Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in today’s world. While large-scale work-from-home orders and remote business practices will eventually conclude, we must acknowledge the impact of this economic phase on every facet of every industry. Business strategies have shifted and will continue to shift due to this historic pandemic. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from business strategies in the near future.
Marketing Will Adapt to Significant Consumer Trend Shifts
Marketing strategies change more often than you might think. Still, a societal shift this noteworthy is important to acknowledge. The key item to note is the rise of social media. Sites like Twitter and Facebook had already seen their fair share of usage on the corporate side, but now, with individuals relegated to their homes and social distancing regulations in place, we’re seeing a surge in social media usage. After all, how else can everyone stay connected?
Digital and social media marketing strategies have therefore become essential to businesses. Word-of-mouth advertising isn’t quite as helpful when no one can gather to talk about a business, product, or service; it’s all about the online presence and digital brand.
Value Propositions Will Change (Though Endpoints Will Stay the Same)
Every successful business offers unique value to clients and customers. Whether it’s efficiency, cost-effectiveness, or tremendous customer service, a value proposition is a major selling point that can build up a loyal customer base. When we look at how companies have maintained their value during the pandemic, we can see a distinct “scenic route” pattern.
The best example of this is brought up by Thomas Ritter and Carsten Lund Pedersen in their piece for Harvard Business Review. In the article, they spotlight the higher education industry and point out that, while education is still valued, the means of obtaining a degree have shifted. Online programs seem much more viable than on-campus ones, an issue that may have short- and long-term implications for colleges and universities that have already struggled to stay afloat.
Workplace Culture and Values Will Pivot
Prithwiraj Choudhury, an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, believes that remote workstyles will begin to blend with overall business strategies. Prithwiraj’s extensive pre-pandemic research found that remote work settings lent themselves to improvements in productivity. It’s not just external business strategy that will change, then; we’re bound to see shifts in the very fabric of how typical businesses operate. The key, he continues, will be finding a way to balance the independence of remote learning with habits that help stave off isolation and loneliness.
Systematic Risk Will Come to the Forefront for Executives
C-suite leaders and managers are going to keep a closer eye on the overall universe of business. Industries have become interdependent, due in part to the rise of technology as an essential yet diverse business asset. Forbes contributor Bob Zukis suggests that CEOs of the near and distant future will be much more attuned to shifts in one industry, as well as the potential butterfly effect those shifts can have on their own niches. There will be a greater focus on risk as well, and a broader scope will be used to study the world’s economy. Some companies may even try to become more self-sufficient, reducing the possible fallout from changes in a peripheral industry or company.
These changes to business strategy are not going to happen overnight. However, it’s important to acknowledge that they will happen. If we can predict how business strategy changes, we can predict how businesses and even entire industries will change, too.