Full Disclosure: I have re-written this post no fewer than four times over the last week as new information regarding Covid-19 and our response continues to evolve. This post has evolved alongside the spread of the virus becoming both our call to arms and call to community.


One thing I can confidently say today is that I trust America’s ability to fight. I have always been a fan of the underdog (LA Clippers fan + the movie Rudy) and right now- we are all underdogs. This virus has no bias.


We’ve never been tested quite like this where balancing the voices (bad news, good news, social, subject matter experts) has become the new normal. I am fortunate to have great mentors, friends and colleagues willing to share their voice of reason and concerns. It’s the scar tissue from 2000 and 2008 that tell me to be open to all voices and filter against my own values and instincts. We look to reports from China as an indicator as to what could be expected with regards to infection and mortality. What China data will not tell us (with any level of trust or value) is how employment and businesses have behaved in correlation. When does consumer activity tip from suspicious to consideration of what does the new normal look like?

The purpose of marketing is to shorten the sales cycle.

Under normal conditions, this truth as told to me by business advisor and mentor John Hindman, acts as a catalyst for thought and planning across ops, sales, finance and marketing.

Under normal conditions, we all rally around the role Marketing plays in helping to shorten the sales cycle.

These are not normal conditions.

What do we rally around when there is no cycle to be shortened?

We rally around shortening the distance between you and your customers — you being the empowered brand, personified by employees and its intrinsic authentic values.

We are privileged to support companies of all sizes in their business strategy and marketing. Across large travel, mid-size B2B software and scaling CPG there is one universal truth- lack of visibility around what I am calling COVID CONFIDENCE.

The reality is that Covid will not be going away. COVID CONFIDENCE is a segment’s willingness to spend on non-essentials and risk public interaction to do so.

This crisis shall pass, and when it does, your customers will remember the brands and companies that have taken initiative to shorten the distance with trust and value. Brands who have been leaning into voice with storytelling and marketing will know what to do or say in these times. These are the moments where brand and storytelling work double duty as a platform for staying visible and where performance marketing slows (note: not stop). Going dark is not an option- now is the time to let a brand’s light shine.

Shorten the distance between you and your customers by focusing on community-building efforts and addressing consumers’ changing needs. Brands should be involving customers in our evolution and encouraging others to do more of what makes community thrive.

We need to shift our messaging from “the world” (environment issues) to “my world” (communities where we can authentically engage).

As a small business (working with businesses of all sizes and sophistication), we are not immune to the realities that come with this slowdown. Our brand values hinge under the reality that “Two Buddies Working Together are always better than one acting alone.” This statement reinforces our “Buddy Up!” spirit of collaboration, creativity and desire to help brands “Be The Exception” in their category. We are hoping to spark collaboration between clients, creators, partners and team members to help from the inside out.

The team and I want to wish you and yours well during this very difficult and stressful time. Our heart goes out to those affected by this outbreak. To the people on the frontline, from doctors and nurses to supermarket workers we commend your bravery and thank you for keeping the most essential services going.

Please consider supporting others while you are staying in. Your local restaurant or community focused not-for-profit need your help.


Small Business: Send out branded gift cards for Grubhub to customers and partners. It is a small gesture that sparks a large impact.

  1. Find a local delivery service that works with local businesses. For us, we aligned with Grubhub because of their National reach and ease of use. Go to https://www.grubhub.com/giftcards to get started.
  2. Enter the recipient’s name, and who it’s from.
  3. Choose to send a digital card.Here’s where it gets fun! Upload a personalized, branded gift card cover by going to any design application or canva.com.
  • Choose dimensions of 6 x 4 inches.
  • Get creative with your branding and add a personalized message!
  • Leave about an inch of room at the bottom of your design because that’s where the GrubHub logo automatically goes.
  • Then save it, and upload it to your gift card on the GrubHub site!
  • Choose the amount and then enter the recipient’s email and send it!

Not-for-Profit: Make a small donation on someone’s behalf and let them know why you did it, personally. There are organizations that are doing great things in great times and need help to ensure that they can do great things in not-so-great times.

(click to see our Inside Out Charity Challenge)

Let’s all Buddy Up!

by Pete Deutschman
Meet Pete

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