When it comes to the shifting sands beneath your business model due to the coronavirus pandemic, the most important tool you need to employ as a digital/social media marketer is flexibility. It's crucial to read current conditions on a constant basis and be proactive in adapting your strategy to those conditions.

You need to base your strategy on one word: pivot. The importance of a wise pivot is crucial to how well your marketing strategy will fare over the coming weeks and months.

Sure, this can be tough to do in many ways. You've worked extremely hard to determine what your audience has always wanted and built your strategy around filling those wants in a very specific way. Yet the data that has served you well for so long must be put aside for now.

At this moment in time, your customers aren't focused on what they used to want. They're focused solely on what they truly need.

Your products and services could indeed be what they truly need. If so, it's fine to reach out and remind them of that. That goes only for essential products and services, though — items related to financial necessities, food, shelter, medicine, or transportation. Anything you pitch outside of those key areas could be seen as inappropriate, may make your company look insensitive, may be ignored by your customers or could really offend them, so you just don't want to go there.

Where do you want to go when it's time to shift your approach? You want to get yourself in adjustment mode so you can address much-needed changes to your marketing strategy while you have the time and updated knowledge to do so. By focusing your strategy this way now, you'll be perfectly positioned to hit the ground running once normal business conditions resume.

These five new areas are the key points you need to address:

Put your audience first at all times.

Business2Community data stresses the importance of recognizing that your needs come second. Switch your approach from an immediate profit focus to an emphasis on how your customers are feeling; what they need from you to gain physical and emotional safety, security and comfort; and ways to make the purchasing experience as easy and stress-free as possible.

Ask questions on your social media platforms so you know exactly how they're thinking. Facilitate one-on-one chats and speedy customer service feedback so any issues you glean from your customers' responses can be addressed as quickly as possible.

Embrace change don't fight it.

Data from Think With Google states that in continually reassessing your marketing climate during COVID-19, the one assumption you must never discount is that things will change. Your approach needs to be literally one day at a time. This is not the time to even plan a strategy a week from now — you need to take in the news and base your efforts to reach out on current conditions only.

Keep your messaging simple in case you need to scrap it and start over at a moment's notice. Sure, this can feel a little scary, especially if your brand prides itself on successful long-term planning models. Yet rigidity is not your friend right now.

Always remember that nearly every business is in the same boat as you are right now — everyone has to take things one step at a time. Let events guide your approach slowly but surely until we get past all this.

Focus on TV advertising.

Traditional TV or connected TV can be a terrific way to connect with customers who are viewing more during their current downtime, according to data from Advantix Digital. Increase your efforts by using existing ads with tweaks to save time and cash.

Pour your energy into cleanups.

Stop work on campaigns that you need to let breathe as circumstances warrant. Instead, work on cleaning up areas of your work that could run more optimally. Change your social media profiles, update your copy, revamp tired feeds, make new video content, and plan virtual events that can work in the moment, such as low-tech webinars and virtual events.

Pull out old projects that never got off the launchpad and see if various elements they contain could be relevant if they're applied to projects you're adjusting or revamping. This is the perfect time to polish the many avenues of impressions that you make.

Put the brakes on major decisions.

Working out a planned product launch, making a big budgeting move, or cementing future team-ups with other companies should all be put on ice for the time being. And that's a gain, not a loss.

Revisit your plans after things settle down — the knowledge you accrue about the economy and your customers' needs will pay off powerfully down the line. To pivot means to be patient — which is the wisest approach you can possibly take.