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The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked unprecedented turmoil worldwide, and growth marketers must adjust on the fly to keep their companies driving forward. In today’s installment of insights pulled from our Guide to Growth Marketing in the Coronavirus Age, we’re tackling how to protect yourself against missteps that can eat into your budget and brand equity.

Chaos almost always results in more mistakes. Minimize unnecessary fallout by taking these measures:

Turn up the frequency of negative keyword reports 

Makers of costume masks may be relieved that Coronavirus has struck between the Mardi Gras and Halloween high times, but they’re a great example of an industry that must be on the lookout for negatives; missing one negative on surgical masks, which were already surging in late February, could tank a budget for weeks.

B2B companies must be on the lookout as well; an event marketing agency, for instance, should cut anything viral-related ASAP:

It’s hard to predict what the next news cycle will bring for potential negative keywords, so stay on top of the news, trends, and your internal reports to address any trouble spots early.

Remember latency and seasonality

Not all shifts in performance and scale will be directly related to the Coronavirus; industries whose numbers historically trend lower in February and March should take that into account before over-reacting to this year’s results. Latency is another factor to be considered; while purchase cycles may be longer in the current climate of economic uncertainty, revenue numbers may ultimately show less divergence when latency is factored into performance. 

When in doubt, over-communicate

Whether you’re a lead gen company whose sales and marketing teams have a feedback loop to discuss lead quality by source, channel, or audience, or a retailer whose inventory team feeds out-of-stock information back to its advertising colleagues, communication can proactively cut down on tons of mistakes.

Consider a company selling hand wipes that have been cleaned out of stock; advertisers proceeding without frequent updates from the inventory team may rack up tons of wasted spend on users who click to the product page to find long backorders or, perhaps worse, customers who purchase the product with shipping expectations that the brand can’t fulfill, resulting in wasted spend, refunds, and poor customer experience.

Getting ahead of potential communication challenges is key; providing your team with a templated response for customers, or using platform tools like Facebook Messenger for real-time communication can help to mitigate those challenges. You can also use social media to share important information with ease by pinning your brand’s posts to the top of your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Overall, good, frequent communication between teams can keep all parties in the loop on where to pull back spend, where to increase spend, and identify where customers may be experiencing friction.