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Yulia Rakova: How Can Business Survive the Pandemic?

Crisis, personal brand, and marketing of the future
Yulia Rakova: How Can Business Survive the Pandemic?

According to experts, 2020 is to be one of the most difficult years for entrepreneurship after the crisis in 2008. In her speech on RBC TV in August, Yulia Rakova, experienced digital expert, expressed the need of businesses to switch to online mode. The expert could not have imagined that the situation would prove more contrasting. During the today’s pandemic, there was a serious drop in the economy and a decline in purchasing power. Many businesses faced great difficulties and were unable to continue working as usual. That is why a new book by Yulia Rakova titled ‘Let’s Go! A Guide to Business Survival in Crisis. 155 Growth Hacks’ is extremely useful and relevant today. Ms. Rakova shared bright examples from her book with readers of our news agency.

Ракова_T.jpg Yulia Rakova
Marketing Director of GetResponse Russia, Member of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs' Committee on International Cooperation and Subcommittee on and Digital Economy and Innovation, Expert of Google and Sberbank, Russian Venture Company and RBC TV channel, blogger

How to save businesses in crisis and survive the today’s pandemic? How to influence the consumers’ consciousness directly? How to develop your personal digital brand, monetize your expertise, and promote your business in networks? 

Yulia Rakova told about that in her book titled ‘Let’s Go! A Guide to Business Survival in Crisis. 155 Growth Hacks’. By the way, Marina Volynkina, Head of our Peace 50 community, contributed to publication of that book, and the book’s author is grateful to her for that.


In 2019, Ms. Rakova wrote in her article foreseeing the today’s crisis, “This half year can become the worst one since the 1998 crisis. 18200 small businesses and 1500 medium-sized ones have already been closed. The amount of sale transactions of companies achieved its record number for 9 years. Real incomes of the population have been falling for 5 years... 

Have you heard of a 4-day working week? It’s a very trendy topic today. That’s an example of how regular businesses will try to reduce their costs.


They will also cut salaries, make their employees work remotely, or fire them. At the same time, advanced businesses will be looking for ways to raise their incomes. However, is there a way to reduce costs and raise incomes at the same time?” 

Such a way really exists! Examples from Yulia Rakova’s book prove that. We will share the brightest ones with you. 

Example 1. Sell futures contracts for your products, give presents, and help people in the pandemic period. 

Planetarium 1 in Saint Petersburg was closed due to the pandemic. To support its employees and help people, workers of Planetarium 1 decided to sew medical masks made of a special nonwoven material with high filtering properties. Planetarium 1 gives these masks to people who buy a ticket. By the way, the ticket is valid until the end of 2020, which makes it possible for people to visit that place in the future. Medical masks are very expensive now and it is difficult to buy them. Planetarium 1 decided to not only give masks to the purchased tickets but also give them to hospitals. 

Example 2. Develop your personal digital brand. Become popular on Facebook and that will help your business in the context of the crisis. 

On March 26, Evgeny Goodov, founder and chief of Planetarium 1 who has over 2400 friends on Facebook, talked about the situation on his account.


People responded instantly: 238 likes, 53 comments, and 48 reposts. Coverage of such publications reached upwards of 5000 users within a short time. People from all over the country bought tickets and wrote about that amazing social entrepreneurship initiative. They admired it and selflessly called upon people to buy the tickets in almost every publication. Mr. Goodov quoted some of such comments: 

“My wonderful friends from Planetarium 1 and SpaceLab do not waste their time during the quarantine. They save their businesses, employees, and each other”. 

“Dear friends, Evgeny Goodov and #Planetarium1 are a great example of how business finds the solutions and demonstrates its social responsibility. Buy a ticket valid until the end of the year and get 10 medical masks as a gift!” 

“I went to buy tickets to support incredible Evgeny Goodov and his team! Because the first thing I will do when I get to Saint Petersburg is visiting Planetarium 1 ”. 

These publications are gaining hundreds of likes, comments, and reposts. As a result, people buy more and more tickets. 

On April 9, Evgeny Goodov wrote that Planetarium 1 personnel have created a machine producing 36000 mask blanks per day. The productivity of sewing masks increased several times. That made it possible to reduce the price of the ticket and help Saint Petersburg hospitals. The post gained 294 likes, 33 comments, and 42 reposts. An increasing number of Facebook users wrote adoring posts about Mr. Goodov and his team: 

“These people are my heroes, particularly Evgeny Goodov. You combined anti-crisis management, team cohesion, technologies, and innovation and did that within an incredibly short time. If you once work out a course on team management, I will buy it for any amount of money!” 

“Do good and throw it into water to cause a ripple of goodness. Evgeny Goodov produces that ripple of goodness by instantly responding to the request and providing the Saint Petersburg’s hospital with masks made of a nonwoven material”. 

After that, the media and opinion leaders joined the flow of enthusiastic publications about Mr. Goodov and his initiative.


People will always be believed more than brands. According to Yulia Rakova, today, it comes a very interesting time when people become brands and brands want to become people. To make that possible, brands create their own faces, their own experts. So, become the face of the brand, the expert who will be trusted, whose role model will be followed, and who will be admired and recommended. 

Neuromarketing is marketing of the future that appeared at the intersection of research by marketers and neurobiologists. “The brain makes a decision 30 seconds before a person realizes it”, says Tatyana Chernigovskaya. Based on that fact, scientists and experts using EEG, MRI and eye tracking technologies started studying the brain’s response to various marketing techniques. The following recommendations appeared based on that study.


Example 3. Want to attract and interest people instantly? Use a video. 

Video is the only format that can impress and engage us in 3-5 seconds. 

Here are 5 fantastic facts about videos expressed by experts of leading digital companies: 

1. In today’s world, 4 out of 5 people will prefer the video format if compared to texts;

2. 71% of customers who watched the video buy the product later;

3. 92% of online buyers said that video was the most important factor affecting them;

4. Videos on social media are reposted 1200% more often than text or photos;

5. Videos in e-mails raise the number of clicks on links by 200-300%. 

Example 4. Do you want to cause emotions? Use pictures of children. If you use them, remember that the child must look at the product or text. 

The eye tracking technology revealed an interesting fact. If a child in a product’s advertisement is looking at the camera, the viewer’s attention is focused only on the child’s face.


However, if the child is looking at the text and products, the focus of the buyer’s attention also changes.



Example 5. Principle of interaction: first a gift, then a sale. 

First give the person something free and useful and then offer him or her to do something you need, for instance, buying your product. Then the person will feel obliged to you and will agree to do that with a higher probability. 

That’s the principle of online sales training. Brands and experts deliver free courses and then offer buying their product or service to their followers. By the way, Yulia Rakova tested that technique within her GetResponse Academy project: free online video course titled ‘Email Marketing for Beginners’ resulted in 4000 new contacts in a year and a half and paid off 4 times thanks to regular sales. 

Example 6. Psychology of colours 

Our brain links every colour to a certain emotion. Thus, every colour enhances a certain feeling affecting our actions.



Green symbolizes health. That is why the uniform of health workers and walls in hospitals have this colour. Research has shown that such a colour therapy helps people recover quicker. In the commercial world, green is often used by manufacturers of organic products and medicines on their packaging and logos. 

Black symbolizes luxury and premium products. Just recall the logos and colours in the video advertisements of the most prestigious car manufacturers and the packaging of premium cosmetic brands. 

Blue enhances stability and peace of mind. Many airlines and banks use this colour. Today, blue is also the colour of the digital world, hi-tech, and IT industries. Facebook, Dropbox, PayPal, and Russia’s use it in their logos and interfaces. 

In addition, there is one more adorable colour: orange. It is the colour of optimism, desire, and drive. It gives energy, causes a sense of urgency, and stimulates the instant action. That’s why the buttons appealing to users’ action on sites and emails are better to be orange. People click on them with a 2-4 times higher probability. 

Use proper colours in your communication and you will increase its impact on customers several times. 

You can learn more about the rest of the efficient, simple, low-budget, and free techniques and examples in the book ‘Let’s Go! A Guide to Business Survival in Crisis: 155 Growth Hacks’. 

By the way, here is a gift from Yulia Rakova: promo code for a discount of 25%. 

You can activate it here

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov

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