Memo to: Right Hook Clients
From: Dee & Scott
RE: COVID-19 and Q3/Q4 Outlook
We hope all is well and that you’re happy and healthy right now, including your loved ones in what’s truly been an extraordinary few months.
We felt the time was right to reach out as the founders at Right Hook and share some insights, thoughts and gratitude with you all. It has been something we’ve been intending on doing more actively for a while now but as we’re sure you can empathize, new initiatives sometimes keep getting away from you as a business owner.
But it’s time to change that, and we will be making these updates for you on a quarterly basis going forward to give you more insight into what is happening within Right Hook.
And please, we’d love for you to email back to keep any discussions going or provide any feedback of what you’d like to hear more about from us.
Most of all, we’d like to thank all of you for partnering with us and being an extended part of the Right Hook team. Many of you have been with us for years now, some more recent, but we value being able to work with each and every one of you , and for trusting and partnering with us to help drive growth to your business and ultimately having a massive impact on your lives as a whole.
We’ve seen so many unbelievable business (and personal) transformations so far this year and we feel truly blessed to have been able to provide such an important role in those stories. It’s really what drives our team day-to-day, and it all starts with our first core value at Right Hook – Focus On Our Clients’ Success
Looking back at Q2 (and March) & the impact of COVID-19
This has definitely been one of the most testing, emotional and life-changing few months of our lives, with what still looks like a lot of work ahead of us yet before any return to ‘normality’. Both in business and our personal worlds, there are definitely a lot of shifts going on right now.
As founders, we’ve never personally experienced a time that has challenged our thoughts, beliefs and mindsets as much as what the last few months has thrown at us, but hopefully we can all truly come out of this on the other side, a better world and better global community as a whole.
COVID-19 all happened very quickly – back on Thurs 12th March we could see the COVID-19 spread accelerating quickly internationally and we got the feeling we needed to be preventative and take action accordingly.
Given what we saw escalating in Italy, Spain and the US, it seemed prudent we use that to our advantage in Australia and be as proactive as possible, so we had our AUS based team members start working from home immediately to avoid unnecessary risk. Fortunately, our US team was largely remote based already.
That said, we weren’t necessarily that concerned right then on the 13th March but literally 3 days later we started to really see the gravity of the situation unfolding and were planning out every disaster scenario, associated action plans and financial model we had to, to ensure we didn’t have to let any team members go for as long possible. We were treating it very much as a matter of survival.
There was a lot of uncertainty, and we had no idea how eCommerce would be impacted at the time. We were genuinely very concerned, not only for our team members, clients and Right Hook.
Within a week of sending our AUS team to work from home, we had 7 partners go on pause, who were mainly in verticals directly impacted eg. tourism, evening-wear fashion. They were understandably hit very quickly, so we immediately helped pause them so they could take the necessary measures to protect their businesses. Fortunately, they’ve all made it through so far.
Our remaining partners stayed fairly stable through the rest of March. Then came April and May…
What we saw was probably the greatest two month period of online sales we’ve ever seen in the eCommerce industry, as most of our targeted countries were in lockdown and people were spending significantly more time on their devices and ultimately shopping.
We had our best two months for both performance and ad spend per client across April and May, and saw many partners have record 7-figure months. It was some seriously exciting times as an advertising agency.
Looking Forward – Expectations and Market Outlook for remainder of Q3 & Q4
After such a strong couple of months, we were extremely conscious trying of tempering expectations internally with the team and ultimately with all our partners as well – we were not expecting the performance conditions of April/May to be sustained, especially with the economic outlook, in our opinion, still very unstable and uncertain times still likely ahead.
We believe it’s prudent to prepare for what could be a potentially bumpy 6-12 months ahead for certain niches.
Right now, we’re seeing new surges of COVID-19 across the US and Australia. Domestic and international travel is still heavily restricted or banned, and in the coming months we’ll likely see government stimulus packages rolled back. So there are still a lot of headwinds pushing against a full economic recovery anytime soon and a return to anything we’d consider ‘pre-COVID normality’.
In the back half of this year, once a lot of deferred debts (business and personal loans, rent, mortgages etc) start to be called on, it could have a significant economic flow-on effect in regards to disposable incomes. We feel it’s prudent to ensure that you are strengthening your balance sheets and building cash reserves to provide some buffer to withstand any turbulence over the coming 6-12 months.
Always Keep Enough Cash on Hand!
If we can offer any advice right now it would be this. As a financial rule, we always keep at least 3 months of operating expenses in cash savings for risk management against scenarios like what we’re currently going through. We were very happy we’d stuck to this rule when this pandemic began to unfold back in March, as we fortunately had a very solid buffer for any worst case scenarios.
We strongly recommend all business owners do this – if for nothing else, peace of mind in knowing that if things do get bumpy, you have substantial protection against having to ever let any of your team go due to tough times. Our priority and responsibility as business owners is ensuring the job security of our team.
Some really exciting news! Over the last couple of months we have been working closely with a couple of partner brands in testing and rolling out our Influencer Marketing strategy and framework.
Performance is really starting to hum and drive solid ROI – both as an individual channel and also integrating with our paid social advertising strategies, where we’re able to leverage that Influencer content for amplified results. We’re aiming to roll this out as a full service within the next couple of months. This is going to be an integral part of our overall strategies this Q4, across our Facebook/Instagram advertising accounts and going into Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
Once we’re fully ready to go with our Influencer Marketing program, your Strategist will reach out with the update and next steps if you’re interested in getting on board.
To wrap things up, again we’d just like to thank you for being a partner of Right Hook and pushing towards having a hugely successful back half of 2020 together, hopefully with the global environment improving as a whole as well.
Do reach out if there is anything more you’d like to hear from us! We truly appreciate the feedback we receive from many of you, as it helps us to continue improving everything we do here at Right Hook.
Here’s to a successful Q3 for you, and get ready to start building up for a huge Q4!
Dee and Scott