Corporate cultures, group dynamics, ambiences, internal and externalrelationships and personal commitments have each been impacted, compromised,marginalised, stripped bare and exposed by the ravages of the COVID pandemic.
Momentum and critical mass have been lost, particularly in some key life-style, discretionary and economic-driving sectors.
A progressive drift to online operations has accelerated into a rush. So toohas the introduction of new payment, and rapid home-deliveries systems.
Many processes have been trimmed, refined, sped up, with consequentialincreases of internal efficiencies.
Consistent with such focus, the number, frequency and size of group team-member, distribution network and client meetings, gatherings and celebratoryevents have been reduced.
The important aspects of fun and emotion are less conspicuous, influential andmanaged. Where recognised, such are often rationalised and justified becauseof “the unprecedented times” of the coronavirus environment.
Enjoyment appears to have been largely replaced by enduring in the currentreality.
Significant changes are also evident in communication strategies. Expenditureincreases with online channels have overwhelmed contracting budgets for thetraditional mass media of television, print, radio and out-of-home (outdoor).
Emphasis is given to single, often time-specific offers with the orientationto product, price, place and promotion. A striking return to the pre-1963sales era.
Investments in brand-names, ongoing relationships and the life-time value ofclients and customers are now secondary. Cash-flows and their immediacy rule.
Among the natural consequences are substantial decisions in customer loyalty,repeat business, recommendations, referrals and advocacy. The value of, andpayments for the latter two have become more isolated, modest and questioned.
The standout high performers in sales and profits during the 2020 calendaryear were typically larger scale operations and networks.
Deep pockets and a willingness to invest on marketing, sales, promotions andmulti-channel advertising, ensured a dominate, conspicuous presence andcompetitive advantageous profile.
“Share-of-mind” did, ultimately, equate to share-of-market.
Some marketing lores retained their currency, relevance and effectiveness.Consistency and continuity were virtues in a marketplace where consumers wereattracted to brand names that were familiar and trusted. Such stood proud in asea of turmoil.
Confused? You’re not alone.
At present, throughout commerce, standards, benchmarks and traditions are inplay and very fluid.
Absolute measures are seemingly meaningless. Move over Albert Einstein. Thetheory of Relativity is being revisited, and re-applied.
In isolation, and with social distancing, everyone appears to be determiningand working within their own reality. Unity, integration and cohesion arespoken about often. Implementing, maintaining and developing such is morecomplex and challenging.
A steady and steadying hand is reassuring. We all appear to have come the fullcircle. 360 degrees.
The time has arrived for recommitment to corporate cultures, group dynamics,ambiences and relationships.
Retreat to the nature of tribalism, founded on personal presence andinteractions are evident.
Invitations and commissions to provide customised keynote presentations andfacilitate high-energy, interactive workshops are important components forMarketing Focus.
The intent is not to rebuild, but rather to refine, refresh and individualisethe “new”.
Interestingly, this includes sessions on critical visual merchandising,positive, personal customer service and integrative company cultures.
Above all, it is time to come together.
In the current period of “belt tightening” and financial rectitude it is notsurprising that outlays and investments in the conduct of events for internalteam-members, contributors to supply chains, franchises, members of marketingnetworks, clients, customers and associates at large are considered, andcelebrated as being exceptional.
Exceptions to the rules and prevailing norms standout, are recognised, oftenappreciated, valued and are recalled for extended periods of time.
The reasons and rationale for the conduct of exceptional events are wide andvaried.
Their resonance among invitees and participants are more pronounced than inthe past, when such occasions were anything but exceptional.
Such initiatives project a sense of confidence, which can be, and often is,infectious. Cash-flows are adversely impacted in the short-term. However,sharing goals, ambitions and offers are usually warmly received.
Follow-up and follow-through practices maintain momentum and achieve criticalmass.
Success, like winning in sporting pursuits, is not a part-time thing. Itbecomes a habit, an expectation and it sets minimal standards.
Australian long-distance running champion, Herb Elliott, is a fine example. Hewas never beaten in a mile-length event. Or the metric 1500-metre adaption.
Herb maintained his winning style in commerce, with sports equipment, and onBoards of Directors – particularly in the mining sector.
Exceptional? Not really, just expected.
Like Herb, we all need to put in the hard yards.
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