There is no doubt that it will be difficult to assess the full ramifications of the pandemic for a while now but what is certain is that the businesses that learn from the process and adapt to the changing habits of consumers will come out stronger as a result.
Right now, you need to train yourself and your mindset, to recognise the opportunities in your field and your industry. Are changing habits leading to permanent shifts in behaviour or are they temporary until we rediscover normality?
On reflection, will the “new normal” look the same as it has done over the last 7 months or so. Or have certain trends been driven by compliance with guidelines? These are more likely to be temporary, whereas the changes we see based on convenience or economic benefit is likely to stick around permanently.
As well as analysing the environment in your industry going forward, recognising the opportunities for growth is also in analysis of your numbers.
Contrary to what you may believe, taking a look at your data can usually reveal shifting patterns better than any ‘instinct’ or ‘gut feeling’. If you look at the data, do you see any changes happening before the pandemic or did they start to emerge only after everything ground to a halt?
A study I read recently showed that cinema attendances started to drop before they closed, which could suggest that the behavioural shift was already occurring and the pandemic only gave it a push. Conversely, live sports attendances only dropped once people were no longer able to attend. Consumer activity only changed there when it was forced.
When times get tough, there are always stand-out performers and if you have competitors that are thriving, there is no shame in looking at what they are doing and trying to replicate it. Are they targeting a new demographic? Have they launched a new type of service? Is there a new approach they are taking?
Once you understand your audience and what is working in your industry you need to know how to apply this and this may mean a change in your business model.
Due to a shift towards digital rather than the physical, there are opportunities that may present themselves, which you never considered previously.
For example, could you explore new territories? There are no boarders online.
Or are there any initiatives you could roll out online that would help to bring your services to an expanded customer base where you target currently?
In addition to this, a new mentality needs to be adopted when it comes to investment and where to put your money.
To reiterate my recent post on marketing growth, it is important that we make tough decisions at this time, when something isn’t working and double down when it is. Businesses that are able to recognise their top channels for growth and, in turn, choose to be smart with investment, will reap the benefits in the long term.
If you are gaining little return from your social media advertising but plenty from your email marketing channel, cut your losses and place the budget where you know it is working.
At this point in time, it is no longer a possibility to “wait and see”, stronger and more decisive reactions are called for to ensure you are not left behind.
If you make the right moves now, the opportunities are there to thrive.
Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss how best your business can adapt to the “new normal”, I would love to hear from you.