The future is almost certainly uncertain. Many of the businesses around the world are still stalled or operating in a limited capacity, our pre-coronavirus strategy plans are on hold, and the unknown length of the looming recession adds to the uncertainty of the entire predicament.
But let’s try to think far, and let our ideas go wild. What might our businesses look like after the coronavirus pandemic?
How we work together and collaborate has changed forever. The fact that the entire world has been forced to work remotely has also helped many businesses realize what is to be gained by working in such a way.
For many, it’s now completely clear how we unnecessarily spent a lot of time on physical meetings that could have been solved online, spent too much time commuting, or wasted time away in the office just to add in the hours.
In fact, a recent Gartner survey showed that 74% of organizations are considering reducing office space after the pandemic is over.
This brings a slightly different structure to how we work, and as more companies adopt the working remotely strategy as a full-time solution, we’re bound to see a change in our processes as well. From how we hire across continents and time zones to find the truly most suitable skillset worldwide to how we manage teams, that sort of a system will have to be less centralized and more reliant on tech solutions and crystal clear online communication.
Imagine living through this crisis without having any access to data about what’s going on.
For many businesses, this is exactly the case. It is especially true at uncertain times like this that marketers require the real-time ability to track web trends, social trends, or anything else that helps them read the situation.
This has already been a problem for many marketers that relied solely on third-party data that’s slow to analyze and isn’t always reliable. We’ve seen the transition already set in before the coronavirus pandemic, but the crisis will likely accelerate digital transformation in this area.
We may also have to rethink how reliable our communication channels to our audience really are. Those channels are our lifelines.
We will have to reassess what our distribution channels for content currently are. Do we have to pay to reach our audience, or can we still reach them when the marketing budgets are cut?
We’ll see a slight prioritization of organic access to audiences, which essentially means a focus on content marketing. The goal for us marketers will be to build more robust, more reliable ways to market to consumers.
But it doesn’t only touch content marketing models. For many of us, it may mean reevaluating our revenue models, too.
So many businesses had to cease operations because the demand for whatever product or service they offered disappeared entirely. But if your business survives this, whether you’re a restaurant, a retailer, or even an airline, you must think about what could have been done to diversify your revenue streams.
When the next crisis comes, we want to be sure we can weather it easier.
Some consumer behaviors have changed, and probably for the long run. Much of the emerging tech that was dragging on forever to come around has finally been fast-tracked.
During this time our reliance on ecommerce is unprecedented as we’re practically ordering everything online. But while ecommerce is fairly straightforward, other technologies will require new skillsets.
The pandemic will fast track other emerging technologies as well, whether it’s voice search – because people don’t want to physically interact with objects around them – or people finally getting around to using VR, your business should be preparing to be a part of the new wave of digital transformation set in motion by the coronavirus.
Most importantly, we’ll return to valuing our most loyal customers more than we ever did before. For a good reason – they are probably the ones that never intended to leave you throughout a crisis like this.
The challenge post-coronavirus is how do you create more customers like that in the future? How can your brand become more than the product or service it sells?
Here’s an inspiring example of what that kind of loyalty looks like. After announcing that they needed to pause all shipments due to the pandemic, the beauty brand Colourpop received touching support from their audience.
This pandemic is one of the most tragic events to happen in our lifetimes. In addition to the direct impact the crisis is having on our lives and the lives of our friends and families, it would be heartbreaking if we emerge without lessons learned.
This could be a time to prioritize what really matters. It’s a brave new world. We’ll face it together.