. I absolutely love email. And it's like social channels. You just don't have to fight an algorithm as much. Google is still a bit of a beach, but in finding ways you can entertain, engage through email and find ways you could probably make those to play together. Well, this is my suggestion. 

Digital is important right now. It's been more important, but it's more important than ever. If you sell products and you don't have a proper e-commerce store in place to deliver products that people need, you need to refine that strategy, build a better ecommerce, remove friction in that process. Because now is the time to take advantage of Amazon because they're so overwhelmed with toilet paper and hand sanitizer, you're not going to be able to get that pair of jeans you needed or you've been putting off so direct to consumers. If you can provide that frictionless experience, it's there. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:34:16] And I mean, there's never a better time in it. It goes into that like shopping. Local people want a human connection really bad right now. And they're going to get that from Amazon, but they can get that from you. And there's that's an opportunity. 

Ryan Alford [00:34:29] So I'll double down on your website… 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:34:31] All those businesses to think about people that people are bought; all those things that have been on the to-do list that they've wanted to get around to doing, there's probably going to be things that people have always wanted to learn how to do something. People have always wanted to learn how to tie a shirt. But those things, people are going to have more time for those activities during the day. So if your business falls in line with that, how can you help provide an escape for people? 

Ryan Alford [00:34:58] I think so. Doubling down website experience, improving that. You're going to have more website traffic, you're going to have the halo effect of this and it is going to be great. Like even when things go back to and I'm quoting for anyone listening right now normal, there's a new normal and that's going to be more digital interactions. Robbie talked about it with the live streaming capabilities. But I'm thinking whether it's lawyers in church or in whether you throw a conference every year, the in-person interactivity is going to be less in person for the net for the foreseeable future, if not ever. And so everything that you need to be building as far as a strategy for what you do relies on traditionally some level of person to person. You need to be building out your strategies and your capabilities for digital connection.

Robbie Fitzwater [00:35:54]I mean, you couldn't be more spot-on there and you see, the lights, the conference, the conferencing programs or the what the collaborative web programs like just skyrocketed right now. Everybody's just going into town right now. But those in-person physical, physical relationships, you're going to have to learn how to expand those into a digital space. Like, again, teaching. I love teaching, but “hey, my class is suddenly all online”. I used to have in-person section and online section. And you've got to learn how to do it. You've got to learn how to do the online section just as well as the in-person section. And it pushes people towards that scale of innovation. But right now, suddenly you can scale this to everyone in the world and it gives those businesses that are willing to try it and willing to take a different approach, a lot of power and doing that. And I mean, that's all that digital is, is just expanding a physical and personal relationship to digital space and connecting that in a long term way. So I think that's where we're going to see some of the long-term impacts on the economy of remote working. It's not going to hurt your business. And they're probably going to be a lot more effective doing that because like Joe from accounting is not going to be bugging somebody every 20 minutes or kind of trying to chat by the watercooler. You don't have a lot of that time wasted, but you have people who can be really focused on doing things digitally anywhere in the world. So those are going to be some of the cool things that really do come from this like people can really work remotely and it's going to be OK. And those things that people have been wanting to try for a while but have never been able to give it a shot, are going to actually happen. 

Ryan Alford [00:37:32] “Capture your customer’s emails, grow your email, email database, get SMS text messaging capability”. That's going to be huge. The group thing is going to explode. It's already huge. You've got LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups. I'm going to give you a name. They are called the Mighty Networks. It's an amazing platform for building community. That's a freebie, but that's a good way to look them up. They have a really robust system. One of the original starters of the technology of Facebook started this. It's a great platform for building community and all the networks. They have a lot of integrations already in it. So I'd encourage you to look at that. If your business relies on that community or you're a coach or you're doing things, give them a look. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:38:16] Those things probably can't be overlooked more than this because that's a time you can really focus on building and fostering that community. And that's something that's a tent. That's an asset you can bring with you. And if you can build your own community – like I always say, the content community content drives community and that generally drives commerce. So you get those three lined up and in parallel and you've got something really powerful. And some of the most innovative things that probably are happening in marketing are in the community space right now. Like Glossier has a superfan group of people that basically do all their marketing research for them and say, hey, we want to try this new we think there's going to be a new cool, a new cool lipstick shade. Let's run this by the community and get and validate that it actually would sell. So those are all things that people can do and leverage those communities in different ways. 

Ryan Alford [00:39:04] Absolutely. Any closing words of wisdom here, Robbie? I know we don't pretend to sit on a perch and have all the answers, but we've been close to this. We've done this a long time. So, we've got a perspective on the things that could work. It really has to be through the lens of the right message, depending on your brand, your company and what you do. And it's hard to generalize. You can't really generalize that when having this kind of discussion. But any kind of closing thoughts?

Robbie Fitzwater [00:39:38] These are really tough times, really beautiful things come out of it, like when humans are faced with some really tough circumstances, generally, that's when humanity shines the brightest. And looking forward, I'm excited to see what comes out of this from that perspective, because I think things are going to happen that are really tough. But I think people will come together and find ways to make it better for everybody. And the economy will change. People will, things will evolve. The marketing industry will continue to move forward and business will continue to move forward. But I think the things that people maintain are true to their business, true to themselves and hopefully true to their employees and being good stewards of their brands. And again, that's and shop locally that's out there and support do the things you can to support the businesses and the groups that you're in touch with because those things will go a long way. And even if it's not, even if you don't see direct benefit from it today, it's a long term investment. 

Ryan Alford [00:40:42] And I mean, the golden rule and karma have never been more true than they are today. I couldn't agree more. I think I'm hyper positive about what's going to come out of this. Call me crazy, but I have an optimism that and not to be looking to. We live in a big connected world. But I think as Americans and that entrepreneurial spirit and, I think we are at our best when we're faced with our worst. And I think you're going to see that. I'm not more of a world outreach than normal. If I can be of service, Robbie can be of service. We're both on LinkedIn, Ryan Alford and Robbie Fitzwater on LinkedIn. I think we're both available to anyone here. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:41:34] And that's one thing, too, is like finding ways that I want to. Like we're doing this, we want to give back to people, find ways to give back and share your gifts with people. I mean, there's never been a better time to do it, because if people want to find information, reach out to us, like ask us questions, ask people. And because everybody wants to give in some ways and they're looking for reasons and ways to do that. So we don't always think about it in a straightforward way. But if you have a question, if somebody has a question, reach out to them, reach out to us. And that's one thing that people are just looking for ways to help and get and give. You're probably going to get a response from somebody pretty quickly, because this is a time where people want to lean in and help each other. So especially from the business perspective, I reach out to us. 

Ryan Alford [00:42:22] D.M any time you can find us on LinkedIn, you can find Radical or radical.company. Love to help in any way that we can. You can find me on Instagram at Ryan Alford and I think that's all we've got for today. Robbie, I appreciate you being here. And, let's keep fighting the good fight and everybody, “be good to each other.” 

That's it for today on the Radical Company podcast. We'll see you next time. 

Robbie Fitzwater [00:42:50] Thank you, guys.