Thinking Ahead on the Impact of Coronavirus
It’s the start of March and Coronavirus and the associated complications from CoViD-19 are more than just a talking point across the globe. They’re inevitably going to be the defining memory of 2020, with ramifications likely felt far beyond. While there aren’t currently many enforced restrictions on work from the UK government, it’s likely they won’t be far away and that by April we could see a massive shift for businesses.
So it makes sense to start preparing now. In lieu of everyone going feral and living in the woods, our take is that it probably wouldn’t hurt to stay positive about the business outlook despite the seemingly inevitable turbulence. Companies will still need to communicate with their clients and colleagues and video remains a brilliantly effective tool.
Video conferencing services like Zoom and our client StarLeaf will no doubt feel their infrastructure pushed as businesses switch over to a work-from-home policy. Some of our larger clients have already done ‘WFH’ dry runs and if the government imposes movement restrictions then this could become the new normal. It would be safe to assume that at Zoom HQ there is a healthy balance of cynical hand rubbing mixed with a bit of panic ‘Did we remember to stress test??’.
If you need help setting up a video communication system we can advise at no cost.
For businesses with smaller teams or those who rely on specific places to work, the picture is less clear. Expect hospitality to take a very hard hit. Some may be able to make use of technology to deliver products, conduct cashless transactions, venture into ecommerce with fruit and veg boxes/meal delivery services etc. Retailers too may be able to take advantage here. If you’d like to talk about these ideas, ask us. We can help.
Service sectors, in particular B2B, have a hard task ahead of them, and marketing is often seen as the first expense to be cut in times of financial crisis. The advice we’ve given to our clients is keep yourself and those around you safe and focus on longevity of the business. Things will likely get worse. But they will eventually get better. Better to hit the ground running rather pull the plug entirely.
To keep the conversation going, live streaming has its place. If a crew can’t get out to you then you can get great results from equipment you probably already own. We can offer advice on setups and best practice here – ask us. Important, too, will be creating content with strong storytelling from existing assets or readily available stock content. Animation, from elaborate character driven pieces to simple typographic and kinetic content, can help where people aren’t able to use live action filming.
On that note, we’ve already seen a number of cancellations and postponements for shoots in February through til April. However our bookings for post-production, including animation have increased year on year in the same period with many projects shifting from live action to post-driven projects. We’re also lucky enough to have our own studio, backgrounds and lighting so there’s plenty of content that can be produced remotely – particularly for F&B and product marketing.
It’s tricky to pitch services without appearing cynical so to help mitigate this, we’re donating all 50% of any profit made from March until July to University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.