Coronavirus and Adapting to Changing Demand

Kindly supplied by Catherine Stock-Haanstra of Pier Marketing

The marketing process is all about identifying and satisfying customers desires and requirements. Well, those desires and requirements are changing quicker than Woolies can stack their shelves. We have already seen some smart service augmentations in the marketplace as companies get creative in a bid to maintain customer relevance in these unprecedented times.

With the current level of uncertainty and noise in the market, we know that for some businesses the question of where to start can be a little overwhelming, particularly when you’re close to the action as an owner or business leader. To help we have identified and dissected some marketing moves worth making:

Product innovation:
I don’t think there has ever been a time when we’ve seen such speed of product adaptation as businesses scramble to innovate to survive. But where to start with the radical innovation that may well possibly be required in your organisation? There are several ways to categorise innovation, but we have listed Utterback’s below as thought-starters to assist in ensuring you’re considering all available opportunities for your company. Considering each type will enable you to look at your business from a range of different viewpoints:  

Customer clarity:
In terms of how to go about this innovation process, the key factor is staying close to your customers to understand their shifting needs and/or desires at this unprecedented time. We need to walk in their shoes.Really get close to each customer segment’s current thinking and feeling to be as effective, useful and relevant as you can. How do you ensure product and service relevance that is likely to resonate? What COVID pain is your target market currently or likely to experience that you can support them through? Family photo sharing app, Tiny Beans is sending out genuinely useful email full of links on live streaming resources or fun, innovative home activities for kids and parents to support them through this new way of life. Why was it smart? Because it really spoke to the pain that parents are facing trying to entertain children and offered creative solutions, thus maintaining relevance to their core market and critically keeping their brand front of mind. 

Workshop solutions:
Once you’ve worked with your customers or clients to really, truly understand their particular pain, then workshop it. For the best outcome a multi-functional team approach is ideal to ensure that all areas of the go-to-market team in your business are engaged and each step of the process is considered. If you don’t have the skills in house, get some support from your suppliers to either run a workshop for you or attend as a representative from their respective professions (virtually, of course). Now more than ever is the time for some creative thinking, and in our experience the more brainpower the better. The Six Thinking Hats can be a good team workshopping tool to help look at problems from a different perspective. Once you’ve got some viable ideas, a good old SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) will be your best friend. 

Use your brand values:
Now is the time to really put your values to use, using them as your guiding principles in your decision-making. It’s easy to get distracted with the sheer volume of noise out there about this, jumping from one idea to another, so really falling back to your values will empower decision making that remains aligned with your core brand promise. 

Flexible thinking:
This event will change the game for a lot of businesses and challenge our ability to think differently to be able to adapt effectively. Staying open-minded, thinking big picture, seeking new opportunities and exploring offer diversification are all going to be necessary skill sets. It can often be useful to look at how different markets or verticals are responding; some great ideas can come from cross-industry thinking. No one of us has the answer to ‘what do we do’, so use your support network: ask for help, and offer help. 

We hope that you choose to respond to these challenges with a mindset of abundance, support and service. We certainly intend to and if we can help in any way, please reach out - 03 5975 3742 /

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