Over the last eight weeks, I’ve had numerous conversations with our clients, all of whom are leaders in the tech space, about the impact of covid-19. We’ve talked about how they’ve quickly pivoted their business models, their infrastructure, their teams and their marketing in order to best deal with the pandemic, the economic impact and what the future might look like – eventually.
We wanted to explore that further and so we have partnered with our friends at Coleman Parkes to speak to 450 business leaders across some of the most affected industries like travel and retail to find out what they thought.
What emerged were seven key trends that start to provide the foundations for what the world – and their industries – might look like post-Covid. What we’ve then done is apply our marketing expertise to better understand what that might mean for those who need to communicate during – and after this time.
Below is a little insight into the trends and we’d urge you to read the full report, to find out as marketers what you might need to do now but also, think about for the future.
The end of the Techlash?
Underpinning everything is the fact that the techlash narrative has evaporated – at least for now. Rather than moving fast and breaking things, big tech is moving fast and fixing things. The impact, according to our research, is that most leaders have a much more positive perception of tech since the pandemic started, than previously. But there is a way to go. It is incumbent on the tech industry to ensure it acts with responsibility, speed and purpose to shape a more progressive narrative as we move forward.
This is connected to the next three trends.
Firstly, the pandemic has put digital transformation on fast-forward, with all our respondents agreeing that their digital transformation strategies had been accelerated by an average of three years. Secondly, it’s clear that the employee experience is totally synonymous to the quality of the technology they’re provided with. That experience will have a direct correlation on retention, employee advocacy and the brand overall as we emerge. And thirdly, scarcity and major challenges tend to be a spark for innovation. Businesses that embrace this quickly have lots to gain as we move forward.
A cultural reset
One area that transcends business is the cultural reset we are witnessing around state and society, with unprecedented financial measures being put in place to shore up the economy. The help the business community is going to need will change the landscape for a long time to come.
Our data shows that most expect a slowdown in globalisation over the next 12 months. This means that it becomes essential to control what we can control. In the report, we call this seeking safety and solace in brand and understandably, we’re seeing companies increase focus on their owned channels. And a large percentage of our respondents want to understand how best to communicate the positive impact of covid in an incredibly empathetic manner.
And finally, it’s not surprising that Covid-19 is the main issue occupying the public consciousness. But it is also important to remember that it isn’t the only show in town. Political unrest, cyber security and Brexit (remember that?) all feature highly on leader’s mind. That isn’t to say that the current crisis isn’t mission-critical, but rather it adds to the storm of external forces a modern business must navigate.
A new era for business and for comms
It will be interesting to see how businesses react to these challenges both in the long and short team. If you’re interested in finding out how marketing and comms departments might approach them, then you can download the report here.