As we begin to lift up our heads and try to focus on the post-COVID-19 world ahead (getting beyond crisis communication), Primacy’s strategy team has created a framework that we’ve used internally to help break down challenges and foster structured thinking on the road to recovery.
In a white paper entitled “How Marketing Can Help Lead Your Organization’s COVID-19 Business Recovery,” we demonstrate how businesses can make the seemingly overwhelming task of recovery planning more manageable through a four-step approach:
- Form a Dedicated Recovery SWOT Team
- Develop a Visual Framework
- Define and Prioritize Risk & Recovery Scenarios
- Delineate Between Short-term Impacts and Permanent Shifts
Within the framework, we include key activities that we believe remain constant across all industries. For example, revisiting your customer segments to identify any potential shifts—or even additions—is critical. As is rounding out your personas and journey maps with any changes to attitudes, behaviors, and challenges. So, now’s the time to determine and ask the right questions. (Including internal questions for employees to ensure your talent management efforts remain sharp.)
Aligning with P&L partners sooner vs. later will also help ensure a clear understanding of what short-and longer-term success looks like. We suggest you do this on both a macro—broad considerations you have less control over—and micro—considerations specific to your industry/organization that you can likely influence, if not control. These scenario planning exercises will help focus your team’s thinking—and also allow you to identify key flex points (and corresponding dates) when you’ll need to move to an alternate business recovery plan and/or timeline.
As you move ahead, one challenge that you’ll likely face is your ability to understand the availability and reliability of the research tools at your disposal. Because much remains uncertain, you’ll need to have a way to test and learn quickly—but know enough to avoid any major missteps. For example, as syndicated research works to catch-up—you may need to have a greater reliance on guerilla-style (ad-hoc) primary research in order to ensure that you’re working to understand what’s in the hearts and minds of your customers in real time.
Of course, everyone’s predicting that COVID-19 will accelerate an organization’s digital transformation efforts. At the same time, earnings challenges will likely put continued pressure on investment. While this hits considerably more broadly than marketing, we do have a responsibility to help our organizations understand the potential upside to any CX investment—and help our P&L owners prioritize based on potential contribution. We anticipate that organizations that have de-prioritized improved access and analysis of customer data will now realize its importance—likely combining it with an investment in engagement marketing to ensure that they’re getting the most out of every marketing dollar spent. All of which is just further indication that CMOs and CTOs need each other more than ever.
Finally, because each industry will have a different recovery trajectory, “How Marketing Can Help Lead Your Organization’s COVID-19 Business Recovery,” includes perspectives from our strategists focusing on Financial Services, Healthcare, and Education. We’ve conducted primary research for each practice area to help us understand the impact of COVID-19, and you’ll find insight related to our findings throughout.
As always, we encourage you to contact us with any questions or if you can be of any help as you navigate this unprecedented challenge.