Companies past COVID - Prepping for the future
Now that we know that we will soon go back to the office - with a rather changed idea of working - we must start asking the right questions, for a better way of doing business and an improved work/life balance.
First of all, let us look at our company and check if we are agile enough for the upcoming changes. If not, do not despair. It's like sports – training and stretching will get us in shape.
But it's not a sprint, it's a long race that we are facing. It is a full 26.2 miles run. And ist starts vigorously. Now. So we must reach the race speed fast. But do not haste - remember every mile run too fast in the beginning will cost your endurance at the end of the race..
So, we are right at the start – how can we talk to our customers now? Their behavioural patterns have changed; their spending habits are fluctuating and hard to predict. The pandemic was and still is an event that will influence consumer behaviour for a long time.
The customers are already flocking toward online-only shopping, they respond to marketing more spontaneously and are willing to change the brands they follow - without blinking the eye. So, the companies must quickly adapt. And quickly survey and analyse the new journey paths of their clients.
Communication with the customers will be the alpha and omega for a speedy reorientation. The discussions within the company become the motor that will propel the firm for an unbeaten run of 26.2 miles - in this new market environment.
To succeed, ensure to sustainably change the focus towards the employee wellness and the health issues your workforce might be facing. Outwards, if possible, signal your customers the concern for their well being. Make sure to be heard and open up for their opinions.
Plus, if possible – make visible that your company is taking significant actions within your community. Maybe some help can be organized? Masks can be purchased and given away, charity donated. All these signals count. And it will be seen.
Building up empathy and understanding will be a new step for the marketeers and the management of the companies. It will also tie your customers, and possibly employees, emotionally to your brand.
It's time to finally adjust to the new realities and to optimize the usage of digital media. This process has to happen binary: one key step is making your company present and visible in social media. Being open and communicative. Use real-time surveys and interactive communication to stay in touch with your customers. The other level is to open up to the broader view of the clientele. Gain insights and ideas from beyond one's own natural shore.
New impulses might be created and happening far away. But the news travel quickly among your customers. Use customer and market research to be the new pacemaker in this endurance race happening at incredible speed.
Just like Eliud Kipchoge ran for Nike the absolute light speed record of 1:59.40 on the 26.2 miles distance, you have to pace the race carefully. But boldly.
Create and incorporate crisis response teams in your company. Let them be the mobile task forces that will quickly help in places where employees struggle, new attitudes need to be encouraged or new directions given. Trust these teams just like endurance runners trust their support teams. Be ready to support your employees as soon as they signal a need for help.
Stay in touch with them in real-time, to be able to respond - when response is needed - without delay.
Menage the now to adapt for the later. Supplement your company with fresh ideas and new expertise - just like a runner regularly supplements his body with nutrition during the race. Focus on the short term business priorities to be able to address long-term opportunities. Learn, test and adapt to the new realities - just like a skilled runner changes his steps according to the pavement surface he runs on.
A good race starts with a steady pace. Every minute a marathoner runs too fast, in the beginning, will cost him/her time at the end of the race. Be ready and open within your company. Set yourself goals that you can achieve without breaking the frame of your business.
Know that the toughest time during the marathon arrives after mile 21. If you prepare well, your company will continue and finish smiling - just like the world champion Eliud Kipchoge did.