Time to stop distancing yourself

Time to stop distancing yourself

How to reconnect with your customers

How are you navigating 2020 so far? With things changing on a daily basis, making plans is difficult. Crowd and FSM Brand Communications are helping businesses like yours not only survive, but thrive.

All businesses have taken a hit over the last six months. Revenues have been compromised, marketing campaigns paused, an increased focus on the restructuring of business plans, and in many cases, reduction of personnel.

Crowd and FSM Brand Communications undertook a survey of our clients across the world and the results show that there is anxiety about committing to marketing budgets in these uncertain times. This comes at the cost of creating distance between businesses and their customers and exacerbates the financial difficulties a lot of organisations find themselves in.

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In partnership with
FSM Brand Communications

Is this the new normal?

“Welcome to the new normal”. One of the many new phrases that have come into common usage in 2020 along with ‘social distancing’, ‘R numbers’, and ‘lockdown’.

But this is not the ‘new normal’. We are in a transition period. We live in a world where heightened risks exist and nations and their peoples tread a fine line between earning money and catching a potentially fatal virus. Risk management is a new way of life; whether that’s wearing a mask to the supermarket or keeping your business running.

As the world locked down, many businesses put a hold on spending; furloughing employees and holding marketing budgets as uncertainty loomed. It’s shown how precarious many sectors are and how close to the edge they operate.

Those businesses are looking at an extended loss of income as they wait for ‘things to settle down’ and our survey showed that among CEOs and Marketing Directors there are internal battles to get things moving again, with limited spend.

It was and still is a time for businesses to act in an agile way.

Crowd and FSM have worked with our clients through the first wave to help them weather the storm, maintain and build a solid foundation for future growth through research, innovation, and creativity.

  • 87%

    expressed real concern about the impact of Covid-19 on their business

  • 55%

    of CxO have paused marketing spend

  • 35%

    of CxOs don’t know when they’ll open marketing wallets again

Sector Insight

The global pandemic has affected all sectors of business. So to help our clients move forward we spoke to senior marketeers and business leaders across the Middle East, Europe and North America.

The results of this survey have revealed unique insights which are already helping our clients navigate the issues and chart a course back to full operational effectiveness. The following report highlights just a few of these insights, but if you want to know more, we will be more than happy to guide you through them with a free consultation.

  • Real Estate
  • Travel & Hospitality
  • Fashion
  • E-commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Sustainability

PropTech is no longer theoretical. It’s now a reality for the property industry. As a sector that has been reliant on face to face interactions, short to medium term survival for many will be dependent on a transition to virtual real estate management.

The property process is moving online in all markets. From market research, price comparisons, expert advice to virtual tours, those able to adapt quickly, will be able to capture an increasingly discerning and cost-conscious market.

We can help you find your voice in the sector through thought leadership, find new customers through targeted digital campaigns, and create a virtual environment that will lead to sales.

Travel restrictions are easing, but many airports, airlines, hotels and the hospitality industry at large have had to evolve over the last six months. It’s never been more important for the entire industry to manage customers’ concerns.

Wanderlust post lockdown may have increased but customers remain cautious.

International travel may have to make way for increased domestic holidays in the short term. Some will choose to holiday in their own country rather than risk becoming stranded in a lockdown whilst abroad. Others may opt to spread their wings a little farther afield. Customer needs are changing daily.

The changing nature of travel and hospitality needs agile marketing and communications. As travel restrictions are lifted, you need to be able to target the right prospects, wherever they are.

Sustainability and social responsibility continue to play an important role in how consumers shop, though a large proportion of the population will still value affordability, especially as household budgets are squeezed.

Online fashion shopping unsurprisingly exploded during lockdown with stores such as Next having to close briefly due to overwhelming demand.

Over the last few months, we’ve helped brands to reshape how they can create content during the crisis, recruiting influencers to model the clothing and shoot it at home. This not only ensured that we had high quality and authentic content of all the clothing, but it enabled the brand to remain current and relatable during the pandemic.

All brands need to embrace that adaptability.

Sainsbury’s, the British grocery retailer, is one such example. The company has invested in upgrading its mobile app and e-commerce experience in the last couple of years which, pre-COVID-19, contributed about 8% of sales in its grocery business. Now, it’s 15%, nearly doubling in just a few short weeks.

Those that haven’t invested are, in many cases, losing out. Primark, one of the UK’s biggest fashion retailers who doesn’t have an online presence at all saw its sales drop from £650 million a month to zero after lockdown when its stores were forced to close.

Furloughs, mortgage holidays, credit card relief, asset management, future planning, savings, and remittances. The pandemic has impacted all levels of society. As thoughts of recession loom and governments try to maintain confidence, now more than ever, the Financial Services industry needs to operate with a clear vision.

4 in 10 consumers say they plan to cut back on the day-to-day purchases and 1 in 3 will look to reduce their monthly financial commitments. Communication will be critical in giving customers the options they require to navigate this moment.

Now’s the time not just to match the right products with the right customers. You need to be able to talk to them with empathy and clarity. If you’d like to find out how just let us know.

Technology is no longer a luxury in the consumer or corporate space, it’s integral to every part of our lives. Communication is no longer led by a phone call or an email. People want true connectivity. The blurring of the lines between home and work has led to a greater emphasis on remote working and the need for increased flexibility.

How and where we get our information is also evolving. As print sales decline and our digital footprint increases brands need to assess how best to communicate with current and potential customers.

If anyone has come out of the COVID-19 crisis with a renewed reputation it’s the healthcare sector. Healthcare professionals from hospital workers, carers, ambulance drivers and PPE manufacturers have rightly been recognised for their effort and risk they’ve been subjected to not just through the pandemic, but day-in-day-out at all times.

We have been shown the everyday face of the frontline worker with empathy and compassion and this has resonated with a worried population. Healthcare marketing more than ever needs a human face to reassure and connect with your audiences.

One of the positives that came from the COVID-19 crisis was that the planet began to heal. In a surprisingly short amount of time, toxic air in cities cleared, water became cleaner, and animals began encroaching on streets empty of traffic.

However, these benefits have come at a huge economic cost that the world will be paying for many years to come.

One glimmer of hope is that being forced to work remotely and not travel, has made some organisations realise that business can be done just as well through virtual meetings and through being forced to distance. Innovations in ways of working may well become the way of the future.

We’ve helped organisations launch challenges to crowdsource new ways of getting together to ensure sustainability becomes a theme of the post-COVID-19 business world.

Let’s talk about how we can transform your business!

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