WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
The impact of coronavirus is huge. Claiming over 23,000 lives worldwide and the numbers increasing rapidly, Coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) appeared first in Wuhan, a city in China and is an infectious disease that spreads primarily through water droplets or discharges from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever and shortness of breath, which is said to show up in people within 14 days of exposure to the virus. The virus has no existing vaccines however there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.
Those infected with the Coronavirus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness & is most likely to recover without requiring special treatment.
However, older people (one of the main reasons due to Italy’s high mortality rate during Coronavirus) and those with underlying medical problems such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer may face further complications.
Labeled as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and has spread to more than 160 countries, the Coronavirus outbreak has upended life as we know it. The challenges being faced by the epidemic are both unexpected and devastating.
THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE WORLD
The economic impact caused by the Coronavirus will be severe according to the International Monetary Fund and will be at least as bad as the Great Recession.
Nearly 80 countries have asked the Washington based IMF for emergency finance. According to the Organization of Economic Development (OECD), global growth ‘could halve’ if the situation intensifies and the global economy could grow at its slowest since 2009. Statistics also indicate an increase in unemployment rates and has reached 5.1% in January 2020.
Europe’s economy is predicted to shrink by 10% this year. In Japan, a measure of factory activity in the country fell to its lowest level since 2009. The UK economy is contracting faster than in the 2008 financial crises with the monthly Purchasing Managers’ index pointing towards the economy shrinking at a quarterly rate of 1.5-2.0%
THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON BUSINESSES
The effects of the critical circumstances created by the pandemic caused severe damages to industries and businesses at an unprecedented scale and speed.
These include automotive, electronics, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and many more that have been significantly affected. Statistics indicate that the pandemic can cost the global economy up to $2 trillion this year. Companies such as Apple and Microsoft have said that their business will be affected and disruptions in supplies will occur. Chinese industrial production fell by 13.5% in the first two months of the year.
Even safer investments have been impacted, until March the gold prices increased however in fear of global recession investors are hesitantly causing the gold prices to tumble. Oil prices have also collapsed rapidly and are at the lowest since June 2001.
According to the BBC, the travel and tourism industry has been one of the most impacted ones during the outbreak. More than 100 countries have imposed sweeping travel restrictions, airlines cutting flights and tourists canceling business trips and holidays. Top airlines such as Emirates are suspending most passenger flights maintaining just cargo operations and are forced to take cost-cutting measures including cuts to most employees’ basic salaries.
With the government advising people to stay at home and maintain social distance customers are buying less due to which major chains are closing their doors. The hotel and restaurant industry are facing a detrimental impact along with fashion retailers. McDonald’s, Nando’s, Primark, Subway, H&M and many other major companies are closing their doors in the UK. McDonald’s suffered a 21.7% collapse in visits to the shops in the past week. It is predicted that companies who are facing or are likely to face supply chain issues could take around three to six months to get business back to normal once the outbreak is under control.
PROBLEMS FACED BY SMALL BUSINESSES
It can be said however that large chains and well-funded restaurant groups are able to ride out shut down however small businesses across the world are suffering tremendously as the pandemic is making a significant impact on their revenue due to a drastic decline in sales.
An analyst predicted that in America alone, 15,000 small businesses and retail store closures could occur. Since small businesses are on the frontline of the economic meltdown, it is forcing them to fire their employees, which is causing a rapid increase in unemployment. It is predicted that the virus could possibly claim 3 million jobs by the end of the summer in America.
THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS IN MARKETING
Marketing mainly consists of identifying and satisfying a customer’s needs and wants. With the recent outbreak, the buying power has plummeted due to which the marketing industry has suffered gravely.
The impact of Coronavirus on marketing is such that, events are being canceled worldwide to avoid the spread of the virus, public gatherings have been banned and lockdown is being implemented in many parts of the world. Events such as the Met Gala, Cannes Festival, Concerts, Disney World, Universal Studios, and Coachella amongst many others have all been postponed in order to prevent the pandemic from further spreading.
The cancellations of these events or any other public gatherings are strongly impacting the marketing industry. The Olympics have been delayed which had more than $10 Billion in advertisement arrangements, sponsorship deals and promotional events, which has caused even further suffering in the marketing industry.
Distressed about the possibility that we are moving towards global recession companies and investors are more hesitant than ever because of which they are cutting costs or all together halting the marketing of any product and focusing on keeping their companies afloat.
Companies are suffering immense losses. The shares of Facebook are down by 28.86% due to the hit that the marketing industry has taken caused by the pandemic. In order to adjust to the alarming situation the globe is facing, marketing campaigns would have to be re-evaluated and strategies will have to be transformed.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS UP WITH CORONAVIRUS
It has now been established that the pandemic the world is fighting with will leave some severe impacts to the business and economic front, however, there are ways in which you can keep your businesses afloat even in trying times like these.
Businesses around the globe are trying different techniques to cater to the sudden change caused by the outbreak caused by the coronavirus. Businesses need to understand that now more than ever it is necessary to make a presence online as social distancing has currently become the norm and country-by-country we are starting to see a global lockdown.
To gain the maximum benefit online, companies need to ensure that their content is well optimized for search, updated, they provide high-quality website user experience and are creating more engaging email marketing campaigns.
There are five key steps that a business could take in order to deal with the unfortunate situation that we are facing caused by the pandemic.
- Adapt to the outbreak is by enforcing Workforce Protection. This can be done by the facility and on-site norms, which may include staggered work shifts in order to limit social contact as much as possible and by implementing work from home.
- Work on Supply Chain Stabilization, which can be done by supplier engagement through cross-tier risk transparency and order management, inventory management, demand management through production and sourcing plans and keeping the logistics in check through capacity pre-booking and route optimization as borders are being closed due to lockdowns.
- Maintain a Strong Customer Engagement by creating business-to-business transparency through communication and making scenario-based risk communications in order to keep the customers in the loop. Customer protection and outreach can also play a role in customer engagement through spreading prevention interventions, building customer communication on COVID-19 practices and constantly releasing fact-based reports on issues.
- Adapt to the situation at hand is by Financial Stress Testing by scenario definition, which can be done using relevant scenarios, based on the latest economic outlooks and by using financial stress tests.
- The last stage is Nerve-Center Integration through implementing and ensuring leadership alignment, creating a portfolio of actions across all workstreams which will be trigger-based and help maintain balance in the worst-case scenarios and issuing map and management in order to keep their company on the same track and allow the employees to know the exact course of action.
A MESSAGE FROM EVELINE, OUR CEO AT SMAI DIGITAL
“The situation that the whole is unanimously facing is painful and heartbreaking to say the least. My thoughts and prayers go out to each and every individual affected by these critical circumstances. I would like to urge all of our respected users to together play our part in helping overcome this pandemic by playing our parts.
Stay at home and maintain social distance. I believe that now more than ever we need to do as much as we can to help each other through these crises. At Smai digital we have always been encouraging in taking steps towards the online industry however now more than ever.
Online businesses are currently the only that consumers have access to due to social distancing and lockdowns hence we are providing excellent packages to people who want to start up.
Smai Digital is giving up to 70% discounts on the price fee in order to make it easier for people to start an online industry during these trying times. We hope that these efforts come into handy and keep your businesses afloat during these testing times.”