By many accounts, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has peaked and is slowing down. And while there is still some time before stay-at-home orders are lifted and non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen nationwide, there is an end in sight. It has been a very difficult time for businesses and individuals; the repercussions of the event will continue for a long time to come. So what will the world be like on the other side of the pandemic, how will businesses change and what behaviors will inevitably return to the way they were? What will be the new definition of Market Effectiveness?
Most importantly, how will your business, your industry, and your customers change once the economy begins to recover? Are you ready to market your business in the new normal?
The real answer is that it depends on what your business is and how your industry was affected by the pandemic. While negative effects were felt in travel, hospitality, retail, energy and manufacturing, there were some winners such as technology, consumer staples and home delivery companies. Regardless of industry, though, there are a few fundamental basics that will apply to all businesses.
The New Normal: What will change?
We must consider two time periods to be ready to market in the new normal: Short-term adjustments and long-term changes. Although it is difficult to define the time period of each (will the recovery take 6 months? 2 years?) a savvy organization needs a plan to survive in the short term and thrive in the long term. Data verifies that companies who are transformative and innovative in their Market Effectiveness perform 15-20% better than their peers after a recession. In order to help your planning efforts, we offer two resources for your consideration: “Managing Your Way Through 2020”, and free access to our 18 page best practice overview – “Re-opening Your Business – Playbook”.
What is your plan for Day 1 after the shutdown ends? Once all businesses are allowed to open their doors it will be some time before the economy fully recovers. Many people will be very cautious about going out in public, many will be left without a job, and any restrictions put in place for public safety will serve to throttle back business. For manufacturers, this may mean having fewer workers on the floor for social distancing, increased protection and maintenance to decrease the possibility of infection.
Restaurants, retail stores and other organizations that depend on the physical presence of customers will need to assess how limited capacity will affect the bottom line. Furthermore, advertising and promotion will need to take into account how confident consumers are or will be in their activities. If you are one of these businesses, you will need to clearly communicate the measures you have taken to ensure their safety. It is also critical that you rethink your product and services offerings in the short term. Having seen what dozens of clients have done, we can help you brainstorm what your business should do.
Even after the world returns to “normal” a number of behaviors will fundamentally change as a result of the pandemic. Previous crises have changed the economy in ways that today we take for granted: The Great Depression brought about changes in banking and financial systems, WWII changed the manufacturing infrastructure, the oil crisis introduced an appetite for smaller, more economical vehicles and 9/11 changed the way we travel and think about privacy and security. During the past couple of months, people have learned how to work from home, shop and study online, and make do with scarcity.
The economy was already trending towards more e-commerce, greater use of data analysis and increased automation. Organizations that do this well will be the ones that thrive and stand our among their peers in the long term. Now more than ever it is important to have an effective CRM system, be closer to your customers and suppliers more than ever before, develop a supply chain resiliency plan, shore up your digital media strategies and evaluate your customer service approach.
It is also likely that many of your competitors will not survive the crisis. Record bankruptcies are expected in the next year. However, the companies that remain will be more tech-savvy, more efficient and have a good relationship with their customers.
The Fundamentals: What will not change?
At the end of the day, we believe that human nature and the basics of good marketing will remain in place. With all the talk about the “New Economy” in the early 2000s, companies that survived were the ones that had good fundamentals: A solid business strategy, good product value, great marketing and solid margins. A rising tide lifts all boats, however, when the tide is low only those boats without a leak can take advantage.
To be ready for the post-COVID-19 world you need to have a plan in place to put in action when it is time to go back to work. The next 90 days will be critical to the future of your business. Whether you are a manufacturer and need to reestablish your supply chain, implement more automated systems, go to weekly S&OP sprints, create a baseline revenue model with trigger points – Scenario Planning. let your customers know that you are back in business and you care about their safety, we are here to help.
If you would like to find out how Group50 can help you or members of your team market in the new normal, prepare a 90 day tactical plan and manage your way through 2020, call us at (909) 949-9083, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or request more information here.
You can read more about our recommendations on re-opening our business on the following links:
- Strategic Planning Playbook
- Virtual Strategic Planning and Strategic Execution
- Navigating Growth Through an Inflection Point
- Managing Your Way Through 2020 and Beyond – Part II
- Market Effectiveness – Marketing That Doesn’t Erode Your Profit Margins
- Post Merger Integration ( PMI ) Playbook
- Supply Chain Playbook
- Change Management in the Current Environment
- Supply Chain Risk – Supply Chain Resiliency – Knowing Where You Are Vulnerable and Doing Something About it
- Re-Opening Your Business – Best Practices Series