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The imposition of COVID-19 on the world’s population is having devastating effects on the health and well being of populations in more than 182 countries. With global economies placed in quarantine, the impact of the virus is being felt by everyone, not only those who have suffered the physical effects of the illness firsthand. Shuttering businesses, schools and cancelling sporting and social events is beginning to have the desired effect on taming the rise and spread of the contagion and lessening the implications of an unfettered, and potentially killer, virus across nations around the world. It is difficult to imagine a man-made weapon that could cause more fear, anxiety and destructive physical and emotional effects than COVID-19.
Business professionals, who have long understood that certainty of failure was most likely to come from peripheral events in which they have no control, are experiencing the reality of the vision. It is little surprise that few businesses foresaw the occurrence of such a calamity and even fewer considered it when developing their business’s long-term strategic plan. Financial planners, the asset managers who advise and manage 60 percent of the world’s $28.2 trillion retirement asset market, are not inexperienced in reacting and adjusting to economic downturns that challenge their clients, but the scale of COVID-19’s impact has even these stress-tested professionals looking for answers on how best to respond in a financial market that has declined nearly 30% in just a few weeks.
Building trust and confidence is a long-standing fundamental aspect of any strategy in the asset management segment of the financial marketplace. Now is not the time to be unseen and unheard or to avoid the truth or deny the obvious. It is essential to acknowledge the current state of affairs, provide relevant updates to fend-off panic and practice personal empathy and solidarity. Utilizing newsletters, social media announcements and other avenues of communication to express the measures you are taking to protect your clients’ nest eggs will go a long way in reducing their stress and concerns for the future. Actions taken now will have a significant impact on how clients perceive your professional capabilities and will have long-standing implications to a planner’s future when the worst of this virus passes.
Building meaningful relationships often requires that a benefit be offered without any immediate expectation of return. Even in times of great struggle, a professional planner’s focus on giving back is necessary to advance the future fortunes of a business. Steve Tenney, CEO of Great Diamond Partners, says, “We are a leader in this community and we have responsibility to lead, especially in difficult times like these.” Now more than ever, it’s a time for demonstrating compassion, respect and support to non-profit organizations that are most impacted by COVID-19.
Forming partnerships with these organizations and others will promote a sense of social responsibility for your business. While social distancing remains in effect, a company can use its digital communication capabilities to establish virtual fundraising events for numerous community charities. Engage company associates in the giving strategy by assigning them responsibilities to design, monitor and participate in the campaign’s progress. Keeping them employed can be an expensive investment for now, but will demonstrate the company’s genuine commitment to them as well as to clients and will keep them close and available when the economic tide turns more favorable.
Fred McFeely Rogers, the television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, and producer who taught millions of us as children and adults for more than 30 years said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Perhaps now the best marketing strategy is to remain connected to one another, and work diligently at being a helper.
Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) has assisted more than 30 financial industry clients establish timely marketing strategies since our founding. As we progress through these unprecedented and dynamically evolving economic times, we remain open for business in a virtual world and are ready to help you create an impactful causal campaign. To learn more, call 678-686-1125 today.