June 12th, 2021
So far economists seem to all agree that they are seeing 2021 as the year that will continue the huge drive towards moving our traditional economy into even more solidified digital economy, fundamentally changing the economy and our society. This drive is forcing new thinking and new concepts in business operations and marketing and hence result in entrepreneurial innovation, productivity improvements, and regional economic growth while illustrating implications for national growth, the labor market, and business reengineering.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost every sector to transform how they operate their business, driving extraordinary demand for digital service providers and a need for increased automation of processes. Some businesses and companies have quickly realized their short comings and the lack of a robust digital infrastructure allowing for rapid business operations reengineering and therefore have struggled with this rapid shift in demand.
Every smart business person knows that crises can be an opportunity, if you are well prepared and can act fast to take advantage of new opportunities.
Digital service providers (companies that specialize in digital services and Internet business services and marketing) are seeing a huge demand for their services by businesses and companies, small or large. Those that are well prepared and can scale their services are growing rapidly to help businesses that need help with accelerating their digital transformation and fully digital and automate e-commerce operations. Additionally these service providers are also helping those enterprises that had already prioritized digitization of their business and services, to further expand their reach, achieve more cost reduction, and expand their digital operations further in order to become leaders in their industry.
One thing for sure, most small businesses and entrepreneurial startups are focusing on plans to fully digitize their business and hence immediately accelerate their long term plans of digitization as fast and as effectively as they can.
Marketing internally and externally (communicating with your team and your existing and potential customers) is more important now than at other times.
What to plan for during times of crises and transformation:
1. Make sure your entire team is aware and well informed about this period of transformation and the need for an agile and flexible business model to weather the storm. Have regular meetings, talk about the challenges and discuss short-term plans along with long-term goals and keep them consistent.
2. Devise a plan to communicate with your existing customers and communicate changes clearly and regularly, so they understand that you keep them in mind. Tell the truth, they will support you more during these times of change. Yes, communicating with your existing customers is ESSENTIAL MARKETING.
3. Be honest with your customers about the challenges that your business is facing. It will give them all more confidence that you are planning realistically and you are strong to take on these challenges.
4. Be honest and transparent with your employees/team as well as your vendors and sub-contractors since you need them to understand what you are going through and they will support you more during these turbulent times. Being transparent is a sign of strength especially if it is well communicated.
5. Devise a plan to communicate with your potential new customers during this time of transition. Explain the changes clearly and identify the communication channels for each of your audience sector, if you have different markets that you offer your products to. Create an FAQ for your website and have important question new prospects ask you, added to that FAQ. Marketing depends heavily on effectively communicating your business transformation and your product offering.
6. Make sure you have a consistent and continual message on your website regarding changes to your business and product offerings, with description of potential disruption and inform visitor to your site that your company is being reengineered for further automation in order processing, delivery, customer service, support, and other functions of your business that are going through digitization and automation.
7. Reengineering of your business processes is now absolutely essential, more than before COVID. You need to assess every aspect of your business and ask tough and honest questions regarding everything you do, and evaluate the potential elimination of each and every one of these business processes looking for injection of creativity and innovation back into your business once again. All of these are significant aspects of your marketing (both business and products).
Finally, remind yourself that small shifts in business transition is not difficult and most businesses can weather such changes, if they have a good business plan taking such changes into consideration. However, big shifts in economic transformation requires a significant course correction and you need to have a good alternative plan backed by skillful communication to succeed.