I spend a lot of my time talking with CEOs, CMOs and Entrepreneurs, and I’m finding out where they’re at in this crisis. Many are moving forward in a surprisingly positive way which I find very encouraging.
Our business conversations has turned from initial panic to a single question: “When can we get back to normal?”
The shutdown has caused immeasurable pain in jobs lost, people struggling in isolation, and worsening social inequity. Now we feel we’re ready to get the economy going again … right?
Unfortunately, although we have the desire and will, we don’t have the way—not yet. It looks like we have to wait for a massive testing & tracing program to be in place, and the availability of a vaccine for everyone before we can get back to being truly normal again. And that, some experts are saying, may be 12-months or more away. Until then we will have to work within certain rules.
In the time before a vaccine arrives we have to manage through these new challenges. To do this we have to adapt and recover our businesses to survive, and we have to 'lean into' our customers more than ever and deliver what they need, as they are experiencing the same changes and challenges as we are. If you don't change now you might have to watch out - your competitors will change - they will adapt, they will become more agile and stronger.
At the moment some of our clients are weighing up their adapt to change options, some are taking advantage of an opportunity to pivot their business in a new direction solving new problems with new solutions, most businesses are accelerating their digital transformation strategy so they can adapt better to the new technical needs of remote working … Zoom, Slack and the Cloud. Some other businesses want to move their B2B sales transactions online via e-commerce, and of course, we’ve seen more companies move marketing dollars from traditional outbound sales and marketing activities towards digital marketing.
With this significant transformation of business in mind, I think the golden age of mass commuting to central offices, travelling to industry conferences and trade shows, hosting corporate events, face-to-face sales meetings, golf tournaments, and other traditional outbound marketing activities maybe over. These ‘old’ approaches will change to new ways, and we may never go back to them.
All of these activities can and will be replaced online and done virtually in a no-touch way. New techniques, metrics and methods will be needed, many of which are already well established in the world of inbound marketing – which I believe is moving into a significant growth period.
To think about this a bit more and find out what is happening, all you have to do is talk to your clients, understand them deeper and most importantly listen to them. Additionally, stand in your prospects or customers shoes and look at the world from their perspective for the next 12-months and think like they would. This exercise will help answer a lot of your next-step questions.
I surmise one of the most significant business trends coming out of this will be how much personal and business travel risk they are willing to take, and their adherence to government restrictions on social distancing and the lockdown. I’m also quite sure the answers will reveal a big swing toward digital transformation and doing business virtually as new, must-have solutions.
The Brit Agency, is already seeing the change in our current business mix, as we are well positioned to help clients move to become more digital. Examples of our recent work include, building a virtual trade show for one client, helping to move a team-building corporate events company online with virtual team-building events, creating helpful COVID-19 business relief information portals for another, and we’re sending proactive and helpful crisis management communications for a client in the hospitality industry.
These are just a few of the ways some businesses have adapted. Now the panic is over, your goal is to lean into your customers, find out as much as you can about them, go digital and adapt and recover as best as you can.
If you have any questions or comments, please complete our contact us form, and I'd be happy to chat further.