Not since the second world war have whole societies or individual families experienced such life-changing restrictions and fear as inflicted on them by Covid-19. Restrictions and fear that have turned life as we knew it, upside down.
And as we start moving forward, some changes will become permanent and others will evolve into the next normal. As a company, you can choose to go on the defensive and wait while your customers’ change in behaviour massively affects your business.
Or you can go on the offensive and adopt a much more agile approach by closely following and understanding your customers.
In this blog post, I will argue why tracking your customers’ behaviour closely will be critical to winning the battles that lie ahead.
Times of crisis both enforce and accelerate societal changes in behaviour and norms. The vulnerability of our health-care systems or dependency on a global supply chain to deliver protection gear have been major shocks. These shocks are suddenly pushing new agendas of security of supply, public vs private ownership and increased health system investments.
What are the underlying changes in mindset that may have an impact on your market or your business, and how do you make sure to bet on the right changes that can, in turn, create great opportunities?
Physical distancing, lockdowns and health risks have forced customers to adopt new behaviours and technology at a pace never seen before. To businesses this means that it is no longer the early adopters or tech-savvy that are adapting to new technology or creating new customer journeys.
Are your services, touchpoints and communication ready to win these new adopters and keep them long term? In other markets, physical distancing may fundamentally disrupt existing business models. For instance, how will service businesses to management consulting firms adapt to deliver remotely?
Early indications from China, for example, show that new customers and markets, specifically, individuals aged 36 and over and residents of smaller, less prosperous cities have begun to shop online in greater numbers.
In Europe, 13% of consumers said in early April that they were planning to browse online retailers for the first time. In Italy alone, e-commerce transactions have risen 81% since the end of February.
Source – McKinsey & Company 2000
The sudden disrupt of our everyday and normal priorities has left most people in need of discovering a new way of living their lives. They’ve had time to reflect on the importance of things that have suddenly become absent. How will this reflection impact consumption and priorities going forward?
If Maslow’s still right, the need for self-actualisation will be replaced by a strong need for safety as the uncertainties of the pandemic and economic crisis persist. How is your product, service and value propositions ready to serve these needs?
If you’re in need of help implementing a customer-centric approach, we are here for you. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
By Gregers Mikkelsen,
Chief Marketing Officer