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Pandemic Recovery Based on Pure Tenacity

What a strange last couple of months! I am writing today to show you a few things about how Tenato is doing things differently through this pandemic. As you may know, Tenato comes from the word tenacity, and this is the time we’ve all got to show that we’ve got just that.

  • Deciding Everyone Will Survive! We have decided that all of our clients WILL survive the pandemic, no if’s, and’s or but’s – and are doing absolutely everything in our power to ensure this happens. This includes deciding not to lose any clients, and we’re very grateful that this has indeed been the case. We are working with each client individually to tailor their pandemic message and capitalize where there are new opportunities – and we are finding lots of new possibilities everywhere. So far they are all doing extremely well, and adapting, and a couple are even having record-breaking results (one is an “essential” feed supplier, but the other one was ahead of the game online, and is staying there!). Other clients are learning new skills to keep their customer bases growing, and seeing their online business surge; we’re very proud of their tenacity!

  • Flexibility. We have given all our clients flexibility where they needed it. Sometimes this involves accepting (wonderful) merchandise instead of cash for payment, sometimes it means giving them a little longer to pay, sometimes it means giving extra services at no charge, and sometimes it has meant just taking a cut or deferrment in our fees. It goes back to point #1, the goal that all WILL survive the pandemic! That’s life, and we’re making it work.

  • Not cutting our marketing. If you’ve Googled to find us, you may notice that we are one of the few marketing firms that has not cut our ad budgets in the wake of the pandemic. I believe we’re also the only firm that has launched new pandemic marketing strategy packages. While I have noticed that our leads have been down a lot from where they were, there is STILL traffic. So, I’ve decided that we simply must keep adjusting the ads until the message and price re-connects with the fearful buyers in the current marketplace. This little blog effort is part of that response, in fact – it is me, the owner of Tenato – reaching through your computer screen and saying, “Hey, don’t worry, we are here for you – do NOT be afraid to reach out and call!” 🙂
  • Clients helping Clients. Some of our clients have skills they can offer to our other clients – one happens to be a talented accountant who has helped our other clients figure out inventory processes to prepare for e-commerce. Others have complementary products that we can use to do co-operative promotions. Every creative possibility is on the table to save money and find synergy.

  • Got it? Use it! As you may know, I’m also a performing musician. And I have found that music is a wonderful mood-lifter for people in difficult times. Since the pandemic started I have done 2 -3 pop up solo performances a week in different places, like malls, ball fields, and from my own front porch, just to give people a lift. Am I willing to sing tunes to bring attention to my clients’ stores or shopping areas by doing a show? Yes! I’ve done it before, and will do it again. And then we maximize the music efforts with some marketing – such as live streaming and social media! Helping your community lift a mood inevitably buys good will, and is good for any business.

  • Reaching out to Neighbours. On the theme of the previous point, I have also been worried about the stress of my neighbours in general. So I tried something really new: My husband Gary and I designed a walking-tour of community entertainment in our neighbourhood of Lake Bonavista that I hope will catch on around the city. The idea was to fill the void of all the event cancellations, and the concept is to have performers “stay at home” by performing on their front porches. “Performers” are everything from musicians to dancers, artists, and schemers who put on hilarious displays of creativity – all on a volunteer basis. Neighbours who are out walking or riding bicycles can then enjoy hearing/seeing them without worrying about large crowds. After recruiting several kinds of entertainers within the community, we uploaded a walking-tour map of where all the action would be (and I took a few performing spots too) and held the first event this past Sunday afternoon, May 3. I have never seen so many smiling faces all over this community nor gotten so many thank-yous; we’ve decided to do it every Sunday and already have a lineup of new entertainers for this Sunday. If you’d like to check it out, we’ve started a facebook page for what we’re calling the “Community Stompede.” If you want to do one in your area, call me at (403) 804-4676 and I’ll tell you how we put it all together – in about 4 days flat, and with about $85 in cash for making little signs and a few very targeted Facebook ads.

The point of writing this is to tell you that there is SO much you can do to help, because everyone has talents and resources to assist each other. Don’t worry if you can’t “afford” what we normally do here; just call. I, and my little team at Tenato actually DO care…and we really are exceptionally creative when it comes to finding solutions. If you’ve decided you WILL survive the pandemic, but don’t know how, maybe having a team that’s in this with you is just the thing you need.

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About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is founder and CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. With over 25 years' experience in all facets of marketing strategy, she is a business consultant, trainer and speaker who loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win."