Reading list

Stories and resources worth bookmarking for the week of March 23, 2020.

While it’s too early to know how the coronavirus will unfold, it hasn’t stopped everyone (it seems) from making predictions. I even have a bookmark folder now with the unfortunate name (or unimaginative, take your pick) Virustime Reading, a mix of links to, yes, predictions, helpful sites and interesting takes from smart marketers.

Glass box brands” isn’t a new term, but it means something new now, like so many other things. I’m happy that the World Health Organization has created a WhatsApp center to disseminate information (and a good one at that). There are thinkers creating “coronavirus playbooks,” (Martin Lindstrom’s Small Data is a must read for anyone trying to figure out anything).

One industry that faces challenges, among many others, is the events industry. The rise of tech and remote working had seen an incredible rise in conventions and congresses and meet ups, a chance to connect to a larger group, listen to stories and better learn your craft. Another industry having to rethink their strategy? DTC brands, which had started to embrace bricks and mortar as a way to differentiate and market their web/app-based brands and now must look at “retreating” back to the safety of the web.

Of course, marketing is a fraught space right now, and there are no guidebooks out there for this kind of crisis. But the past exists, and it’s not a bad idea to learn from it. Because the insecurity and nerves are real.

From things I thought I’d never see: A Small Business Relief Fund on GoFundMe. And the rise of drone racing. Because we need diversions.

We also need content. Perhaps more than ever. That content needs to be human. We need to tell our stories and make connections wherever and however possible. And we need to find our voices to tell them properly. We need to be genuine and honest. Brands will figure things out. This isn’t an easy time, for anyone, but there will be an “after,” what many are already calling the new normal. Recovery. Smart companies and smart people will need to prepare for that time. Whenever it comes.

Stay safe and healthy.

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