The pandemic has changed the way we shop, work and engage with brands. Don’t let your business get left behind.
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
While some ndustries have benefited from being nimble amid the pandemic, others are still struggling to generate sales. In the corporate world, it has been particularly difficult to forecast upward trends, so how can businesses create momentum moving forward as markets start opening up again?
The answer starts by asking yourself: Do you want to be a follower or a leader in your industry? Do you want to play it safe and let opportunities slip by or do you want to be remembered as a visionary and lead a company that turns challenges into successful opportunities? As the author Napoleon Hill said in his book, Think and Grow Rich, “Every adversity has the seed of equivalent benefit.”
Think about how well-known brands started their business or how your company was founded. Whether you, someone else or a family member saw an opportunity in the market, they took a leap of faith and decided to start something positive. That person was driven by purpose.
Our society is going through an era of evolution were innovation, creativity, cultural relevancy and genuine customer relationships are critical for brand loyalty and business longevity.
I strongly believe that corporations are facing a huge internal and external challenge by not embracing change and realizing that society is evolving and technology is playing an important role in it. Now more than ever, forward thinking is critical for success.
Here are three helpful tips that can help you gain a better perspective as we continue adapting to unprecedented circumstances.
1. Embrace change
I get it: Sometimes it’s hard to change the way we (and others) think and make adjustments to our daily routine. But, if you want your company to evolve, there is no way around it. I continue seeing business executives whose decisions are based on personal feelings or bias. They are not taking into account what customers are expecting from their brand. Today, to be successful as a brand means you need to be socially and culturally relevant — meaningful in the lives of consumers — and to be up to date with new technologies and market trends.
The media-consumption behavior of consumers has changed dramatically. Besides offline or online communications, the holistic brand experience is crucial to your success. It starts in your online touch-points. It’s not enough to speak about yourself as brand; you need to be relevant. To better communicate as brand, means you have to be more personable, accessible, intuitive, culturally and socially relevant.
2. Leadership starts with you
According to a report from Harvard Business Review, 80% of U.S. CEOs say they don’t trust or are unimpressed by their CMOs. Not surprisingly, CMOs have the briefest tenure in the C-suite.
One of the biggest challenges in the C-suite is that as unemployment increased substantially during the pandemic, those people who retained their jobs are fearful to challenge their leadership teams. Yet they need to help them face the fact that the marketplace has changed and mainstream is becoming multicultural. They know it is necessary to start having those tough conversations as everybody corporate-wide is under pressure to perform better. The question is: Wouldn’t it be better to do the job you have been hired for and bring industry innovation and disruption rather than simply going through the same old tactical motions knowing that your days might be numbered?
It is time for CEOs to start asking themselves, “What type of CMOs would you like to have in today’s marketplace?” Someone who will challenge you and your team with innovation and smart thinking so you can gain the competitive edge? Or do you want a yes sir or madam type of person who will simply do what every previous person in that role has done year after year?
3. Know your consumers
You must have a deeper understanding of your current consumers and of your prospective ones. You must know everything about them — from their media-consumption patterns to their purchase behaviors. Many times, companies develop a Hispanic marketing strategy/plan based only on third-party research. In many cases, they develop a partnership with a Hispanic media network and let them manage their communications. This is a formula for disaster.
Most marketers will acknowledge that future growth for their brands is dependent on winning with Hispanics. However, many marketers have also convinced themselves that their general market efforts are adequate enough to engage with Hispanic audiences. This is absolutely incorrect. As a result, only an average of 6% of U.S. ad spending is dedicated to the Hispanic market.
According to the U.S. Census, by 2045 more than 50% of the U.S. population will be multicultural. Hispanics are leading this growth. Think about how much growth and profits that means you are leaving on the table by not targeting this audience the right away.
As Napoleon Hill said in his book, Freedom from Fears, “The world needs pioneers who find opportunity in adversity, rather than people who use societal noise as an excuse to maintain status quo.”