How do you reach your customers, clients, donors while you, and they, are stuck at home? How do you show support for your favourite business or cherished charity when a global pandemic looms large over you every day?
You get innovative and you make deliberate choices.
The path back to normal will be long, slow, and faced with challenges, but there are also opportunities hiding in the nooks and crannies of our work-from-home spaces that we can use to still have an impact and do good in our communities. We just have to look for them, and then choose to pursue them.
For us, as advertising and marketing students, that meant looking for ways to still run our annual charity trade show even though we can’t have crowds or use the space on campus. That was certainly a wet blanket thrown on our usual plans. But rather than just throw up our hands and say “whelp, I guess we just can’t” and opt to study trade shows in theory online, we decided to look at our options and find solutions.
The solutions available to organizations and businesses are going to vary based on industry and product/service delivery, but there are some good examples of creative thinking happening already: hair salons that offer services on the sidewalk, stores that have contracted with locals to do deliveries or do curb-side pickup, and charities that address food insecurity that are using take-out meals as a method of service delivery.
You have no doubt heard of examples of these businesses in your local community, in no small part because of the appreciation of their customers and the public for their innovation. This is where it becomes our turn to have an impact, too.
When we hear about local organizations and businesses that are staying open, offering their products and services, we must be deliberate in making the choice to support them. The big online retailers are an easy choice at a time like this because they can seemingly catapult anything you need onto your doorstep at a moment’s notice. But the more you look, the more you can find local organizations and businesses stepping up to match their larger competitors – sometimes by working together.
This is the approach we’re taking with Marketing for Good. We are using our marketing skills to further our reach beyond what we would usually have at our disposal – the regular traffic on campus – to have an even greater potential impact for the charities our groups have selected.