As we have all seen, the world is sometimes cruel, unfair and horrible. Take the trajectory of two strong companies in the public markets as an example. Emerald Expositions known to most as Interbike, Outdoor Retailer Summer and Snow, etc., has seen its market capitalization drop by 92% in just over a year.

Emerald Expo vs Shopify valuation charts
From $19 to $1.6 vs. to over $700 for Shopify, amazing tale of two cities.

During the same period, Shopify has seen its stock price skyrocket to over $91 Billion market capitalization, in part caused by COVID-19 turmoil. Who could have predicted this extraordinary explosion in a company founded in 2004 and soaring during this pandemic?

So what does this tell us, and what do we do today to survive, prosper and use this challenging time to change and improve our own future? One, if you are not on a path to becoming “digitally mature”, or savvy, then the time to start is now, like today! Two, you can not affect the new reality of event and tradeshow downturn, but you can redirect spending immediately towards a paid media strategy (think Google Ad words, Facebook Business Manager/Instagram). Make sure that you have an effective EMS (Email Marketing Service provider) and start building your list to begin communicating with your customers in new formats.

Be creative and relevant with your email messaging. For example, say a customer bought a new set of rim brake carbon wheels that come with proprietary brake pads. Consider emailing the customer a year later to suggest they get a set of replacement brake pads to keep their braking performance in tip top shape. (Secret: We did this with a customer and they are seeing outstanding results!)

Whether you are a new brand, mature brand or retailer, this is time to look in the mirror. Retail sales are down and the direct to consumer shift is only accelerating. Get a strong cup of coffee, bring your team together, most likely via Google Meeting or Zoom for the near future. Then roll up your sleeves, access the world around you, and get to work on a new plan.