The pandemic is still ongoing and changing how we run our companies as well as how we live our everyday lives. We still have no idea what the new normal might entail or how we will function once the pandemic is officially over. Will business travel depend on vaccination and ongoing testing and how will we adapt our events in physical spaces? Will mask-wearing persist into the new normal? These and many other questions will remain unanswered for the time being, and yet, businesses are expected to plan for that very uncertain future.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that we still need to be able to plan with uncertainties in mind and greet them with as much flexibility as possible. To future-proof your business as much as you can and to use your expertise to the best of your abilities, you should craft a strategy that will push your brand forward in the new normal. Let’s tackle the five core tactics to embed into the strategy that will allow you to evolve your business presence and retain your customers for the long haul.
Use technology for remote collaboration
The job market in its entirety is forever changed by the pandemic. More people have lost their jobs, but many have had to adapt to remote collaboration, while others have started combining side-gigs with full-time positions to build up financial stability. Knowing this puts your business in a unique position: the race for top talent will be fiercer than ever, while freelance-based collaborations will become even more popular.
In fact, there are already more than 1.4 million freelancers in the UK, and it is expected that over 52% of the US workforce will move to long-term freelancing in the next several years. What this means for you is that you will need to build up a workforce that can sustain remote collaboration, and for that, you need the right tech cools. Start with project management and cloud-based software that will help boost productivity, transparency, but also progress-tracking to keep your teams accountable.
Partner with local marketing experts
Although your hiring strategy for the new normal will likely be location-independent, the same cannot be said for your future marketing efforts. Current social distancing rules and the lack of in-person interactions are pushing more companies to find other, more culture-specific ways to market themselves in different regions.
Businesses looking to build their presence in Australia for instance will turn to an expert digital marketing agency in Sydney to tailor a strategy perfect for the local audience and with the local culture in mind. A professional, local approach to marketing will help your business refine your general marketing strategy and help you establish a stronger presence in different regions. For that to happen, you need to plan and execute your marketing in segments, constantly evaluate and monitor your campaigns, and always turn to professionals for strategic help.
Build customer engagement
Another result of social distancing and other pandemic-related restrictions is the limited contact businesses have had with customers. In addition to refining your localized marketing efforts, you will also need to create a dedicated engagement strategy for the new normal in order to build customer loyalty, retention, and hopefully keep your brand visible and relevant despite the lack of contact. Digital outlets will serve as a substitute until physical events are once again a possibility.
Create an engagement strategy that covers all your digital outlets and allows you to reconnect with customers every day. From email subscriptions to social media channels, engagement will be the core prerequisite for businesses to succeed in the new normal. Don’t forget to invest time and creativity in customer support via all these outlets and use them to respond to queries as soon as possible.
Ask your employees
With all the variables your business strategy needs to entail to brace yourself for the unknown of the new normal, you should use all the knowledge you can get, starting with your staff. After all, if you have hired experts and the finest candidates in your industry, why not leverage their hard-earned knowledge and experience in boosting the effectiveness of every strategy you outline?
In the upcoming period, use your regular meetings to exchange ideas and encourage your staff to contribute with their views. Their first-hand experience during the pandemic has allowed them a unique insight into the mind of the customer. Let your strategy in the new normal be fueled by employee contributions primarily, and each department will likely come up with authentic ways to help your organization grow.
Evaluate a range of risks
After the year we’ve all had, you cannot afford to be unprepared for market fluctuations and potential shifts in customer preferences. While you cannot anticipate another health crisis yourself or a similarly staggering global event, you can definitely strengthen your business by creating a strategy to manage, minimize, and evaluate risk in your industry.
The pandemic has allowed a surge of new sources of risk for different industries and different markets. Depending on where your target customers are, you need to evaluate those markets and your own presence in order to see what you can do to minimize risk and maximize growth.
No business strategy is stagnant, but you can create a strong basis with the help of the listed ideas that will enable you the flexibility you need to adapt during a crisis. The new normal is still somewhat of an unknown, and while we can predict certain trends, the consequences of the pandemic have yet to become fully visible and explored. In the meantime, you can create a business strategy that provides you with the stability you need to thrive in the new normal, whatever that might entail.
Author’s bio: Jolene Rutherford is a marketing specialist – turned blogger, currently writing for technivorz.com. Interested in digital marketing and new technology trends. Love sharing content that can help and inform people.