Over the past few weeks, we’ve had dozens of calls with clients about how COVID-19 is evolving their business needs. Some were focused on managing leadership expectations around growth targets and revenue while others felt it was time to pivot towards new areas given the potential for a shutdown that could severely limit current operations.
The challenges and potential solutions we discussed all revolved around the themes of revenue and engaging audiences, for both current and new customers.
Managing Revenue Sources
The clients focused on managing revenue fell into two groups; those who have existing marketing and operational data visualization developed vs. those that did not. Both groups identified the need for close monitoring of top revenue channels and their key drivers, and for using this uncertain time to validate the most critical drivers and develop reporting for those areas.
Key questions to emerge for those who had reporting well developed:
- Who’s the person to own and analyze revenue impacting reports day and and out?
- What type of weekly dialogue needed to be in place to stay on top of key drivers of performance?
- What vendor support / new collaborative tools were needed to support this?
This group is largely focused on how to evolve business processes to stay on top of existing data used to drive company performance and direction. Here we provided our experience in managing leadership expectations and team capabilities to implement frequent reviews and action taken from trends in the data.
Key questions to emerge for those who needed reporting developed:
- What are the key metrics and drivers that are impacting our business right now?
- What is the best way to quickly see our marketing analytics, sales, and operations data in one place?
- Can we quickly develop reporting, in a single place, to at least see what’s going on?
This group focused on getting reporting built quickly to stay on top of what’s happening. This can be done much, much faster than you would think. Especially if you already have some actionable data, such as tracking leads or sales with web analytics or a CRM. Here we reviewed with clients a quick triage of:
- IDENTIFY: Has anyone documented what is important to the business and it’s customers?
- ASSESS: What platform is better for reporting / data visualization given our budget and skill sets: Data Studio, Tableau, PowerBI, Domo?
- ACT: How can Three Ventures hourly consulting help us quickly develop marketing analytics reporting to stay on top of key revenue sources and drivers?
Are you in this group? Don’t hesitate to ask us about what you can do, even if budgets are frozen or delayed. We can still give you a documented plan on a 1 hour complimentary call + screen share for you to execute.
So what about clients who haven’t been too impacted?
Engaging Your Audience & New Business
If you’re lucky enough to work at an organization whose operating is close to normal (or better), this is your section. Conversations with clients here focused on engaging with existing customers virtually. The only catch was some clients had an opportunity to go after new business related to their core audience. These opportunities were created by the current environment that we’ll cover below. Obviously any client here needs to be conscious of not being annoying at a time when everything has changed. They all focused on a value their audience would actually need right now.
Here’s some ways we discussed effectively engaging existing customer bases:
- A quickly executed engagement plan with micro-content
- An education company for medical professionals put out a free course on the Coronavirus Disease.
- A consumer products company is running virtual challenges on social media to earn free products.
- Re-creating social interaction virtually
- An alcohol distribution company is encouraging friends to have virtual happy hours and post socially for product incentives
- A conference client is switching some of their events to virtual and on-demand for a lesser price (and lower overhead).
- Implementing team chat tools and virtual meeting tooling
- A gym client had us put together their virtual meeting program for coaches to instruct classes
There are valid reasons that many of those may not apply to you. However, that doesn’t mean an opportunity hasn’t opened to engage with new customers in your core audience segments.
Those who wanted to go after new business focused on
- Are there any disruptions to daily life that have created an opportunity for us to get in front of a core audience?
- How could we quickly test our theories on new opportunities?
- How can we be as flexible as possible to support the ever changing needs of this audience?
For this, we discussed solutions of:
- Customer behavior disruption creating an opportunity to help:
- For example commercial property management companies most likely need short team legal help interpreting what essential services are and what an “order” vs a “mandate may mean.
- An in-home care company considering offering in home testing for COVID-19 as a new service. Additionally helping with routine errands such as grocery shopping, etc.
- Quickly testing keywords that may have an opportunity to help:
- Leverage guerrilla paid search campaigns to test these theories on new opportunities.
- Paid search gives you almost all the data instantly to see what’s happening. Conversions AND engagement are quickly assessed to see how viable a solution could be.
- A great example of this is our business “setup VPNs for work from home”.
- Removing red tape:
- Remove any hesitation of someone becoming a client or a customer. In the case of our client and their conference, it was making each session a-la-carte. This way folks could pick the day and time which worked best for them given all their changes to daily life.
How You Can Evolve
We hope that the insights from our discussions, as well as the solutions, have helped you identify what the next steps are. Keep in mind, this is our way of getting in front of our core audience. If there’s anything you’re unsure of about managing revenue sources or engaging with customers, we are happy to discuss them with you. Set up a complementary 1 hour call and screen share so we can help to identify and document a quick action plan.