GUEST SPEAKERS

Brad Plothow

Womply
VP of Brand and Communications

the full report

Greg Olson (00:00): 

Hey, everybody. Welcome to another GROWL Connex, a virtual panel discussion. We’re excited to have everybody back, and we are really excited to be honored to have a special guest today that’s going to be on with us. But first, I want to, before I introduce him, I want to say hi to Kim Woodworth. She’s been a great cohost through the many weeks of this, and I enjoy having you on the show, Kim. Quick introduction from yourself. 

Kim Woodworth (00:27): 

Great. Thank you, I’m Kim Woodworth. I’m the Operations Director for the Economic Development Council of Colorado, otherwise known as “EDCC”. We are the statewide industry association that supports economic development efforts across the state of Colorado. 

Greg Olson (00:44): 

Okay. Thanks, Kim. And I want to take this time now to let’s kick it off. I’m going to introduce Brad Plothow, from Womply, you’re the VP of Brand and Communications, and based out of Salt Lake City, and glad to have you joining us on GROWL Connex today. I’ll let you take it from here and give a little introduction about you, Brad, and what you do. 

Brad Plothow (01:06): 

Yeah. Appreciate it. Really happy to be here with you and with Kim. Appreciate the chance to talk through some things, especially kind of how COVID-19 is affecting businesses in Colorado and beyond. So, again, my name is Brad, I’m the Vice President of Brand and Communications at Womply. Womply is a data and technology company. We’re headquartered in San Francisco, but I’m actually based in Utah, where we have our largest office. We’re a technology startup and we serve small businesses across the country with software as our primary business, including in Colorado, and we have about 450,000 small businesses that use our software, but we, the way that we do this, is that we bring data into our software, aggregated, anonymize it, including transaction data for businesses. So, one of the neat things about that is that we can use that same data, the anonymized aggregated data that powers our software, to understand what’s happening in the economy, the kind of transactional relationship between consumers and local businesses across the country. We’ve been doing that for years now, but of course as COVID-19 hit, we’ve been doing a lot of analysis to try to understand, you know, the exact impact on the local businesses that kind of make up our communities that are the backbone of the U S economy. And so, we’ve certainly been very closely watching everything that’s been happening in local markets across the country in the last few months. 

Greg Olson (02:27): 

Yeah, and, you know, when you and I have been talking, it’s been very interesting. I know you have some slides to show about what you‘re seeing with consumer behavior across the United States, Colorado, you know, so, you know, really, I think what’s going to be interesting in our discussion today is really, you know, how can companies thrive during a crisis? You know, one, I think, you know, having data, you know, as that point is probably one of the most important things we can do is look at data and how can we operate, you know, how can we grow in a downturn and those kinds of. So I’m excited to kind of hear what you have to share along that, and I know you brought some sides you think it’d be great to start kicking off with some information now to kind of set the stage for this. And we’ll kind of share with our audience, some of your findings and your company’s findings and some interesting points, because I know that consumer behavior and the different things that you’re seeing in health and beauty markets, and, you know, what’s turning on what turning off and use. Actually, I think you had some, there were some surprises that you kind of thought when you started looking at the data. 

Brad Plothow (03:26): 

Yeah, definitely. Certainly interested in getting to the point of this conversation when we’re talking about actionable things that businesses can do. That’s one of the things that we’ve been very involved in as well. And the conversations around, you know, the immediate term, getting access to capital through like the paycheck protection program or other sources, and then longterm, how do you adjust your business to make sure that you’re set up for longterm success and you can adjust to the ways that consumers might be, you know, thinking about how they want to patronize businesses. That does start to your point with, you know, “let’s have some good information, some good data about what’s going on out there.” I will quickly show a couple of slides here with your audience and just talk you through a couple of things that we’re seeing. Can you see my screen? Okay, awesome. So, this is, we’ve got some data here. I’ll start with the national view. This is just a quick high level overview of sort of the national winners and losers. So far, business categories at a high level, they’ve done well or really been hit hard by COVID-19. So this is looking at every single day, the year over year variance in revenue for businesses in the aggregate and a category. So, for example, retail businesses: how well are they doing this year on a particular day against the same day of the week and the same time period last year? That’s kind of how to think about this. And this begins at March 16 and continues through the 10th of May. So, this is a snapshot of really COVID up to about now, and so you can see there’s four categories that we’ve chosen here: retail, travel and tourism, restaurants, and grocery stores. So, you can see pretty clearly here that restaurants and travel and tourism have gotten rocked. Before this, both of those categories were doing really well relative to the previous year up, maybe 10, 20% year over year. Since then they’ve been down, you know, 50 to 75%, we’ve seen a little bit of a raising of that floor in the last couple of weeks, but it’s still down significantly year over year. So even things like curbside for restaurants, you know, maybe the loosening of travel restrictions, hasn’t really made a material impact on those types of businesses across the country. On the other side, we’ve seen that retail and grocery stores have actually benefited from COVID-19. They’ve seen a pretty significant spike in grocery stores, and we saw this happen, like once the news started to break that the country may be shutting down, you know, the kind of panic buying really drove massive spikes for grocery stores. Then it’s stayed fairly consistently high and retail is mixed. That’s a large category, and so you have some, you know, clothing shops, shoe stores are really getting hit hard. You know, some hobby stores and antique shops are not doing well right now, but that’s really kind of counterbalanced by significant gains by hardware stores by, you know, nurseries people have, you know, really turned to gardening right now. Guns and ammo shops are seeing like record sales. So, there’s a lot of stuff going on there. Quickly looking at Colorado, so just, I’ll give you a couple of slides here to just show you what’s happening in Colorado: food and beverage shops have been hit very hard. There’s three categories here: full service restaurants, quick serve, so you’re kind of fast food, anywhere they’re going to hand you a bag, or a bars and lounges, and you can see that all three of those categories right around March 16th. 

Greg Olson (06:37): 

Look, have you ever seen any data like this Brad over time or Kim? Just things like, I mean, this is unprecedented, it’s just it cave so quickly, right, right off this cliff where everything. I’ve not, I mean, we’ve had these discussions. Have you seen anything like this, and maybe in certain areas of the country at one time if it was a hurricane or something? 

Brad Plothow (06:58): 

Yeah. The hurricane is the best example that we’ve seen. So, we, again, we’ve been doing this since the beginning of 2017: watching these analysis. The one time that we saw this happen was hurricane Harvey and hurricane Irma. So, in Houston, and this was localized, in Houston you did see this precipitous decline, but we actually saw, we did this analysis in 2017, in both affected parts of Texas and affected parts of Florida. It took about seven to ten days for businesses in almost all categories to return to normal revenue levels. So, while there were some businesses that were maybe shut down forever because they had physical damage to their business, they were right in like the, you know, the hurricane’s path in the aggregate. When you look at the economy for Houston or the economy for effective parts of Florida, they did not see the longterm impact. This is longterm impact. You know, we weren’t going at two months of really sustained, you know, lower revenue for these businesses. It’s come up a little bit, especially for restaurants that have, you know, shifted to curbside, but this is really significant. In fact, you know, longterm revenue patterns for restaurants have pretty predictable, even like, there’s not a lot of seasonality in most places. It’s like, you know, weekends go up and then the weekdays are pretty static. Even like the biggest day of the year: mother’s day. It’s a pretty significant bump, but it’s not that much better than a normal weekend. So this is really significant for us to see this. 

Greg Olson (08:22): 

Yeah. Thank you for that! 

Brad Plothow (08:23): 

So, just kind of taking that to the next step, about two and five restaurants in Colorado are effectively closed. This is the opposite side, that was looking at revenue variance: how’s revenue this year compared to last year. This is looking at the percentage of businesses that were transacting regularly that have completely stopped transacting, zero transactions coming in. And we look at, you know, it’s gotta be at least three consecutive days for them to qualify, then they come out of that bucket if they start transacting again. So, some of these restaurants may be able reopen. They may be have closed voluntarily, but this is a pretty good proxy for how many businesses are just effectively dead right now and whether or not they can do resuscitated is an open question, but you see it’s between 40 and 60% of those business categories that are effectively dead or on life support right now. And so the curbside transition’s been good for them, but it’s certainly not been enough. We hope that things like, you know, the stimulus work that’s being done by the government makes an impact for them as well. 

Greg Olson (09:23): 

Yeah. 

Brad Plothow (09:25): 

This is a look at open restaurants, and this is just the past week across the entire country compared to the same week, the year before. And so, you can see like even the restaurants that are open, and this just looks at open restaurants, this is not a cohort of open and closed businesses. They’re still down, you know, 30, 40% in most places, and you see Colorado is kind of like in the middle of the pack in terms of how significant the decrease is. You see a lot of these larger States or coastal States, New York, of course, like doing really poorly. Colorado, you know, relatively speaking is not seeing as big a hit, but it is certainly significant: 35% decrease in revenue, against what you’re used to is going to really, you’re gonna really gonna to feel that. 

Greg Olson (10:05): 

Yeah. 

Brad Plothow (10:06): 

Then looking at lodging again, this is the year over year rep revenue variance. Interesting that we saw like with sports and recreation places, a pretty big spike right before COVID hit, and then everything just falling right off a cliff. So, these are businesses that have been especially hurt by this time as well, which makes sense. Going back to this kind of year over year weekly view, so the past week against the same week the year before, I’m looking at the entire country, there’s a lot of red here. So traveling tourism across the board recently is down 50% versus the same period in 2019. We’ve seen this exact same chart for two months now. It’s been worse than some months because obviously this became very acute in March and early April, but you can just see like, especially places that rely heavily on tourism, are really getting hit. I think, you know, once now that we’re out of the ski season in places like Colorado and Utah, that don’t have as much sort of spring, traveling tourism revenue, or maybe not feeling it as hard, but certainly during the summer and during the winter time, this becomes a serious problem for Rocky mountain States like Colorado and Utah. 

Greg Olson (11:12): 

Yeah. Well, it’s hard to plan for. I mean, we have friends that are in a travel industry or travel agent industry, and just listening to how much they’re seeing turnaround and, you know. So I’ve asking her yesterday, she was talking about how, you know, they have people now that are looking at planning for the fall. Elder, you know, retired people that that’s really what they like to do is travel and they’re trying to get, they want to get back traveling again. So she started to see like people starting to plan, but not in the waves that we’ve had before. So I’m not sure it’s hard to have a prediction here. 

Brad Plothow (11:46): 

Yeah, I think you’ve got a large segment of people who are just frozen by the uncertainty and, to your point, they’re just not making plans right now, so those plans translate into real revenue for those types of businesses. It’s definitely taking a toll. Just two more quick slides for you all to digest here. One is supermarkets across the country. I’ve seen a massive uptick in their revenue, of course. Utah, interestingly, where I’m based, has led the nation in this panic buying category around supermarket sales. 

Greg Olson (12:13): 

Toilet Paper! 

Brad Plothow (12:19): 

There’s a larger, you know, kind of average household size here, so your, I guess your prep prepping and panic buying for a larger family on average, but whatever the case is, Utah’s leading the charge and panic buying. Not as much in Colorado. Colorado is actually pretty flat year over year. We’ve seen that pretty consistently. Folks have been pretty measured in their response to making runs on supermarkets, according to this data at least, in Colorado. You may see differences in the supermarkets you patronize, but across the board, generally at a high level, that’s what we are seeing. 

Greg Olson (12:50): 

You know, it was interesting. Because there was no toilet paper and it seemed like the bean aisle at a grocery store was all taken too. So I think there’s a correlation there between types of food, people are buying and like “Hey, we better stock up on things” and, you know, and then they kept having those campaigns: “This doesn’t affect your digestive system.” I mean, you know, it’s like as people were…I just, it was amazing just in a historical moment and snapshots to take a picture of this, so you’re right. Everybody’s still buying “booze.” Look at this! Did you hear, Brad, that Denver for a small moment, they were going to, they were going to close all liquor stores. And we have, you know, legal marijuana, so they were going to say, look, we’re now going to close it all down. So what do you think happened the minute they mayor came out? So that there’s a massive lines, like within minutes at it. And then like that night they said, “just kidding, we’ll leave them open.” So t-shirts came out: “I survived Denver’s 20, 27 minutes of prohibition.” Right? Because it was just crazy. There was panic. Right?. And it’s like, I was just, I’m like, no, one’s panicking to go get you like, “Oh man, maybe we should get our prescription filled, baby food.” That they’re all like running to the liquor store. I can’t remember. She’s laughing because she knows it’s ridiculous, but that’s, you know, the panic. 

Brad Plothow (14:10): 

No people work when they know they can’t get something they’re going to go out, and they’re going to, they’re going to hoard it. That’s human nature. Yeah. So, I mean, booze has been one of those things again, like I think you’ve got, you know, the scarcity issue, the question of, “can I get it?” and you also have, you know, it’s a coping mechanism for a lot of people, you know, whether it’s like, you know, booze or M&Ms or something else, ice cream, you know, people are going to be looking for those kinds of things as they’re sheltering in place. So booze is definitely up. 

Greg Olson (14:38): 

I think the red is there in those States. 

Brad Plothow (14:43): 

it’s really weird. So I think some of this is the complexity around, you know, we’re not looking at state liquor store data, which is why, you know, in Utah we have that there’s no data because there’s no. 

Greg Olson (14:52): 

You don’t have any data to share, so… 

Brad Plothow (14:55): 

Right! So it’s all the like, so you can’t buy liquor in a grocery store in Utah. There’s no businesses that are categorized as like a liquor store in Utah, so there may be some categorization issues that are going on with places like New Mexico. I don’t know how they actually tag all those businesses, but for most places where you have, you know, a business that is designated as its primary business being, you know, alcohol sales or liquor or liquor sales, that’s kind of what you see, and it’s interesting that pretty, pretty green across the board, except for a couple of outliers like you say. 

Greg Olson (15:27): 

So what’s the biggest one, Texas there? And I see a 93. 

Brad Plothow (15:32): 

Idaho and Montana a hundred percent. Oh…and it looks like it’s Ohio. What does that Mississippi as well?Alabama? 

Greg Olson (15:42): 

There could be a business opportunity, a pivot there for companies making like bottle openers…I don’t know, recycling bin…something. Right? I mean, arts and crafts with your liquor bottles. I don’t know. So, I mean, with that much. There might be something there in the data. Right, Brad? I mean, you look at data and go, “what can we do with it?” 

Kim Woodworth (16:02): 

I’m sorry. I’m wondering if on that data also has something to do with how COVID impacted those States. So if they don’t have as large, you know, COVID numbers, then there wasn’t that big of a need or a scarcity issue. 

Brad Plothow (16:21): 

Yeah. I think there’s probably a lot of idiosyncrasies. I mean, the United States is like a bunch of individual countries when it comes to their responses to this kind of stuff as we’ve seen, so, you know, for example, in Utah, again, the state has said, “all right, well, on weekends, we’re going to open up the state liquor stores.” So, you’ll see lines like miles long of people parking their cars to go and like to the state liquor stores on the weekends. And so I don’t know what the idiosyncrasies might be like in a place like Alabama or in Louisiana as far as like, what kind of, you know, what kind of the dynamics, the social dynamics are, how people feel about getting out. Maybe they’re just saying, “look, I’m going to go out twice a month, and when I do, I’m going to really like rock these stores with what I buy.” I think, you know, the employment situations probably play into it as well. Like what kind of disposable income do people have? How are they spending it? So, there’s a ton of variables to consider and this there’s a lot of things to unpack there. 

Greg Olson (17:18): 

Yeah, it’s really interesting. So that’s been as fascinating data when you shared it with me before, just how consumer behavior, consumer data, you know, here at GROWL, we look at data all the time: our clients data, we’re trying to see trends and making determinations with marketing plans and strategies and, you know, how to relaunch things based on data. Right? Because then we can actually see the needle move. So, you know, Brad, you’ve been doing this a while in marketing and branding and you know, one of the things is, do we have any tips for companies? I know it’s a hard one because it depends on each industry, but you know, I think companies can remarket themselves. You know, we talk about update messaging and our brand, or consider prospects and customers. I mean, what are you talking to with your peers out there? What would you say people are missing or to do more often or, you know, cause a lot of people are just scared. You know, if your business has started is, is off 50%, 80%, 90%, or you’re close and you’re about to reopen and these are scary times for people. 

Brad Plothow (18:15): 

Yeah. I think it’s, it’s the million dollar question right now, which is how do you actually go about reopening? And I think there’s two main themes that we keep seeing. One is having really clear and active communications with your customers. Being able to let them know just that you are open and the conditions on which you’re opening is really important. And, you know, to the extent that you’re taking precautions and reopening in a more kind of thoughtful way, you know, communicating that to your customers as well, so that they you’re, first of all, top of mind, I mean, we’ve found that, you know, some of the local businesses that we’ve patronized in the past in our family, who’ve reached out to us and said, “Hey, we’re still here and we’d love your business. And here’s, you know, a way that we’re making it safe for you guys to come out and patronize our business.” That’s actually prompted us to spend money with them. And I think that’s probably true across the board. And then I think the other thing is when you segment, you know, the consumer mindset around COVID-19, I think we’ve seen pretty significant evidence that there is like a small fringe who’s just going to be playing it safe no matter what nothing you do is going to bring them out of their, of their homes. There’s a small friends that says, I don’t care what you do. I’m going to go and do what I want to do anyway. And then there’s a very large middle who are kind of waiting for indications that it’s okay, and it is going to be like kind of careful, but they’re willing to go out and spend money. And so in those cases, I think you really want to cater to those folks. So, you know, you see restaurants, if you’re running a restaurant, I think if you can be explicit about, Hey, here’s the information we’re using to make decisions about how to make our restaurants safe and not just be doing it the way we’ve always done it, but make some accommodations. And you meet people where they are and you communicate those to your customers. I think people are going to be much more likely to spend money with those types of businesses. So I think it really is an acknowledgement that it’s not business as usual, but there can be a continuation of your business as long as you adapt and you communicate those adaptations to your customers. 

Greg Olson (20:09): 

I agree. And I think we’re seeing restaurant’s opening. I was in a place last night. And like if you’re going to sit inside, you know, disperse 30% and they asking you or wear a mask until you sit down right. And you know, a lot of hand washing all these new things that we took for second nature. And that’s the uncomfortable part. We’re not really sure, like everybody’s doing things a little bit different. You know, we talked about economic growth and your your company, Wampler, has been involved in just helping do different things and your messaging and doing items, but, you know, Kim’s actively involved and, you know, I think there’s so many discussion, like how do we get the economy moving another, that’s a bodily, a $3 trillion question. But I mean, is there anything you’d like you’re hearing out there or Kim, or, you know, these are just topics we’re going to probably continue to be talking about for months. 

Brad Plothow (21:01): 

Yeah. I certainly had a couple of thoughts, but I deferred it to Kim on a lot of this. This is her area of expertise, but just a couple of thoughts. I think one of the things that we see again, we’re looking at local businesses that rely on consumer spending, and they also rely on… So if you go on Amazon, Amazon is built for, you know, what you want and it’s built around search. I’m finding the exact thing that I want. You’re not really like window shopping on Amazon. And so it has a different dynamic for people. And so if you’re like, look, I just want hand sanitizer or, you know, I want to like seven pound bag of MandM’s or whatever. Like you can find those things on Amazon and have them shipped to you, which is great. But I think again, another part of our economy that we have not fully appreciated, it’s fairly subtle as this, this sort of like a non-urgent non defined, you know, consumer spending 70% of our economy is based on consumer spending. And a lot of that is look, I’m just as kind of a leisure activity going out and, and window shopping. And it turns into a transaction and that’s really been frozen by all this. And so how do you revive that? How do you give people confidence that as they leave their homes and spend time in places with people, you know, in maybe some more confined spaces that, you know, the business is a safe place for them to be. And I think that’s a really difficult and vexing challenge. I don’t think there’s like great answers to that. It’s about being able to figure this out on the fly. 

Kim Woodworth (22:24): 

We are starting to see conversations happening where if we had, you know, certain guidelines that they were following very much like OSHA, and you get, you receive some kind of seal of approval that you can show your clientele, that you have gone through these motions to make your store safe, your restaurant safe, that as a patron, you will be safe. Because they’re following these protocols is definitely one step, but it’s going to take awhile and we need clear guidance for that. And of course, this is also new to everybody that, you know, guidance takes a while to really figure out, and then we’re also looking at, at least in the summer months, we can say, well, you know, most days are really good days and we could maybe sidewalk shop, you know, do, you know, bring our shops out to the sidewalk, bring our restaurants out to the sidewalk. If we don’t have the sidewalk space, are there certain streets like Denver who has gone to their city council to be approved certain sections of streets to be closed in order for those retailers to come out into the street. So very street, fair type, atmosphere. There’s a lot of things that you gotta work through, like alcohol prohibiting and types of food bending, and, you know, all of those things have to be worked through. But I do know that, you know, through adversity comes opportunity and we’re very innovative creatures. And I just know that, you know, just as we’ve seen in history that innovation spikes at this time. And so we’re just, you know, everyone’s really starting to think through some of these issues and, and it’s going to be really interesting to see the cool things that we come up with, especially through the summer months. 

Greg Olson (24:20): 

Yeah. I agree with those. And I think good points from both of you, you know, we have a few more minutes here, so Brad, I’m going to pick your brain. I know Kim and I, Kim will appreciate some of this, just thinking about marketing in general. So if you have to, now you have your marketing hat on and, your planning or your deck, you know, so we get this question all the time, like, “wow, should we stay on, what are you seeing?” Like digital marketing, social media. And again, you can talk about really anything you want, you know, how you talked about up search. I think direct male with people at home. Now people are actually like, Hmm, looking through their mail because they’re actually have time. So this is kind of trends that we’re starting to see. So I don’t know, like, you know, as people are trying to rewrite their business plan or marketing plan about, you know, those types of items, one thing I’ve been talking and you mentioned it is get on the phone with your customers. You almost have to be more with them. If you’re on the B2B side, you know, we’re talking consumer marketing, you know, that you’re touching base by, you know, I think a more regular then you probably normal kind of that pace is how I feel. So that’s kind of that relevancy to let people know, Hey, we’re open. I, we do it. I think we have a good content team. Our marketing team has a good job with growler, constantly putting out tips and ideas, letting them people know like, Hey, we’re still here. So I don’t know, like if there’s a rhythm, like you’re like, if, you know, if you’re the only marketing guru in the United States and people will come to you, what do you, what would you say to them now? 

Brad Plothow (25:47): 

I think you’re right about, you know, that you, you need to be ramping up the communication, but also making sure that like, we’re, that it’s very intentional and like based around value and based around like authenticity. So, I think we’ve all gotten very kind of worn out by, you know, the kind of massive email marketing, automation that’s out there and you’re just getting hit constantly. You can see the email flow, you know, kind of happening and where you’re at in their funnel or whatever. I think those kinds of things are going to be even less effective now, because again, people are trying to tune out noise and get to something that is meaningful for them. And so to your point, I think, you know, communicating more constantly with customers in a way that’s more meaningful is important. The channels I think are really depending on your type of business. So you mentioned the B2B setting. You know, you may be just getting on the phone and saying, “Hey, hope you guys are doing well. What can we do to help you out?” I feel like if you’re out of sight out of mind and a B2B context, it’s very easy for you to become a line item and an expense report that gets locked off. Until you’re reminding the humans that you work with, that, you know, you’re providing something of value that they should think twice about and on a consumer side of things, I think it’s fairly similar in that. What are you doing to provide something of value? And that, that value could be simply like, Hey, you know, you probably haven’t had a healthy meal in a while. We’ve got a health food restaurant, you know, right around the corner from us here that reminded us that it’s really easy to get pizza right now, but you need to do your body a favor and you need to have some healthy food as well. And that might be more difficult. You might be, you know, stress eating a lot more sugar to treat yourself to a healthy meal. And it’s like, that’s a good point. So that advertisement had more weight now. And it was just a simple email and delivered to my inbox and, you know, it’s cost us to go and spend some money with them. So I think being very intentional about the value you’re adding through more communication is the general guiding principle. 

Greg Olson (27:46): 

Yeah, I like it. We did coloring books, calling pages that we can download kind of mental health. And I, I think it was, I mean, I thought it was be a good idea, but surprising only how many people just took away from something new and fresh, like, you know, download these pages and color and, you know, so, I was actually surprised by that just some different unique gave people, you know, we do these monthly podcasts, we’re trying new things to like our team does pick songs and we put them out there for people to listen to. And it’s been fascinating just seeing, you know, something different and unique. Because really no one wants to buy any marketing services as much as, I mean, they do, it’s like software, but you have to, you have to get your brand out there in a different way. And the people that are planning, we have lots of clients too. They’re really dirt pedal down down, man. They’re really making decisions getting in front of their competition. And I think this is the perfect time during a crisis during a downturn is to really rethink about how you kind of strategize your messaging. And I think you can get ahead of it. I think economic development is that. And I think Kim, you’re seeing that too. And communities, I mean the ones that are out in front of it, they’re probably doing the same thing. Right. They’re communicating daily. They’re saying, Hey, we’re in this, we’re going to do this together. We’re strong. And I think it’s probably the same on your side to Kim, right? 

Kim Woodworth (29:04): 

Yeah. And I think the one takeaway that I’ve really seen is out, we are stronger in numbers. The power is in numbers. And so if you are a small community or you are a small business, you know, who in your marketplace can you be connecting with and sharing resources with and sharing platform of communication. And I’ve, we’ve, we’ve been talking about this a lot is that you don’t want to be caught in your heels that you want to be on your toes, that you, you can’t wait for the next news reel to come out to say, Oh, we’re going to be in this for another couple of weeks. I mean, I feel bad for California. He was looking at having to be in this through August. I mean, you know, it’s important that we’re always pivoting as we have to through every scenario. What we were doing last week is completely different than what we’re doing this week. It’s exhausting, but we’ve learned a lot. And we have a new playbook that we’ve never had before. So now when another pandemic comes, we’ll know how to respond and hopefully we’ll be able to respond quicker, you know, for those communities, who’ve had major disasters like fires and, and, you know, hurricanes, they have a playbook. And so they know they go to that playbook every time they have a hurricane, they go into that playbook and they’re like, okay, we need to assemble our response teams. We need to start putting money together. We need to get FEMA in here. And then, you know, they just start going like this. And so we all will start doing that as well. 

Greg Olson (30:39): 

Right. Yeah, thank you for Kim for those comments, you know? Well, why don’t we wrap up? We’ve been on and we’ve gotten some great comments from both of you big takeaway, some great data on consumer behavior. Really interesting. And I look forward to seeing these curves start to tick back up, Brad, as you kind of share data in the future with us about, you know, what you’re seeing in these different markets and there’s opportunities in those data points too, I think is what we always share. We talk to a lot of entrepreneurs and, business leaders and startups, and we’ll share this information today out to a wide network. And that’s the thing I think, looking at data to look for opportunities, and I think there’s a lot out there for when we’re in a downturn or a crisis or a pandemic. You know, I want to close out Brad, just with you giving a sense of like, Womply like, what kind of clients do you work with or look for, you know, I find your, I find it fascinating, the company you work for just as I was digging through your website. And also, do you mind just, when you talk about that, but just say like, you have some great information on there about SBA loan guidance and PPP loans, a lot of people doing this, but you guys have actually had this like grassroots lobby effort and a voice of small business, which is very kind of unique. You know, I’d like to say we started putting that out, but you guys really took it a deck, a extra step. 

Brad Plothow (32:02): 

Yeah. So our core businesses I mentioned at the top is that we, we provide software, that’s powered by data to small businesses. And so, you know, there’s a lot of things that you can do with that. It’s mostly sort of, you know, customer relationship management, marketing software, but we also, provide, you know, capital services. So we really kind of, we’re not a lender, but we did, we have great relationships with SBA lenders. And once COVID-19 hit, there were two things that became very clear. One was that, you know, the urgency was around making businesses solvent financially. And that required both making sure that the infrastructure was in place and the policy makers were, you know, getting a voice in their ear to understand the urgency and how to deploy this. And so they’re the small business community doesn’t have like a really well developed lobby like many of these larger business sectors do. And so, you know, there was a really interesting kind of ad hoc, grassroots and advocacy and lobbying effort that spun up. And we were part of that. We were, you know, talking with folks at the federal reserve, the SBA, you know, congressional leaders. So we were doing that in concert with other small business software providers as well and technology companies. And I think it did make an impact in trying to help, you know, streamline things. This is, you know, the, the paycheck protection program as part of the cares act was really unprecedented in the amount of money that was being deployed, through a very complicated process that wasn’t built to like deliver at that kind of a scale. And so while there have been some real hiccups along the way, it was, you know, fairly effective at getting money into hands relative to where, how it was built. And so we’ve been really focused on, you know, trying to advocate for small businesses in the halls of Congress, to the extent that we can, and then also be able to facilitate, that paycheck protection program. There’s a lot of landmines and things that are confusing. So we were building like detailed FAQ and translating them into Spanish and helping people, you know, answer questions as they’re filling out the application, all those kinds of things, very different than what we’re typically used to doing, but it was vital and still is important. So we still are helping businesses do that. 

Greg Olson (34:10): 

So I’m sharing your screen now, so you can go to Womply.com For PPP funds, learn more about what you do. Again, I just really enjoying, you know, for people that are in marketing sales, you know, and data, or, we’re kind of those kind of data geeks. So, I think that’s just something I wanted to put up there and we’ll put that information out for our listeners to look at. Well with that, I really want to thank everybody. I thank each of you. This has been a really, I think, great, I think Kim, as always, thank you for joining and giving us your guidance on what you’re seeing. Brad. This has been, again, another one of my favorite shows because I learn a lot and I really appreciate you digging into that data. We’ll get those slide deck, if you want, we can share it out or information you have and, about your company and stuff like that. Also, with that, I wish you all a wonderful, day and a great weekend. 

 

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