I wrote this post for MMT
Everything and nothing has been said about the pandemic. From weak as a sneeze to deadly as the plague – Covid-19 hit the world like a close-range bullet.
We first heard about it this time last year and no one could have imagined what it would engender in the world. What the World Economic Forum referred to as “The Great Reset” has been launched, but there continue to be enormous disparities in terms of how people feeling about this year and what it will bring. Some sectors have been destroyed while others have thrived during the crisis.
Tendencies show that nothing is the same as it once was and no one can as yet foresee what will be. Trends are pointing to realignment towards sustainable products, organic foods and DIY with people at home using their extra time to improve their living and working conditions. But will these trends stick? Developments in China have shown otherwise with Hermes Shanghai making $2m in sales on the first day they reopened after the lockdown, kicking off a V-shaped recovery.
All of this has paved the way for the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. Let’s take a look at what we have learned from this crisis so far.
- Global digitalization – Social distancing and a shift away from non-essential public spaces have introduced a new way of living and working. From e-learning and streaming services to delivery apps, even the least equipped businesses have been pushed into the realm of connection.
- Changes in consumer behavior… towards the possibility of pursuing doughnut economics? One year of digital everything has made consumers interested in turning towards an increased focus on humanity and social connection. This has encouraged the emergence of opportunities to establish a new vision for urban societies.
- Lack of visibility as the new norm – If there is one thing of which we can be certain, it is uncertainty itself. The 2001 dot.com bubble and the 2008 and 2015 financial crises did not impact us to the same extent as the current crisis because they did not reach into our personal sphere, our social connections and our way of life so globally. This crisis has stopped the movement of people, forcing everyone to realize that, yes, we do not know what will happen.
- Recovery will not be immediate for some sectors: The air travel sector is planning to return to 2019 levels by 2024. Hospitality expects to bounce back faster as people are craving interaction, but governments are afraid of new clusters forming.
What this means for businesses:
- Flexibility is the new black – Companies have stretched themselves far more that they thought they could. In addition to having to structure teamwork remotely, they’ve also had to find ways to reinvent their business models, from supply chains and delivery to payment.
- Preserving cashflow – Companies will be looking for opportunities to preserve cash by reducing their operating costs or CapEX/OpEX balance.
- Looking at company culture – after 7 months of #WFH, many companies are facing employee Zoom fatigue and “lack of Xmas party blues,” which means a higher risk of disengagement and quality issues.
- Return to fundamentals in growth models – Although confidence has helped build solid prognoses regarding future business success, some companies are back to square one. Investors are now returning to business fundamentals to help them make decisions regarding companies’ futures.
=> Is that a bad thing?
Businesses can seize this opportunity to start fresh despite headwinds: Despite a frozen travel market, the Airbnb IPO is doing well, almost tripling its share value in the first day. The business is adapting to new trends as they appear as mentioned above and is benefiting from the strong trust of its user base.
What are your levers?
- Build data transparency across the business – By structuring your business data infrastructure, you can make decisions and monitor your performance more effectively. Doing this helps you create a data-driven process, which then helps you secure your business fundamentals.
- Gain flexibility in your work environment – Equip your company with the tools it needs for collaboration and improved workflows. The market is flooded with a variety of solutions to fit the different needs of companies of all sizes.
- Reduce operating costs – Study your team workload and use automation to reduce repetitive tasks and time-consuming missions. Data input, invoicing and reporting, for instance, can be orchestrated through efficient automation solutions.
- Assess your cost-to-performance ratio – Companies should review their ROI per activity whenever possible. You can often tap into cost-savings opportunities in your supply chain, marketing and support services.
Not only will this benefit your bottom line, it will also benefit your teams and your performance.
Waiting to see what is going to come next.
As things currently stand, there is no clear way to know how 2021 will eventually pan out in terms of freedom of movement, going back to the office and vaccinations, and, therefore, in terms of business success and results.
Access to data helps you gain insight into possible improvements and understand what works best.
Build trust and motivation in your teams. Introduce new learning opportunities by strengthening team data management acumen and offering time-saving solutions and updated collaboration tools.
MMT is specialized in helping businesses transition their marketing and media data infrastructure into more efficient workflows, reporting and input for enhanced performance. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.