Thoughts and Conversations

EAG, April 22, 2020

From EAG, Our Clients and Other Marketers

We’ve been collecting notes, thoughts and great advice from peers, clients and other really smart people. For what it’s worth – here is a short collection.

Workforce Recovery
Unprecedented unemployment is creating a shift in where our workforce lands when the economy rebounds. As restaurants, retail and many others reduce their workforce, Amazon, UPS and others are hiring as fast as they can. This shift may impact businesses that need to rehire as the economy opens back up.

If you’ve furloughed or laid off employees, keep in touch with those you hope to rehire. Understand their financial situation and have a grasp on who and when you can hire back. Don’t assume they are waiting specifically for your business to recover. The economy is reshaping daily. The workforce will look different in the coming weeks, months and years.

Reopening Facilities
Looking forward to the smiles and comradery of co-workers? We certainly are excited about the prospect of meeting and collaborating in-person. Our retail and consumer-facing clients are really optimistic about the thought of opening the doors again.

Keep in mind that this will be a slow and gradual process that will likely come with new rules regarding co-working spaces and physical distancing. Start to plan now for the inevitable changes that will come. Think about the little things like cleaning and disinfecting supplies, aisle widths and meeting room size. The earlier you plan, the sooner you can be back in business.

Supply Chain Woes
Products and goods are being produced. Ships are arriving in port and the supply chain for most goods and services appears in good condition. But significant disruption is coming from unusual places. The demand for grocery and consumer goods has taken over trucking routes previously used for manufacturing. Shipping docks are full but not necessarily with what your business needs and wants.

When stay-at-home orders lift it will take considerable time for the shipping channels to adjust. Prepare now. If you have experienced a disruption in your supply line, don’t expect it to suddenly get back to normal. This will be a long, slow recovery in all aspects of our supply chain.

Data Dysfunction
For those of us that depend heavily on marketing data, the last two months have been a wild roller coaster ride. Everything we’ve learned about search engines and social channels and their algorithms must now be viewed through a new-world prism. Each set of analytics comes with a host of interpretations – what does this mean considering current economic conditions?

The biggest discovery so far is that industry-wide marketing data means less than the facts and figures of an individual business. Industry benchmarks can be easily swayed by a few major players, which is not necessarily how all companies are performing.

For the foreseeable future, data must be analyzed at the most granular level available. This can be by business, product line, region or location and impacted by local news and events.

Remember SWOT?
Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. SWOT is (or was) the backbone of any strategic planning initiative.

The last time you conducted a SWOT analysis, how many people had ‘global pandemic’ appearing as a potential threat?

Perhaps it’s time to rethink the value of SWOT if we can’t even imagine things that impact our business. Perhaps, but in the meantime, it’s all we have.

Now might be the best time to sit down with the smartest people you know and conduct another SWOT analysis, this time with the wisdom of experience. How will your business survive, grow and prosper?

Finish the Project You’ve Been Avoiding
Remember the database you’ve been wanting to clean up for years? How about that review of brochures and website content you’ve been hoping to complete some day? Every business has that long list of projects that seem to get pushed to the bottom of the pile, waiting for a slow day.

Well, that slow day may have arrived. If so, now is the time to prepare for a future of normalcy and growth.

When race car teams leave the track after a long day, they may rest a little but more likely they are already preparing for the next race, finely tuning the machine that makes them money.

Communication Review
At the onset of the pandemic we published an article encouraging everyone to get ahead of their communication planning and to be ready for just about anything.  Many of those suggestions hold true today and it’s worth a reminder.

Now, with weeks passed, we have a deeper knowledge and understanding of what works best under these conditions. We learned from our clients – the smartest, most persevering group of business owners anyone could have the pleasure of working with.

If you still have any uncertainty or questions about what to do next, give us a call.  We’re all still here.

 

 

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