As we navigate through this current landscape and uncharted waters amid coronavirus, a lot of businesses are going to find themselves in interesting situations. Many small and local businesses have had to adjust to a changing business climate and remote employees which were once considered a luxury are now a vital necessity.
It is a fact that times of chaos can also present opportunities for innovation, positive change and growth if you use the time to think outside the box and stop asking yourself “why” and instead question “why not?”
Here is some food for thought as we get through this new global pandemic.
Keep your perspective
This is a reminder that none of it really matters in the grand scheme of things, and that your family and loved ones count over everything! I think we can all agree that if you and your loved ones are healthy, you’ve got so much to be grateful for right now. There’s just nothing in the business world that matters more than the health and well-being of the people closest to me. Business matters, but in the grand scheme of things, health matters more.
Innovate, Innovate, Innovate
I believe it’s time for businesses to think about innovation. It’s about thinking outside of current strategies and concepts that have always been available. COVID Chaos has forced businesses to consider platforms like Zoom, 8×8 and Go-to-meetings as alternatives to in-person meetings. It is likely these video conferences will become the norm post COVID.
Innovation comes in two forms: The first option is marketing innovation. Now maybe the time to start the process of leveraging social media platforms or ads as opposed to things like door knocking, relying on the old referral network or going to the Chamber of Commerce.
It could also be the time for those tasked with lead generation and new client acquisition at many big companies to really become deep practitioners in digital advertising and get back in the trenches.
The other form is innovation in your product or service. For example, barbershops might not be able to cut hair right now, but what about those scissors and soaps and beard oil some of them have in their shop? Now maybe the time to start an e-commerce store and experimenting with that e-commerce store may lead to some extra sales that provide a nice cushion. Restaurants can consider getting on delivery apps or creating packaged food that they can ship around the country.
Big hotel brands could also potentially donate some of their rooms to health-care workers. Or what if they took the food they deliver as room service and turn it into a food delivery to people in their area?
Not every idea will be a good fit for every brand — depends a lot on their resources, their DNA, persona and what they feel comfortable with. But now’s the time to ask “why not” instead of “why.”
Bring Story Time Back
Right now is a great time for businesses to start the process of telling stories around things like how they got started, their biggest mistake or their craziest experience. It’s a practical concept for many right now since we’re not working in offices and don’t have the option to create content at work. It’s a good opportunity to take a step back and start digging into that “origin story.”
Every CEO has a handful of key executives or assistants that help them run their organization. What if they sat down and did “story time” with each of them to talk about their career or why they decided to work at the company?
As another example, an executive at a hotel brand could start a content series to interview the head of a department to share some interesting insights about a part of the company most people never get to see. They might also interview the people who do room service and share some of the most fun experiences they had interacting with customers or the craziest things people tried to order.
Again, every brand has its DNA and all the ideas here aren’t right for every brand. But giving people the option to relate to different people and stories within your organization creates more opportunity for connection.
It’s super important to understand that people buy from people. Right now is an interesting time to tell stories and show people who you are.
Last but not least of all, please be patient
Whether its a few weeks, a few months of the year, it’s going to take a lot of patience to get through it. Patience will be its own virtue and reward.
Please visit https://midlanddigitalsolutions.com/blog/ for more tips and strategies on innovation and digital marketing. This article was written by Malcolm Ilogu; Co-founder/Chief Digital Strategist at Midland Digital Solutions.