From Rob’s Desk: Tough Times? Don’t Toss Your Anchor

It’s easy for me to think of marketing as a journey. Or, better yet, an expedition. And for the sake of analogies, imagine we’re on the water right now, emerging from a trying season filled with loss and struggle and walking a tightrope of hope that we experience a sustained recovery with few earth-shattering hiccups.

That’s where we’re at. And the best advice I can give any business owner is, even if the wind changes and the water gets choppy again, don’t drop your anchor. Don’t do it. Even if it feels right and safe.

From a marketing perspective, with a view from the leadership suite, putting a stop to forward progress in the face of tough times does nothing but stifle success. Instead of dropping anchor, adjust the sails.

Why? Because it’s effective.

I’ve seen it time and again. Those who pull back on marketing efforts during troubled times sit still. That’s what an anchor does — it chains you to one spot. But those who double down and ride out the storm find themselves closer to where they need to be when it’s over.

It makes perfect sense, in the real world and even with this maritime analogy.

At WHYFOR, the marketing agency I founded just before the Great Recession, we watched this analogy play out in real time during the height of the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while we all have high hopes that the coast is clear, cases are climbing again and restrictions are being reinstated in different ways across the country.

We’re not out of this yet.

What that means is business owners can take actionable advice from the very recent past and apply it to their strategies moving forward, and that number-one strategy should include a commitment to continuing to move forward at all. Because, during tough times it can be a tough thing to do.

I don’t remember saying it was easy. I’m just saying it’s necessary.

Three of our clients experienced phenomenal years in 2020 by following that advice, and I can’t be accused of being biased on this one. Since we only implement strategies at WHYFOR that can be measured, the outcomes are truly, objectively successful.

One, a luxury developer, worked with us to develop more targeted messaging and saw a 40% increase in leads and a 248% increase in SEO traffic. Another, a telepsychiatry provider, partnered with us to adjust messaging, launch a new website and institute a strategic external communications strategy, and their growth is outpacing even bold forecasts.

And a third, a fine art event, responded to a need for social distancing by launching an online marketplace — only to go on and experience the most robust year of the event’s 30-year history.

These aren’t anecdotes. These are case studies in strategic development and implementation. It could also be said that these are case studies in how to adjust your sails when you really want to drop anchor.

Results don’t happen at a standstill. So, even if the tide turns, don’t touch your anchor.

To better understand how you may need to adjust your strategic marketing approach, schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation.