At the beginning of 2020, economists, business leaders, politicians, analysts, bloggers, and the people at large were trying to understand the various factors affecting the world economy or countries in specific. However, the factors changed completely within the first few weeks of the year. Now, it had a common obstacle to deal with, which is the coronavirus pandemic. This is a new challenge for businesses, and it has resulted in the beginning of a new normal for the operations and the economies.
Covid-19 pandemic has turned out to be lethal to the world economy in myriad ways. The GDP contracted. Debts have soared to high levels. The stock exchanges across the world plummeted a deadly fall. Unemployment has risen to extremely high levels in most of the countries. Millions of workers or employees have seen a cut in their incomes. Some of the industry sectors have come to a standstill because of the lockdown. Consumer confidence also experienced a jolt. Overall, the IMF predicted a 3% decline in the world economy. Despite all these negative numbers, the businesses have found new ways to survive, to hold their base, and to move ahead for the remaining months and the next year.
Digital presence is the new office
Digitalization has seen a new upsurge in these difficult times. Organizations have found it possible to work from home, conduct meetings through various video/audio conferencing tools, and even conduct their non-work activities online. Many organizations are already enjoying the rewards of digitalization since they have the systems, processes, capabilities, and experiences of working digitally. Few organizations were proactive enough to take the required measures and adjust to the new workplace. This is how business leaders are having a first-hand experience of the ways digitalization can benefit their organizations and analyzing the costs involved in maintaining the same. Therefore, they can seize these opportunities in improving their presence in the digital space and prepare for future operations.
Unique marketing strategies
One of the key operations that have the widest digital presence is marketing. Businesses are capitalizing on these benefits of digital marketing presence to grab the attention of their customers before their competitors. However, the biggest concern, in this case, is that all businesses are doing the same. The solution is to do it differently.
- Write blogs on topics such as lessons from pandemic or charity work done by your organizations in these pandemic times
- Post videos on topics such as a message from CEO, work from home videos, and testimonials from loyal customers
- Put social media posts on new products or services, new technology, new markets, new geographies, and new opportunities
- Advertise in multiple channels and platforms to grab the benefit from wherever possible
- Nurture the existing leads – the past customers and website visitors – to enable return visits
The new class of business leaders
Sailing through these difficult pandemic times, organizations have been able to identify the human assets that have responded to these challenging times with utmost perseverance. In addition to the shocking waves that the pandemic created, it became a testing ground for all the budding leaders. They have demonstrated the openness to adapt to new experiences and flexible approaches, thereby learning through them and motivating others to do the same. This has resulted in the emergence of new leaders who are quick in decision-making and execution in the face of uncertainty. They are bold with an innovative mindset and have come together as a team to respond to the crisis-affected business problems and strategize for the future.
Essential communication with key clients and stakeholders
With the clients facing financial issues, they have cut down the non-essential services outsourced from other organizations. They have changed their priorities and preferences, thereby affecting the businesses immensely. Therefore, the key initiative that few businesses have taken up is to communicate with the clients and give them hope of better services or find out new ways of working with them. Overall, they intend to regain control of their relationships with the clients by adopting any of the following effective strategies:
- Mentioning the steps that business is taking to help employees, customers, other stakeholders and the community at large
- Notifying the clients regarding new working hours, new options for ordering, customer service facilities, or any other changes to their operations
- Reiterating the organization’s values to assure the clients the same level of quality products and efficient services even during these trying times
- Bringing innovations either in products or services or new delivery methods or new geographies of operation
- Communicating to the clients the way business has planned for the post-pandemic world
It is an opportunity for business leaders to understand the shift in the situation, accept the new reality, position their businesses in the new paradigm, and work towards bringing the market landscape to their competitive advantage. As Winston Churchill once said, “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won,” the businesses and economies will charter a new path out of this pandemic and create better value in better ways for clients and other stakeholders. It’s just a matter of time!