We cannot reach QII of 2020 without mentioning the biggest keyword of the year, and probably of the decade to come: The Coronavirus - or the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organisation officially changed its designation of COVID-19, the illness caused by a coronavirus, from an epidemic to a pandemic. This is a milestone to remember, as the virus casts a shadow on the global economy; to the point that the IMF has declared a global recession to follow the impact of the pandemic by the end of March.
As for Vietnam, a survey was conducted in time to study the impact of the COVID-19 on business operations and activities. The research was carried out by the Private Sector Development Committee (Committee IV under Advisory Council of Administrative Procedure Reform of the Prime Minister).
Among 1,200 businesses asked, approximately 98% of the respondents saw a decrease, ranging from under 20% to over 50% in revenue. Additionally, if the pandemic lasted for 6 months, nearly 74% of businesses responded that they would be bankrupt because their revenue would not cover operating costs, wages for employees, interest payments on bank loans, rental costs, business activities and other expenses.
Considering the enormous difficulties that businesses in Vietnam are facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses also proposed a number of recommendations to the Government. The three immediate solutions that businesses propose the most and expect the Government to give priority to support are: (1) The Government needs to implement its own policies for businesses which are severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as allowing enterprises to reduce corporate income tax, VAT and other taxes, lowering the interest rate for late tax payment, and also providing free social insurance during the pandemic period; (2) Giving preferential loans to businesses severely affected by the pandemic; (3) Decreasing interest rates on existing loans, freezing and extending repayment period.
Besides, businesses also mentioned other solutions such as implementing packages to increase demand, opening customs to import input materials, providing transparent information, and boosting confidence for people and businesses, discounting utilities, electricity and water prices, etc.
On another note, CREATIO as a creative solutions agency, we would like to analyse the opportunities that lie beneath this pandemic so as all of us can be fully prepared for when this is over.
As the world comes to a standstill, resourceful corporates can consider these suggestions for your marketing efforts in 2020:
1/ GO DIGITAL
If you have gone digital yet, go! If you have, go stronger! Nielsen’s report has shown the increase in media consumption, especially online content due to the social distancing and self-isolation measures.
Digital content can be under various forms and lengths; hence providing an exciting canvas for brands to show creativity. Content is still king, and now is the time to make it rule.
2/ CSR - CSR - CSR
During this unfortunate time, maintaining a good brand image and showcasing community give-back activities should be among the top priorities for brands. The prevention of the pandemic requires not only the efforts of the Government but also the cooperation of society. As a matter of fact, corporates should take this advantage to further fortify the public image and elaborate on CSR activities.
3/ PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
The COVID-19 brings us the quietness that we hardly see in business operations. Now is the perfect opportunity to think of new products, of new ideas, and of a newly enhanced and motivated team; in order to come back stronger when the pandemic is over.