Corona Virus Update: Words of Hope | Impact to Digital Marketing | Telecommuting Tips

As we sit self-quarantined in our home offices like most of the world, DigitalHipster Inc. is available 24/7 for all of your digital marketing and website support needs. Our team has always worked from home with the exception of team meetings, so we’ve had no issue in transferring to telecommuting. All of our clients’ websites, hosting and email accounts are protected in the cloud with multiple backups and redundancies to ensure continued uptime. Many of our eCommerce clients are actually seeing an increase in online sales.

That’s the good news. We all know the current bad news, but we prefer to be optimists, and we’re tired of bad news. We’re confident we’ll all get through this together, so here’s what we know about how the Corona Virus impacts the digital marketing world, helpful tips for telecommuting and more words of hope.

Practicing Humility for Peace of Mind

With this new isolation comes more time to choose how we react to our emotions and the news around us. Many of us have had a hard time concentrating on work out of fear of the unknown.

It’s scary not knowing all the facts, not seeing the enemy, and having to put so much faith in humanity that we’ll all do the right thing. The fear of the unknown is hard for business owners who are use to investing and making decisions based on facts and known variables. It’s especially hard for hourly workers and those in heavily impacted industries. One thing is for certain is “this too shall pass.”

The first time I remember being semi-conscious about the word Humility was when a colleague told me I could use some “humility.” It was right after a big meeting we had with a large client following the initial collapse of the economy in 2008. I was verbalizing all my concerns about them potentially canceling their advertising because of the economy (they were in the auto industry), or them not renewing because we didn’t sell well enough, or what about our other clients in the same industry…. When he suggested I could use humility, I thought he was just spewing some religious doctrine and meant I needed to just suck it up and be grateful I wasn’t homeless. What he was actually offering me was peace and a better connection with myself and place in the universe.

I had arrogantly misunderstood “practicing” or “having” humility to mean not having confidence, being weak or a total push-over. These were all bad traits and as a corporate ladder-climbing Generation X worker raised in the materialistic 80’s and taught to “Win-Win” and “Control My Own Destiny” You could say I was part a victim of my “Here we are now! Entertain us!” generation, the corporate sales culture of “Always Be Closing” or that I was just oblivious to the idea of spirituality. I just didn’t have time for working on myself or spiritual-religious mumbo jumbo.

Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and pray to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble. -Andrew Murray

We started DigitalHipster in 2009 following the last great collapse of the economy, being laid off, losing our house to foreclosure and subsequently a bankruptcy. That sucked and I beat myself up for many years even as we grew our business. I cursed at God, the banks, Wall Street, Corporate America and myself. The only thing that kept me going in the early years was my absolute resolve to keep the promise I made with myself that I would “control” my own destiny and that I would never work for a “big corporation” again. While this kept me functioning, inside I still ruminated about the past and worried about the future.
It took me the greater part of a decade to encounter a deeper understanding of Humility and for that I am blessed. My disdain of organized religion had eroded my spiritual life. I had become so self-sufficient, stubborn and jaded towards any mention of “religion” or “spirituality” because I only saw the divisiveness, conflicts, discrimination, and lack of scientific proof. I didn’t realize that we are all just humans trying to tap into the greater misunderstood universe and provide meaning to our fleeting time on this planet.

“Everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives,” Sagan later wrote. “On a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” – Carl Sagan

Through my own spiritual journey over the last few years, I’ve slowly realized I could tap into the same peace, happiness and a better way of living regardless of what I thought about someone else’s religion, politics or society. No matter what you believe in, now is the time to have faith that we’ll all get through this together.

Five Tips for Telecommuting from Our Team:

  1. When you’re not constantly distracted by co-workers popping in or being called to a meeting, it’s easy to not look up from your computer and ignore your body’s need to move. Set a timer each hour to remind yourself to take a break and stretch. If you have a smart watch like the Apple Watch, pay attention the the Standing rings.
  2. When you need to immediately communicate something one-on-one that could be “lost in translation” or a more delicate matter to an employee or your boss, use video apps like FaceTime.
  3. If your team at your company didn’t already have daily meetings, you need to now. Unlike working in an office where information and morale can be spread like a virus (too soon?), when you work remotely each person is working is essentially working in a vacumn. Schedule a daily team video conference call using Google Hangouts or Zoom (one of the few stocks now thriving).
  4. Clear the clutter before you go to bed. Nothing is more distracting than a sink full of dishes or unfolded laundry when you are trying to focus on work.
    When you are done with work, shut the real or virtual door to your office and focus on your family. As small business owners this is especially hard to do, but you need to set boundaries.
  5. Try getting in the car and going for a little drive after work for a decompressing “commute” home.

Five Major Impacts to the Digital World Due to the Corona Virus:

  1. Amazon is turning away shipments to their warehouses from Amazon store owners causing their Amazon store inventory to be depleted. Those Amazon retailers with their own eCommerce websites are experiencing increases in their online sales on their company owned websites vs. Amazon and eBay.
  2. Facebook’s transition to telecommuting has not been as smooth as they hoped. Facebook’s human moderators are not able to keep up with the backlog of flagged posts as it relies more on Facebook’s artificial intelligence used to detect that review spam, hate speech, and “fake news.” This is causing many business’s ads and user’s innocuous posts to be blocked or held for review much longer than usual.
  3. eCommerce is predicted to grow as shoppers avoid physical stores.
  4. Social Media and TV advertising revenue will benefit from more time spent at home and more screen time.
  5. Ad dollars from cancelled sporting and music events, outdoor advertising, and “physical-contact” marketing like sampling, newspapers and direct mail will flow to TV and Social Media.

(Sources:, Wall Street Journal, Vox)

About Matt Ross

Matt Ross is the President and Founder of DigitalHipster Inc. est. 2009.  Matt and his Wife Wendy have two adult sons. He's a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Alumni, a member of The Society of Martin Scholars at The University of Akron, and an active member in a few book clubs. When he's not deep in code and cranking music, or trying to keep up with the latest Google Algorithm, Matt is gardening, mountain biking, off-roading in his Jeep, writing for fun or being a guinea pig for his wife's yoga instruction. He lives and works in Highland Square Akron, Ohio. For the 15 years prior to launching DigitalHipster Inc.  Matt worked as a Senior Advertising Account Executive and Integrated Sales Director for major television stations and newspapers in the Akron, Cleveland, Phoenix and Las Vegas markets. He has successfully planned, sold and executed millions of dollars in innovative multi-platform advertising campaigns consisting of television commercials, web video, content integration, multi-carrier mobile WAP sites, print ads, and radio. Matt says, "During my years working in broadcast and print media, I learned how to gather real-time advertising response rates and develop cost-effect creative that works for my clients.  By working for over a decade on the sales side with millions of dollars of advertising revenue, I learned how to spot bargains for my clients and see what worked and what didn't. We're not just a team of graphic designers, or artists that take chances with your ad budget. We have real advertising experience across all the major advertising channels."