Over the past few days, we've had several clients email and call us to ask what we are doing to deal with the impact of COVID-19 here at Island Media.
We'd like to update our clients and friends on the situation. Starting in late February, after tracking the spread of this outbreak for several weeks, we began drawing up a staged work-from-home plan for our staff to ensure minimal disruptions to service if and when the need arose. That time is upon us.
Stage one of this plan was implemented yesterday with only senior management reporting to our headquarters and all other team members working from home.
We thank all our staff for their hard work and flexibility which has helped ensure a smooth transition. Internal meetings, as well as meetings with clients and prospective clients now take place via video conferencing services such as Microsoft Teams.
Stage two will be implemented when the government of Indonesia issues mandatory stay-at-home orders.
Our management team is prepared with additional measures to ensure continuity of service during this period. These measures include pre-workday conference calls for directors and senior management, cloud-based workflow management, and offsite call routing to ensure easy access for our clients. We expect this announcement to occur in the coming days and are ready to adapt.
We recognize that as a technology-focused company providing remote services, we are in a unique position to react to this situation with minimal disruption to our ability to provide our clients with services. Many of our clients do not share this luxury, a fact that we also recognize and consider carefully. Our tourism and hospitality clients are particularly hard hit and they have already received emails inviting them to discuss a mitigation strategy with our senior media consultants.
Naturally, every business is unique in its strengths and challenges. Some have months of runway to deal with problems, while others have balance sheets requiring more immediate action to control costs. With this in mind, we would like to share a few broad tips that may help your business through these trying times.
First, consider the source of your customers. If you rely heavily on foreign tourists, walk-in traffic, or have a business requiring a customer's physical presence for a sale to take place, consider pausing any active advertising campaigns you may have. These advertising budgets can be rolled back into strategic reserves or used for reinvestment such as staff training or renovation while things are slow.
Second, consider the long-term. While paid ads work like a light switch, with on-off results coming from on-off spending, other efforts such as website redevelopment and search engine optimization have longer-term effects on your online presence. Businesses with a stronger cash position should consider investing in SEO while their competitors are cutting costs and scaling back on this effort. The race to the top of search engines is a zero sum game and one small silver lining in this situation is that some businesses will gain valuable market share by improving their rankings relative to their competition. One advantage of spending your efforts on SEO is that it results in a longer-term benefit, unlike the on-off results of paid advertising.
Third, consider limiting or eliminating non-trackable advertising. Print advertising and out-of-home advertising are notoriously difficult to track. In times of isolation and home-confinement their impressions will inevitably drop, making even the most realistic estimates of their consumption less believable. Moreover, people at home will spend more time online where trackable advertising is able to present your message. Businesses with the strongest of cash positions or those with remote delivery/service-based offerings may seek to engage in active advertising campaigns or increase brand awareness while people are at home during this situation.
As noted, every business is different and it is unlikely that following blanket advice in some newsletter or blog will suit your business perfectly. If you'd like to discuss your plan to deal with COVID-19, please feel free to drop us a line. We are volunteering to help, particularly if you are located here in Bali or are in the broader tourism industry. There is no fee (and no sales pitch) required to talk with an experienced media consultant, and it may give you the peace of to know mind that your plan forward is the right one for your business.