I’m writing this as the nation and particularly Chicago is fervently watching “The Last Dance,” the compelling documentary of the 6th championship season for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Effective rebounding was a big reason for the Bulls’ success and that is the mindset your business should have when new opportunities become available.
The transition from defense to offense
In the best of market conditions, companies that wait for a market opportunity to present itself aren’t likely to be successful. And yet, there are companies today in that position and with that strategy.
Sure, the future is uncertain and somewhat unknown, but that’s true always. There is never a clear path forward, never a guaranteed path to success, never clear sailing and calm seas for the foreseeable future.
Here are a few ways to think about your rebounding strategy — to transition from being on your heels to being on your toes:
Conduct meaningful market research. But not typical surveys. Hire an impartial third party (like an interim CMO) to have deep-dive conversations with your customer base to identify insights to help you refocus your brand with a customer-centric approach.
Tighten your market focus and target account lists. Plan on doing so at least quarterly if not monthly for a while as some businesses and industries take varying lengths of time to rebound, recover and be ready to spend again.
Speed up planning cycles. This isn’t a time to plan months or quarters out. Develop action plans for the next week or weeks, and know that your team might need time/space to adjust themselves to the new pace. It might not initially be pretty, but is worth working through.
All in on ebooks. Develop long-form content, namely ebooks and data/research-based reports. Working from home prospects are taking more time to engage with meatier assets, which accelerates their education, understanding of key/complex issues, as well as readiness to engage on solutions.
Think in terms of serialized content. This includes weekly events as well as regularly-produced, themed and programmatic content in a variety of formats. In other words, what’s the ‘series’ you can produce for your customers now so that one sign-up means weekly calendar invites or commitments for a while? Bonus points if it’s NOT COVID-themed and could potentially have a shelf life well beyond this moment.
Rapid Go-To Market pivots. How can you use 90 percent of what you’ve already built (content, campaigns, videos, etc.) and pivot more quickly to what your customers need, right now?
Cause marketing. Giving back (and allowing your customers and prospects to be part of it) is a winning strategy in all market conditions. For example, some companies are donating to first responder groups and buying local restaurant gift cards as incentives for prospect engagement and participation.
If you’re a business leader, now is the time to improve your rebounding game and get ready to transition from defense to offense. IT’S GAME TIME!!