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Charcoal Marketing

Written by the Symplicity team

Maritime Resilience is a series of stories on how local organizations are adapting to COVID-19.

Charcoal Marketing retools to deliver digital marketing for the next normal

As a full-service web marketing agency Charcoal was in a better position than most when COVID-19 lockdowns hit the economy.

Thanks in large part to an expanding list of local and international clients, Charcoal has grown over the years to deliver responsive web design and digital marketing services that deliver measurable return on investment. The company specializes in web design, inbound marketing, content creation, analytics, legacy marketing and more. The small, nimble team works out of offices on Quinpool Road in Halifax, bringing in associates with the right expertise when needed for client projects.

As COVID-19 forced people into lockdown in March, the Charcoal team kicked into gear. Like true Maritimers, they put their heads down and focused their energy on helping out. According to Mike Hayes, chief marketing officer, their first thoughts were: Which of our clients are hurting? Which of our clients need our help?

“We had plenty of work to get us through what we thought was going to be the next few weeks. We made a lot of pitches to small businesses with an offer to get them online. We did some webinars and talked about the process of getting businesses online. We built a new export marketing program for businesses looking to be ‘rebound ready’. And, every day, we logged in, ready to pivot with the day’s events.”

The team started each day with a check in meeting, which was a chance to discuss the latest challenges, how they would help clients and respond to the newest government support programs.

“Work was challenging, but for us marketing types it was fun, exhilarating and motivating. We were already nimble and flexible. This was going to be…easy.”

As time went by, the team started to realize the true impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on the economy and how people interacted with businesses. Some clients unfortunately had to close their businesses due to the state of emergency, while others were desperately trying to find ways to keep afloat.

Hayes said after the first few days of doing, it became clear they needed to step back and assess their strategic approach.

“The one thing missing from the COVID routine, was critical thinking. So, we adapted, again. Slowed things down, asked ourselves important questions, and applied some sober second thoughts. We dug out our business plan to assess what problems we could solve, plan next steps and look at resources.”

“COVID-19 has been a brutal event for many businesses, but we were much more fortunate, working in the digital space. This was an opportunity we could not squander.”
Hayes said the Charcoal team continues to apply the fundamental principles of marketing and has transitioned smoothly to new ways of doing things.

“We need to understand the ‘new normal’ and the new consumer. Everything is coming back, but not everything is the same. But as marketers, we will still need to excite and delight the customer. We will need to engage and persuade. We will need to make them want to buy.”

Challenge accepted!

Charcoal Marketing is offering digital marketing and helping their clients get online.

Check out their website or social media to see more!

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