Ushering a New Era of Business with Post-Coronavirus Strategies and Cultures
News flash: Covid-19 is not the world’s biggest long-term risk factor. It’s climate action failure, according to the Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum. However, that doesn’t mean the pandemic is as easy to solve, either. The effects of its spread has wreaked havoc on people and businesses alike. Entrepreneurs and multinational corporations alike are suffering from devastating losses. Aviation and other large industries such as electronics are even dipping in the red. Many are even thinking if things will ever go back to normal again. In spite of the hardships, many businesses have found smart ways to survive – and even thrive. Here are some spoilers:it’s all in efficient strategy formation and devising a new corporate culture. We’ll show how you can also grow during and even after the post-Covid19 world through these two paths. Enable your mind with tools and new ideas It all begins in your thought process. Psychologist, philosopher, and author Edward de Bono has a mindset framework called “Lateral Thinking,” and there he states that: “Where critical thinking is primarily concerned with judging the true value of statements and seeking for errors, lateral thinking is more concerned with ‘movement value’ – hopping from known ideas to creating new ideas.” This means you have to open up your mind not only to tried-and-tested methods, but innovate on them to create strategies that will work for you. Here are three ideal tools you can start with: Digital transformation. Inbound shifting. Automation. Digital transformation kept a lot of companies afloat in the midst of the pandemic. Even large-scale product and service-based companies such as manufacturing, banking, and even government agencies that have already digitised their systems efficiently have kept their operations relatively cushioned from the impact. But not everyone can afford the sheer size of digitising every aspect of their business. That’s okay, you can always start small. Small to medium-sized businesses in places that directly cater to customers should take advantage of digital marketing. This brings us to the next tool, which is inbound shifting or marketing. Inbound marketing is a business framework that makes audiences turn their attention to you to convert them into customers. Of course, when you’re running things at the same time through digital means, things are often bound to get messy and confusing. To help you with such problems, turn to the help of automation. You might not even notice it but software robots are helping organisations in many ways. They now interact with customers through chat, speed up processes such as inventory management and more. Through automation you can also do something that used to cost companies a lot back in the day: data gathering. You can do this with a process called Social Listening over the internet – checking out people’s wants, needs, feedback and opinions. It’s a vital tool that gives you a picture of what’s on your customer’s mind. What’s great about this is that it’s revealing another business truth that somehow got muddled in time: Business is a human activity. We’ll show why it is important to create human to human connections in your future strategies. Engaging humans into business again Interestingly, the rise of automated tools in business is only fostering more human activity in the digital landscape. Take a look at statistics from 2018: Internet users grew to 4.021 billion with a 7% year-on-year growth rate. People using social media ballooned to 3.196 billion from the previous year. That represents a 13% YOY increase for social media, or 11 new accounts made per second. The trend only grew during the pandemic, according to data from Nielsen. In the U.S. alone, social media use jumped 3.3% from 20.8% to 24.1%. The number seems small, but translated into actual population numbers that’s a real lot.
(Original Photo Courtesy of Hootsuite)What’s important about these numbers is not their statistical value per se. It’s signifying the value of human-to-human connections. This is a crucial part of the “New Normal.” Business leaders should be especially aware and empathetic towards not only customers but also their employees and stakeholders. In times of global crises, there’s a “collective trauma” that affects everyone. It’s a need that should be addressed, and it’s now being galvanised by many brands who have successfully grown amidst the Covid-19 meltdown. According to Alain Hunkins, leadership coach and author, leadership is a relationship. The quality of this relationship is based on the quality of the connection between human beings. Innovative brands utilise new techniques that can help their employees, such as teleworking and video conferencing, especially for desk jobs that don’t require physical presence. Rallying your business to help a social cause also heightens trust not just in your brand, but also in your company leaders as personalities. Take a look at the story of Ben Goldberg of the New York Food Truck Association. He found a way to help and keep active by creating the #FrontlineFoodTrucks movement. With nurses and other medical professionals working gruelling hours every day to combat the spread of the virus, he noticed that getting food is a problem that NYFTA can help solve for them. “The last thing you want after going through 20+ hour shifts is where to get your next meal,” he said. Now that you understand the elements you need to equip yourself and your business, let’s get down to strategy formation that would effectively grow your business, pandemic or not. Creating a #newnormal company culture The first step is to realise you actually need to do something. Given that we’re in the middle of a crisis, it’s best to incorporate a crisis management plan into your strategy that leads into the New Normal. According to Brent Balloch and John Presutti, communications and research experts based in the Middle East, a CM plan has four phases: initial, middle, resolution, and recovery. These four stages should be inserted into your strategy and go hand-in-hand with your objectives. You can actually base your new strategy from this one effective framework. The Culturally-conditioned process takes into account all significant factors in your business. Company leaders should be the first to buy-in and the rest will follow suit. During the initial phase of making your strategy, you use scenario planning to consider the possibilities your business may go through. Relevant questions would revolve around the what-ifs of the company’s finances, operations, and targets. When doing scenario planning, you cover the initial and middle phases of crisis management too. This will help you cushion potential drawbacks and devise workarounds to prevent them from happening. Afterwards, you map out your execution plan with a solid framework. The framework should include using the tools, ideas, and innovations mentioned above. Knowing what targets to hit such as marketing objectives, creative direction, and internal management will also help you create steps for the resolution phase of your CM plan. In light of the pandemic’s effects, every firm should consider maximising digital channels and social media. Content such as blogs, video, and infographics. These three are still top contenders for any market in any category. Just as you and your organisation are adjusting, what you do could potentially help your audience too. Your content should carry a message of hope and help to your market with the pandemic’s lingering effects. Finally, you maintain a consistent system of governance. This stage of your strategy formation should also include steps to take in the recovery phase of your CM program. To carry out a seamless governance plan, you must take into consideration three factors: Transparency – whether there’s a crisis or not, reporting the right numbers and situations is a must. It wouldn’t help your brand or organisation if your data is skewed to look better or worse than things actually are. Consistency – take good care in maintaining a consistent flow to your company’s reports and findings. Little things such as formats and schedules matter a lot in the long run. This is where you can benefit the most from automation – it makes processes easier to do and faster too. Flexibility – the most important aspect of any business plan comes with how adaptable it is. In the event of changes that might sway the direction of the business, good leaders have contingency plans. Conclusion Ensuring the survival of their businesses is a must for every leader. With a sound mind, you can achieve Strategic Strength that will make your company stronger even in these trying times. It takes a lot of effort and willpower to adapt into the global business situation after Covid-19. Many things might have changed, but it’s nowhere near hopeless. Creating the right perspective for your business changes things from the outset. With it you and your team members create a collective mind of resilience. With a unifying perspective, you can bring together all the ideas, tools, and policies you need to get your organisation out of the troublesome sinkhole that Covid-19 pushed your business into. You just have to ensure that your mindset is ready and you’ve packed lots of determination to see your plans through. #Exante #DigitalMarketing #NewNormal #StrategicStrength #CulturallyConditioned #CorporateCulture