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It’s been roughly 2 months now since the emergence of the Coronavirus turned all of our lives upside down.

I believe that as South Africans, we are quite resilient. After all, we’ve had our fair share of ridiculousness and crazy to deal with in our beautiful country. However, when something of this scale not only hits our country, but also the entire world, it somehow sits differently. 

South Africans have always been fantastic at adapting and dealing with catastrophe – from Facebook memes to strange new trends and inspirational blogs, there is always something positive to take from Saffa people in difficult situations.

people happy at sports game

How do we take this resilience and use it in our businesses? 

Inspirational blogs are all well and good, but it will not put food on the table. It will not give you back the years of hard work, blood sweat and tears you have poured into a business that is now crumbling in front of your eyes. 

Printulu started from humble origins (read more about this here), and founder Alexander Knieps has managed to build it into the company it is today, with a well-oiled machine of a team and having served over 10 000 happy customers in South Africa. But the core of this business has not changed; we are still, and will always be, passionate about helping small businesses grow their business in an omnichannel world.

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But no amount of growth in the last 3.5 years could prepare us for the scale of the 2020 economic crisis in South Africa. It is unprecedented – and many, if not all, businesses are feeling its effects on at least some level.

When no one really knows for sure what will work in terms of getting through this with a business still safely intact, the best we can do is help each other. We can reach out to each other and learn from one another.

This is what we have implemented through our new podcast – the PrintuluCast.

I had the amazing opportunity of speaking to Chanelle Zackey, the National Marketing Director of Scuderia SA (Official Ferrari Dealer). Chanelle was the winner of the 2018 Ferrari Testa Rossa Awards as Top Marketing Executive. She has also been voted one of the 100 most influential young Africans in 2019 by Advance Media.

Here are her top tips for navigating Covid-19 and SA lockdown as a business with your marketing efforts.

Should marketing be something you are focusing on?

Chanelle believes that this depends on each business. Every business owner has a choice to make – adapt or wait until the pandemic passes and risk being left behind. The norm is no longer going to be the norm once all of this is over (and it will pass). The marketing game is evidently evolving.

Even though your target market will stay the same, how you can communicate with them effectively will have changed and needs to be reviewed.

How can you benefit from all these major social changes?

This is a great chance to relook at new growth opportunities within your business model. You could look into potentially developing an E-commerce strategy, especially with E-commerce now allowed in Lockdown Level 4. Assess whether you have the means to operate or sell online.

Another extremely important thing to consider is your current presence on social media. Chanelle believes that now is the time to diversify your brand through all online channels, such as your website and social media pages. It’s important to spend time on relooking at how these online mediums are being used and how you are utilising it. 

“We cannot wait for the situation to improve. We need to invest now in what will benefit us in the future.”

The societal changes that we are seeing now are not going to just go away after the lockdown has truly ended. These changes will be with us for a long time – lifestyles have changed and people have had the chance to reevaluate what their real needs are. We need to adapt and fit into those changes as marketers and business owners.

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person working at home on laptop

With everyone stuck at home, online media has been the main go-to.

Any opportunities to bank on going forward?

We’ve seen that more conventional advertising industries have taken a huge knock – this is especially true for industries like billboard marketing, radio advertising and magazine companies. Just earlier this month, Caxton announced that it had begun a process of withdrawing from magazine publishing and associated businesses. 

person flipping through magazine

Multiple magazine companies have had to shut their doors.

Marketing at its core is about how you are reaching out to your prospects and consumers, and meeting them where they are at to engage with them. This hasn’t changed. Chanelle reiterates, “We need to look at what people are doing in this new lockdown lifestyle and adapt to that so we can still engage with them.”

The difference we are seeing is that online shopping has become much more popular, with consumers spending more on social media. This is something worth considering that can be capitalised on. Keep in mind that it is no longer just a specific generation that is (or should be) on social media. Consumers of all ages have taken to online platforms to voice their opinions and stay in touch with family and friends. 

What about print media?

Many industries suffered greatly due to the lockdown. When there is such a large immigration to digital media being witnessed, it is natural to wonder where print media will fit in going forward. 

However, Chanelle believes there is definitely still a place for print media. Print is a proven, reliable source of advertising that is here to stay. However, because of the immigration to digital media, we need to make sure to have an omnichannel approach. You need to be going all-in where you can, and an omnichannel approach is the only way to really do this.

P.S. We are back in business and trading again! No permits needed. Please support Printulu’s reopening and place an order today.

Subscribe and listen to the full podcast here:

You might also like…

  1. Adapting your Strategy: Content Marketing in Level 4 of Lockdown
  2. 5 Ways Printing Companies Wastes Your Money – And How To Avoid It (You Should Be Asking These Questions)
  3. 8 Benefits of Using An Online Printer That Will Boost Your Omnichannel Marketing
  4. Coronavirus Survival Guide: Keeping Your Brand Top Of Mind On A Shoestring Budget (The Right Way)

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