As a business owner, part of my job is knowing what’s on the horizon for our clients and our agency. Never has that pursuit been more challenging and relevant than this year.
As an advertising agency, we have the pleasure of working with a diverse group of clients: global clinical trial organizations, LASIK surgeons, regional banks, law firms, the largest junk removal franchise in the world, senior living facilities, colleges, and other organizations both large and small.
Each of our clients’ plans for the future in an effort to prepare for what’s next. However, all the planning in the world could have never anticipated what we’ve seen in the first half of this year—a global pandemic that disrupted our national and global economy, followed by social unrest that has shaken our country to its core.
In time, these crises will come to pass, and media coverage will fade, but the long-lasting impact on consumer attitudes and perceptions will not. How brands act this year will play a significant role in their future success and sustainability.
When the immediate shock waves of the pandemic hit earlier this year, cutting spend and scaling back investment were a natural and necessary reaction for most businesses. Now that we are past triage mode, deep consideration should be given to short and long-term pivot strategies as we enter a “new normal.”
Where do we go from here?
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said “We believe in investing during downturns.” Even if you aren’t inventing the next iPhone, these words should resonate. Bet on yourself and find a way to rebound, reboot, and reinvent.
If you look closely, opportunities are being revealed. Here’s where to start.
- Evaluate your current business and communication strategy with fresh eyes.
- Listen to your customers. How are they responding to the changes in the world today and what do they need?
- Identify the best tactics to respond and meet these landscape changes.
- New or modified products and services
- Changes to hiring and operational policies and procedures
- Refine communications to match
- Consider short-term strategies that can have an immediate positive impact on your customer base and increase your relevance.
- Identify long-term business threats and contingency strategies should the pandemic persist into the foreseeable future.
Businesses who remain persistent, present, and optimistic have the opportunity to gain lasting market share versus those who don’t. History shows that many companies “hunker down” to ride out uncertain times. It also shows that those who seize the challenge, adapt, and innovate have a significant opportunity to grow and prosper.
Which side of history will you be on?