™Marketing Magazine Issue 9 | Page 3

WELCOME TO If anyone had told me in January that 2020 was going to be utter and complete chaos, I would have told them they were crazy. Period. At Tulip Media Group, we were coming into 2020 with a lot of enthusiasm and early success with our new digital marketing programs. We were extremely optimistic that this year was going to be a spectacular year for the company and everyone internally. No one would have ever predicted what was just around the corner. When I first heard about COVID-19, like many others, I dismissed the idea. I thought many people in the world were overreacting. My family and I took a vacation down south to get some sun the first week of March. At that time, the COVID conversation was a small one about a virus that was happening far away from us in East Asia. It never occurred to me that it might hit North America in the way that it did. I remember having conversations while I was away where I openly voiced my opinion that it really wasn’t going to be that bad. However, the day after I got back, nothing could have been farther from the truth. That’s when our local government started to go into lockdown. Schools were canceled. People who had been traveling that arrived home a day after us were being forced to quarantine for 14 days. It seemed like the whole world was coming to an end. It was really uncertain and uncharted times. We were so fortunate to quickly make the move into our home offices without skipping a beat. Everything that we do was already online in the cloud. However, as I wrote about in the previous issue, we did not come out of this unscathed. We lost about 20 percent of our Client- Partners in the first week of the lockdown. Within the first three weeks, that number grew to around 32 percent. We are now in a place to look back and have a clearer view of the entire situation in hindsight. Like so many others, our company pivoted very early on. The result of this pivot was to put our SMarketing program at the forefront of our marketing strategy with slightly revised messaging. This became critical for many Client- Partners because trade shows and conferences were being canceled through the end of the year. Even face-to-face meetings were being heavily restricted. This meant that many of our Client- Partners were looking for new ways to reach potential customers. Our digital marketing program went from a potential strategy to the only opportunity they had to reach new customers. The importance and value that our programs were able to produce for our Client-Partners became not just a good-tohave and smart strategy, but a critical one. Coming out of this crisis, it’s been fascinating to view from our vantage point how reliant Client-Partners have become on online marketing where, previously, it was just a part of their marketing mix. SMarketing has become an essential component of their survival and growth. For many of the Client-Partners we started working with in this pandemic, SMarketing has played an integral role in their survival. For us, this has been a huge motivator and given us immense purpose in what we do. I am so grateful to be in a position where we are able to help these Client-Partners at such a critical time in such a critical way. Empowering companies to do this has become a mission of ours. It has really enhanced and transformed our culture internally. Because our role has become exponentially more significant to our Client-Partners, what we do has been imbued with a whole new level of meaning and importance. To me, that’s been the biggest satisfaction: knowing that we are making a difference in all this. Good luck. Andy Buyting Founder & CEO [email protected] TULIPMEDIAGROUP.COM | 3