Interesting take from an economist in 3 key changes. The last one is particularly scary for Sales Renewal clients:
More Saving, Less Spending
New Supply Chains
Small Business Looks Scarier
“Right now, trial lawyers and ambulance chasers are busy filing suits against businesses opening up before quarantines are lifted, citing a danger to public health. Others are suing nursing homes. This becomes a whole new insurance risk going forward — making sure someone doesn’t try to sue because they went into your store and came out with a 101 fever the next day.”
Now that many of the worst-affected states are beginning to reopen their economies, we are all realizing that the post-pandemic world will be very different than it was just a few short months ago. We can expect increased government intervention as a result of the huge stimulus and bailout payments, and greater emphasis on promoting “an economy that serves all Americans”. According to the authors, the seismic shift to a contact-free economy will be seen in three areas in particular: digital commerce, telemedicine, and automation. All businesses need to rethink their business models and the name of the game is resilience. Companies will have to build, or strengthen, backup and safety plans, step up succession plans, and expand work-at-home capabilities. The good news is that the authors also anticipate some positive outcomes as a result of these changes. Sales Renewal is talking to a number of our clients on how they can adapt their businesses for success in what is being called the new normal.
Large public events and trade shows will probably be on hold for a long while. “Curated” events may be a very viable replacement: regional, Minimal contact events with invitation-only participants in brand name venues and controlled environments.
The COVID-19 pandemic will likely be an inflection point in the design of public and retail spaces. Expect to see changes in materials used (plastic and steel are out – copper is in) and navigation paths (more IKEA single-path navigation, less Apple Store open concept). In addition, advanced HVAC filtration systems and spacial semiotics to denote entrance to a clean, controlled environment will be needed to instill consumer confidence and encourage customers to return to brick-and-mortar retailers.
While we at Sales Renewal have been a remote team from the company’s inception almost fifteen years ago, this new era of mandated physical distancing has forced many managers to reevaluate how to maintain productivity and preserve their pre-covid corporate culture from afar. This article reinforces the notion that personal check-ins, increased communication, and a more flexible approach to the workday may be required, with the understanding that not all personal circumstances are the same. The good news is, that armed with the right tools and technology, most managers seem to be making the shift with relatively few hiccups. Our tip: we encourage you to appreciate all the screaming kids and barking dog for what they are – a bit of levity in these tense and unpredictable times.
While the cultural shift during the pandemic has been tremendous, there are many facets that are likely to become the new normal for businesses and their marketing strategies in the future.
Businesses should not look at this time as a temporary normal that they can come up with some quick fixes for, but as a permanent shift for the future. There will be a new way of doing things and the business models and marketing strategies will be different – it’s already changing every day.
With people staying at home more often than ever, virtual has become the new standard. Video calls and online communication are more normal and saving consumers time, setting them with a new expectation of how they can communicate with companies and firms. For example, having a video meeting with a professional service instead of visiting their office, can be more convenient and efficient for a consumer – something they might want to keep doing in the future.
The reality is that people are developing new ways of doing things and new expectations are being set. Many companies will need to have a substantial online presence to meet their consumer’s needs. Is your business in line with adapting to the new virtual landscape of consumer behavior?
Three reasons to increase your content marketing budget in the Covid era:
1) Content Marketing delivers compound returns that grow over time.
2) Content is the most cost-effective place to reallocate part of your paused event marketing and paid media budgets.
3) With in-person events suddenly canceled, virtual events are becoming critical. When the focus turns to the screen, strong content becomes more important than ever. Mediocre presentations can’t be propped up by great food, booze, and networking opportunities.
During this time of crisis, it’s so important for local businesses and companies to make sure they are keeping all of their channels, including their Google My Business listing up to date with special hours, contact information and posts to keep their community informed to any changes or updates.
This was advice that Google had laid out not long ago, but now the listing service has been experiencing delays and functionality issues as local businesses and companies have been flooding the site and Google’s own staff is reduced. That’s not to say they haven’t been trying to avoid these problems – on Friday, Google temporarily disabled new local reviews as well as the ability of businesses to post responses to limit functionality during the crisis.
As such, it is critical to make sure your listing is updated and to be aware of any posting delays to your community. Remember to also update other channels such as your website, social media and local listings to ensure the information is accessible.
4. Reallocate labor flexibly to different activities.
For example, in response to a severe decline in revenue, more than 40 restaurants, hotels, and cinema chains optimized their staffing to free up a large share of their workforces. They then shared those employees with Hema, a “new retail” supermarket chain owned by Alibaba, which was in urgent need of labor for delivery services due to the sudden increase in online purchases. O2O players, including Ele, Meituan, and JD’s 7Fresh followed this lead by also borrowing labor from restaurants.
5. Shift your sales channel mix away from face-to-face towards new channels
For example, cosmetics company Lin Qingxuan was forced to close 40% of its stores during the crisis, including all of its locations in Wuhan. However, the company redeployed its 100+ beauty advisors from those stores to become online influencers who leveraged digital tools, such as WeChat, to engage customers virtually and drive online sales. As a result, its sales in Wuhan achieved 200% growth compared to the prior year’s sales.
Chat bots were central to Facebook Messenger’s strategy three years ago. Now they’re being hidden from view in the app along with games and businesses. Facebook Messenger is now removing the Discover tab as it focuses on speed and simplicity instead of broad utility like China’s WeChat.
At the beginning of this week, Facebook began rolling out a new update of its Messenger app. The update brings a much simpler design to the app, by removing the “Discover” tab and hiding chatbots, along with businesses and games. Users will now only be able to find chatbots by searching for them specifically in the app. Before, you could find business and bots in the Discover tab, but now that is long gone. That also means businesses will no longer be able to promote themselves through Discover and may now be limited to advertising through Stories and other paid marketing channels to promote their company and get users to communicate with their bots.