April 30, 2020
There’s really no other way to put it. Over the last two months, our worlds have been rocked.
If there’s anyone who is going about business as usual right now, they’re definitely the outlier. The events over the past 8 weeks have shocked the system. Depending on how the government regulations and markets have impacted your business, the basic tenets of how your business is set up, or simply your line of work, the world we once knew will most likely never come back to us as it was.
This new world we’re walking into will be to the benefit of some (and present natural opportunities), while it will force others into a distinct era of change.
Through these last weeks of monumental change we’ve been cataloging our efforts and results to date as we’ve looked to guide our own company as well as our clients through the constantly changing environment. Now as we’re looking forward, we’re looking to what’s coming next — the re-emergence (quite literally) of society.
Where to now?
As marketers, it’s our job to understand the ever-changing habits of human behavior — when, where, why people are doing what they do. The inherent next step to this endeavor… to try and meet that perceived need or want with our offering. With the rate of all the changes happening today, this is being put to the test now more than ever.
The obvious shift here was to the increased demand in 3rd party delivery services and online ordering — understanding where a consumer was in their decision-making journey for their lunch or dinner allowed us to ensure that our brands were top of mind.
Probably one of the most positively impacted areas we’ve seen in the last 6 weeks has been the increased reliance on e-commerce and contactless delivery. With the increased research and at-home activity, it has been an interesting ride to see how the patterns have changed in the last 2 months. The window for decision-making was considerably decreased and the timing of ad delivery had heightened importance. Overall, timing, and precision of ad delivery became key to ensuring we captured a larger share of the market.
As we’ve looked around and seen how competitors have responded to the most recent events, most of them seemed to have an inability to properly pivot a strategy to accommodate for such a swift shift in market conditions — simply, they weren’t built to be flexible, and many didn’t have the tools in place to know when to break from the path.
Those who had the tools to identify and forecast the impact early on and the flexibility to pivot and adapt during the times of shelter-in-place have been the ones to get into the best position. But regardless of what the current situation is, the time has begun to start thinking about what’s coming next — life coming out of COVID.
Looking at the next few days…
There is little doubt that conversations that are going to be had come year’s end will begin by reviewing the decisions that will be happening over the next days and weeks as the economy begins to emerge from its own sheltering. Consumer habits have been shattered, their lifestyles have gone through an upheaval, and as a whole, we’re all basically going to retrain ourselves into a “new normal.”
For the challenger brands out there, this is the perfect storm to shift things up. For the leaders…a time where a strong offense will be your best defense.
A few things we’re walking clients through to assess where to best come out:
How is your brand and offering currently being assimilated by those most important to its continued success:
· Sentiment Analysis
· Internal Communications
· Industry Collaboration
· Stakeholder Engagement
· Community Involvement
Assessing what has been working (or not) during COVID-19 and what will be the best tactics moving forward:
Taking a hard look at these channels and making sure you have the proper messaging in place to recognize upcoming opportunities is going to be key.
Make sure you have the proper tools in place that can provide the details needed to make quick, informed decisions.
If anything comes out of the last few months, it should be that if you found yourself without the proper infrastructure to get the information you needed to make decisions in a timely manner – this should become a top priority moving forward.
Quite frankly – we probably won’t have another period that will have such a drastic impact in such a short amount of time. Though the same information, providing marked yet consistent improvements will help find the gains you need to climb back out of this twice as fast than if you’re staying with your old system.