Prepare to adapt your strategy during uncertainty

This post will help you to consider how to adapt your strategy at a time of crisis.  It was written at the height of the COVID19  Pandemic, its advice applies to any period of crisis or disruption.There’s no point in avoiding the topic that’s dominated everyone’s lives this week.  The current Public Health Emergency has created unprecedented turbulence in both personal lives and business lives.  Some of my clients have felt that it might be inappropriate to be selling amidst  so much anxiety.  However, I have encouraged my clients to promote themselves throughout this period of isolation, provided that they continue to meet their client’s needs within their brand values. Like many people, I’m no fan of the blatant profiteering which has been seen on Ebay, as I report in the MINS Column.

This week’s image features a sunrise on the horizon.  It represents the immediate need for strategic thinking in your Marketing.  Different times lie ahead, but are they better or worse? We don’t know yet, but they certainly will be different.  The reason I associate this image with strategic thinking is: strategy is about taking a long view on how you will reach your goal. In the words of my Marketing mentor, Paul Fyfield: “strategy is all about how an organisation will achieve its objectives” (Paul Fyfield, Marketing Strategy p.7). It’s important to remember during this bleak period that there might be more prosperous times ahead.  You need to be ready, should that happen. So I’m encouraging my portfolio of clients to remain visible throughout this period of isolation, in which social media has proven its worth as an ideal method for maintaining contact at a distance, and for forming groups with shared interests or needs. I’ve been reassured to see how willingly my clients have adapted to the radically altered trading environment.

Several of them have switched to delivering their service via Skype or Zoom to overcome the restrictions on interpersonal contact.  For example:

  1. Brittens Music, who sadly had to close its shop completely, has been delivering its Music School lessons to pupils remotely via Zoom
  2. Neuro Rehab Kent has been contacting its clientbase to establish the potential for delivering physiotherapy remotely via Skype. I look forward to experiencing this next Tuesday.
  3. You Baby Beyond has recorded videos to assist pregnant or post-natal mothers to remain active while indoors.
  4. Anne Bayati Hypnotherapy and Tracey Campbell Homeopath have taken advantage of their well-established Skype option for treating their clients
  5. A21 Taxis has willingly adapted its offer to include UK holiday transport in sanitised vehicles and transport to work for key-workers.

All these short-term adaptations are to be applauded.  Remember that they are tactics which need to be implemented temporarily, in response to the changed marketplace.  The strategy for your business may remain unchanged for the time-being until you revisit your Marketing Audit in future to reflect upon the altered trading environment.

This week’s actions to help you to ANTICIPATE, a short list of suggested tasks

  1.  Remind yourself of where you would like your business to get to
  2. Will you get there by doing what you’re doing now?
  3. If not, what might you do differently?
  4. Monitor your competitors during isolation.