The COVID-19 pandemic has created a disruption so complex and profound that a lot of businesses were forced to shut down. Despite this, many businesses have started to recover and are now poised to reopen. To navigate the “new normal,” experts point to digital transformation, along with a data-driven digital marketing strategy, as key ingredients to success.
There are many lessons to learn from the past when it comes to recovering after a global crisis. Thought leaders, policymakers, executives, and industry experts often turn to case studies on the Great Depression, World War I and II, the 2008 global financial crisis to study trends, policies, and business models to help businesses brace for the impact brought about by the disruption.
Ultimately, there are grounds for cautious optimism. In Asia, the economy is expected to rebound and grow by 6.7% in 2021, according to a report by Asia Development Bank. In the US, almost 90% of small businesses report that they have started to open—fully or partially—with 35% reporting to increase their investment next year.
With this expected growth in mind, the question then is: how can a business hijack this opportunity to grow when there are changes in the market taking place?
Invest in Speed
When looking to grow after the pandemic, organizational speed is key. In a survey conducted by McKinsey, they found out that investing in speed eventually pays off. Organizations that outperform others in terms of speed in making strategic decisions and deploying resources also outperform others in terms of profitability, resilience, and growth.
Under this strategy, organizations should be able to make fast data-driven decisions, and improve their internal communication and collaboration, and invest in the use of technology to augment their operational processes. Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, for example, helps in collecting data from chosen sources automatically and organizing them in a manner that is meaningful to the user.
Some CRM software also automates the reporting of real-time data, while allowing for collaboration within the platform, so users from different teams or departments can make strategic decisions right away.
When a company gets the work done as quickly as possible, it helps set the standard high in their respective industries—which gives it an edge over the competition. Organizations that use this strategy have also observed that speed is important in reacting to sudden market changes especially in times of flux and uncertainty, which is what an organization certainly needs after the pandemic.
Recalibrate Your Strategy
Businesses must also be able to rethink their strategy and make decisions even while economic recovery is on its way. Recalibrating your strategy now—how you deal with your customers, how you penetrate markets, how you market your products and services—will have a strong, decisive impact on your business in the future.
The first step is to prepare for the “new normal” and respond to disruptions that are taking place. Consider your short-term and mid-to-long-term financial goals, market strategy, brand proposition, rapidly-changing customer habits, and marketing channels.
The second step is to let your operations adapt to the disrupted environment, taking into consideration your core business processes, technology, and operational infrastructure, and measures and incentives, to name a few.
The last step is to assess and evaluate whether the newly implemented initiatives are able to adapt to the new environment and whether they contributed to organizational resilience. Testing whether the adopted changes can help you make or break is essential in monitoring your company performance. Overall, this will help you determine what is needed to be changed in your business and whether the proposed change helps at all.
Empathize With Your Customers and Help Them If You Can
Look, being able to assume the position of your customers when the rest of the world is burning helps you sustain a meaningful relationship with them. This will be important in building a long-term profitable relationship that is built on loyalty.
Empathizing with your customers allows you to identify the changes in their buying behavior, their new habits, routines, and preferences and allow you to adjust your business model right away. It is important to note, however, that you have to have reliable data about these changes when making strategic decisions. Otherwise, the changes that you will be implementing will just rely on pure assumptions, nothing more.
And it’s not enough for you to empathize with your customers. Here, you also have to take an active role in helping them as well. Take a look at how digital marketing expert Neil Patel’s ad agency responded to market changes at the onset of the outbreak. After opening up a lot of their premium features for free, the market responded positively, increasing his traffic and brand awareness. He also cited Eric Siu, who gave a free webinar about starting a marketing agency, getting a new audience of about 50,000 people.
When you help your customers, especially in trying times, the end result is not just an increasein traffic but an opportunity to prove your value to the market—which significantly helps in converting leads into customers. A genuine story of empathy in the midst of a pandemic, of wanting to help the community out, is superior compared to any other marketing narrative.
So invest in speed, in digital transformation so you can set the bar high in your industry. This will give you the spotlight in these trying times which helps you grow during the rebound. Recalibrate your strategy to be agile for the new normal. Nothing beats preparedness especially in times of uncertainty. And always remember to empathize and help your customers—potential and actual—make the most out of this pandemic.
To help shape your best practices after the pandemic, send us a message at Eight Media and our team will be there to help you get started. Avail our digital marketing services that can help you adapt to the new normal.