Covid19 has caused massive disruption in 2020 and this disruption is a game-changer for businesses. Some will lose out, some will adapt and some will reinvent.
The five key areas where businesses first faced disruption in 2020 are:
- Inability to maintain business continuity
- New requirements for delivery, contactless pickup and store operations
- Financial loss due to disruptions
- Workforce disruption
- New and increased cybersecurity and privacy threats
These disruptors have meant that companies are making big changes in response as we head into the new business year.
Research shows that 52 percent are reducing operational costs, and 48 percent are transitioning to a more secure or resilient infrastructure. Covid19 has meant the rise in deployment of contactless mobile payments and the creation of more robust digital selling platforms. Technology has also played a huge role with businesses transitioning to provide devices to enable remote working. Remote working then has raised issues around data and information security, something that some businesses have yet to address.
Clear priorities are needed for the next six to twelve months as demand and supply-chain issues will increasingly be problematic putting extreme pressure on planning and operations.
New rules of marketing engagement will highlight strong marketing campaigns focussing on customer experience. The drive to not only gain but to retain customers will highlight innovation in marketing and advertising campaigns. Breaking down silos and using technology to enable creativity and breathe life into big ideas.
Assessment of the flight risk of staff will necessitate the resourcing of talent to either retain or retrain. If the inability to gain workers from overseas continues then the pressure is on to attract locals to do the work. Training and upskilling will drive the education sector.
Innovation in 2021 is tracking to be more about proactive outsourcing and collaborations. This trend is in the driving seat in 2021, as businesses move to keep costs down and share risk.
Scaling and testing new ideas while investing in good data and analytics to improve the speed and quality of decision making will give businesses a sound platform of information from which to dream big and drive change.
This year looks set to be a very interesting one, with the challenges involved it is expected that the winners will be those game-changers who have new and desirable products and ideas that are meeting the new expectations of customers.
Businesses will be looking to capture customers through innovation and retain through reliability, innovation and loyalty. No longer will an adaptation be successful, no me-toos, brands will need to meet the market with innovation, explore new concepts and ideas and deliver on promises.
The customer of 2021 is savvy, outspoken, loyal to local and waiting for you to dream big with them.