In answer to the question “What will it take to navigate this crisis” the authors call on businesses and governments to act across five stages, leading from the crisis of today to the next normal that will emerge after the battle against coronavirus has been won:
Resolve: All those in leadership positions must determine the scale, pace, and depth of action required at the state and business levels and resolve to do what it takes.
Resilience: A McKinsey Global Institute analysis indicates that the shock to our livelihoods from the economic impact of virus-suppression efforts could be the biggest in nearly a century. In the face of these challenges, resilience is a vital necessity.
Return: Returning businesses to operational health after a severe shutdown is extremely challenging and the weakest point in the chain will determine ultimate success. The authors suggest using Northern Hemisphere’s summer months to expand testing and surveillance capabilities, health-system capacity, and vaccine and treatment development to deal with a second surge.
Reimagination: Institutions that reinvent themselves to make the most of better insight and foresight, as preferences evolve, will disproportionally succeed. The crisis will reveal not just vulnerabilities but opportunities to improve the performance of businesses.
Reform: Leaders in government, business, healthcare, the financial system, educational institutions, and more should think about what reforms are needed to avoid, mitigate, and preempt a future health crisis of the kind we are experiencing today and to strengthen the system to withstand acute and global exogenous economic shocks, such as this pandemic’s impact.
Collectively, these five stages represent the imperative of our time: the battle against COVID-19 is one that leaders today must win if we are to find an economically and socially viable path to the next normal.
We’ll admit: this is an uncomfortable subject to raise. Many of the people reading this will fall into one of two groups: (A) marketers who are struggling, in many cases because marketing budgets have been slashed, and (B) business operators who are up against the wall, many of whom see “severing a finger to save the hand” as the best available option.
For businesses that have experienced the need to cut nonessential spending due to the losses caused by the pandemic, marketing is usually one of the first areas to go. However, taking a deeper look sheds light on why investing in marketing is a good idea, if possible, during tough times.
The Harvard Business Review found that companies that cut marketing costs faster and deeper than their rivals later have the lowest probability (21%) of pulling ahead of the competition once times improve.
If your business slashed its marketing budget, take time to look at the sources and reasoning in this article to think about bringing it back. Keep in mind that anything that is put off now, will need to be rebuilt later. Being able to adapt your marketing to the post-COVID will benefit in the long run, since your new strategy will already be built out.
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.