COVID Consolidation: How CEOs, CMOs and CFOs Can Get Client Results
Seizing new opportunities for clients and setting immediate priorities that will define the long-lasting effects on your business model.
The new landscape of the COVID-19 era will bring potentially permanent business shifts. A lack of clarity around how businesses should continue to respond, and how long the restrictions could last, means it’s critical to adopt a proactive, consolidated, and client-centric stance above all else.
This sort of thinking was touted as a good-to-have for businesses before the COVID-19 era, but it’s guaranteed to become the number-one mantra as the long-term ramifications of the pandemic play out. In fact, it’s more important now to truly dig down into this strategy as more sustainable patterns emerge and companies learn from every possible scenario to sustain their client base.
With budgets shrinking and increasing speed-to-market pressures, enterprises must assess their collaborators with an eye toward execution and outcomes over anything else. It will force businesses to choose their COVID-era partners more wisely, prioritizing resourceful partners that offer full client journeys may be a better fit than more stratified competitors.
Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies for C-Suite executives going forward.
- Echoing the Survival Days: Top executives have undoubtedly been through tougher adversity when leading other businesses or kickstarting their executive career, so it’s important to reflect on other examples of business adversity that were overcome that will remind them that this situation is manageable. Remembering how they have and can again do more with less puts everything into perspective. If customers continue to be served across all touchpoints with this mentality, clients will see this level of leadership and respect it in the future.
- Following Unorthodox Paths: Once top executives take the steps they can to preserve immediate revenue, with downside risks within reason, one unorthodox avenue to explore is to focus on strategic growth opportunities via smaller competitors and complementary businesses. It may seem counterintuitive considering the panic and uncertainty of the moment, but acting now during this buyer’s market can reap attractive client rewards down the line. Clients want to see a brand as a healthy organism in the market that will continue to educate, empathize with and aid them.
- Setting the Stage to Study the Competitive Set: Marketers should communicate proactively and preemptively, and use this time of uncertainty as a strength by reinforcing effective practices and protocols as a means to outthink the competition. They should zero-in on making incremental improvements with an eye toward competitors. Those businesses may have navigated through similar issues in the past and can be used as a marketing barometer for how to consolidate business functions.
- Maintaining ROI Quickness: Targeted audiences are slowing their spend and tightening budgets, making demand generation fall out of favor as an immediate priority. To make up for this empty space, marketers need to position brands quickly with differentiated, analytics-driven first-to-market content that reflects their integrity and successes. It will fill an immediate void in the marketplace that will grow into consistent, reliable thought leadership, and highlight the tangible impact of ROI to measure the effectiveness of parts of the chain. Customers must trust these brands based on the market leadership put out there as the economy starts to shift back to normalcy.
- Powering Through: The grim reality is that the global economy is all but guaranteed to head into a recession. So the smart leaders holding the purse-strings have to streamline toward absolute efficiency. As the impact becomes clearer, financial executives can power through by basing their outlooks on facts rather than sentiment and what-ifs. Ultimately, this leads to reevaluating investments, finding positive ways to consolidate as they continually assess potential lasting effects, and implement effective recovery scenarios across all offerings.
- Focusing on the Opportunities: Financial leaders have immediately downgraded their plans, cut costs and enacted cash preservation and risk assessment measures. It’s okay to be conservative now, but they will eventually look ahead and branch out to take advantage of new strategic opportunities, targeted M&A, and inorganic growth strategies that will attract new clients and lead the business back on track.
Many businesses — in fact, far too many — may not be able to go through the uncertainty that lies ahead. So there will be room to maximize cash, and create great opportunities to diversify revenue streams, capabilities and geographic and vertical footprints that benefit businesses and the clients they serve. Quick, smart, and previously unorthodox moves now can create sustainability to last into the future.
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