macrotrend: ‘value’ is being redefined.
If you haven’t considered a voice of customer study, now’s the time. Your customers don’t need reminded that we live in a different world. But they do need to be reminded you are still there to help them adapt to it.
One of the ways to do that is through understanding how they now define value. Consider what drove your demand and growth prior to this outbreak and ask yourself if that’s still what customers want. This is one of the few times in supply and demand where want might actually outweigh need. They might need your product or service… but they want to feel safety and comfort in doing business with you. They need your guidance more than ever… but they want trust and mindfulness that comes with putting yourself in their shoes.
When it comes to communications, there is definitely a juxtaposition of need and want. This is especially true with internal communications. Employees may not always ‘want’ to hear from you… but of course, they need to in order to be a part of the organization. Now? They need to hear from you for those critical facts and updates… but they want to hear from you more than ever. Companies have long sought how to create this kind of demand and opportunity for trust with their employees – now they have it. But it has to start with what those employees value. And the reminder that now more than ever, it’s personal.
macrotrend: Don’t go back. Go forward.
Call it what you want – new normal, temporary normal, new reality – all of your audiences are looking at their business through a new lens. You have that same opportunity. And while there may be some things that we miss this isn’t the time to think about when we can go ‘back’ to them.
macrotrend: Get uncomfortable.
As much as we’re talking about how this should be an opportunity to create… specifically create change… the reality is despite all of the planning and programming it’s important to remember one thing: it could and probably will continue to change.
We all know that our role as communications professionals is one that requires us to live in a world with VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. But this? This is VUCA on steroids. A strategic marketing plan, such as the aforementioned solve 2.0, shouldn’t have you or your team looking out further than 90 days just to allow for new conditions that could alter what you’re planning for now.
The traditional tenants of leadership still apply… but today, a leader mindset is one that has to have a level of comfort with a business environment that is uncomfortable. One of my favorite things to say to many of the overachievers I have worked with through the years is ‘don’t let perfect become the enemy of good’. This can no longer just be saying – it needs to be absorbed into your culture and internal communications strategy. Easier said than done, I know, but now is the time to embrace the spirit of that as it will help you and your organization deal with the rapidly changing, uncertain framework we are living and working in.