How to steer your business forward in hard times

It is undeniable: Covid-19 has a tremendous impact on most companies. Who we are and how we behave has changed drastically. So, what can you do to not only safeguard your business but to even steer it forward?

We now live in a low touch environment, driven by a totally different customer behavior. Companies also face other changes that oblige them to adapt their value proposition. Responding is tough, especially for big(ger) companies.

A natural response is to go into crisis mode and take immediate actions. However, such ‘war room tactics’ are only useful to protect your business. A better way to look at it and make your business lean forward, is to seize the challenge these changes bring and discover where the opportunities for your company lie. It requires you to think bold but – especially – to review your fundamentals and get them right for this new era.

What not to do?

Understandable as it is, don’t rely on tactics alone to adapt your business. Tactics such as growth hacking, artificial intelligence, influencer marketing, etc. may work in the short run, but have no strategic impact.

Also, don’t be led on by buzzwords such as digital transformation, paradigm shift or disruption. They all are part of change, but not a goal in itself.

Finally, don’t lose focus and stay rational. Try not to jump but instead link all your marketing and sales activities to a clear intent. It is only when your intent is absolutely clear that you can take action to move forward.

So, what should you do instead?

First, clarify your intent

Before you decide what to do, make sure you know why you are doing it. Gather the necessary market and customer insights. How has the market changed, who are your (new) competitors? Who is your client, what does he/she need, how does he/she behave and what is the (customer) experience your customer expects along his/her customer journey?

Doing the necessary research in the market and in customer behaviors and expectations is crucial, as Benedikte Paulussen from Telenet recently discovered. Thorough customer research showed them that the real value of 5G lies in what it can actually do for the customer and not in the technical advances it offers. Which resulted in a totally new strategy and value proposition, as she tells us in the interview here below.

The intent you find for your company will also determine how you will segment and target your market and how to model your business.

The final result will be a customer-centric mission and vision that will translate in a customer-centric strategy.

Secondly, define the infrastructure

Knowing your real intent allows you to make the right fundamental choices that will determine your marketing and sales plan. It will guide you in how you should go to market, how to gather leads, how you will (cross)sell and which data, systems and platforms to use.

Only then, decide on tools & tactics

The choices you make based on your intent will finally also influence the impact you can make and how to make it. Both on the front-end (what your customers get to see) as on the back-end.

The diagram below clarifies the best path forward to steer your company through these hard times and ensure your business growth.

Want to find out more about this approach?

Minds&More partner Pieterjan Kempynck went into detail during our Low Touch webinar on strategy. Click here if you would like to view the entire webinar (40 minutes).

Also, if you need help to determine your new strategy and value proposition, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Minds&More.

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