April 1, 2020
Deb Furey, SVP Solutions
I was checking in with one my clients in the travel industry this week - I knew that their company was struggling given the new normal of COVID-19. It was intriguing that my client, rather than lamenting all the issues dealing with cancelations, etc., was already looking ahead to the strategies his team would need to have in place to reengage and drive impact with consumers as soon as we turn the corner on this pandemic. While not surprising – my client is super smart and strategic – it was a great reminder that now is the time – even as you may be pulling offers and marketing spend– to prepare and be ready to capture weary, long-housebound consumers ready for your products and services.
All evidence shows that this will pass, new infections will decline and cease, we will find clinical solutions and eventually get back to normal. We are all envisioning the day when we can go to our offices, meet with clients and team members, collaborate and white board on new ideas and generally get back to the business of driving value together.
So, with the time available now, how can you plan for the next new normal?
Resuming business will demand critical strategies to:
This is an unprecedented chance to re-imagine your company’s value proposition and customer experience to take advantage of the collective experience we are having. Thought starters include:
Explore closer-to-the customer use of data and insights – where will consumers be relative to your products/services when the market re-emerges? E.g., for financial services, which segments will be anxious to quickly re-invest funds withdrawn to protect from poor market performance?
Which CPG customers will want to refill depleted stocks? What regions might rebound most quickly?
Plan for resilience – are there operational or customer experience issues that are known negatives for your business performance that could be addressed now? Think changing online experience flows, channel handoffs/coordination – while things are quiet. What about envisioning out-of-the-box experience opportunities? Examples such as Nike’s Speedshop that connects online with speedy store shopping or Tim Horton’s gamified loyalty program delight and engage consumers while differentiating from the competition.
Rethink learning and team management – can your business benefit from building capabilities in key areas through online learning? Can sales and service reps learn new skills in remote selling and connected/digital services that might change your cost structure and value proposition once we get back to business?
Sites like Coursera and Emeritus offer high quality programs that deliver on these and other retooling opportunities
Ultimately, this crisis should be used as a motivating force – to build alignment efficiently among your leadership and to accelerate adoption of, potentially, long-known strategies in order to fuel growth as soon as we see the light. Check in with us at BLEND360 if you’d like support for considering these and other new-normal strategies and solutions!