3 Keys to Help Marketers Build Business Resilience

 In Data-driven Marketing

Marketers are often focused on growth, but they have an important role in building business resilience today. 

In Fishlake National Park in Utah in the United States, there’s a forest of quaking aspen trees larger than Vatican City. But what looks like a forest of tall, sturdy trees is actually a single plant. It is the oldest known plant in the world, dating back tens of thousands of years. Its resiliency comes not just from the strength of its trunk(s) but its ability to send out new versions of itself again and again to find new places to grow. 

It’s time for companies to be a little more like the quaking aspen.

Less than a decade after the end of the Great Recession, companies are grappling with another downturn today; with volatility becoming a new normal, brands are prioritizing building business resilience into their short and long-term plans. But resilience is about more than supply chains and finances; brands need to be resilient as they respond to changing consumer habits and market conditions. 

Strong roots are a foundation for growth, but they can hold you back if you need to get somewhere new. 

As marketers, our role is to both root the brand with good customer experience (which is a combination of good messaging, data, and user experience) and to help adapt as the environment changes by finding new offshoots of the brand and customer experience. 

Today we’re going to discuss insights from Johanna Álvarez, Adtech and Attribution Modeling Project Lead at Barceló Hotel Group, a travel company in business since 1931. Johanna recently presented on how she is thinking about resilience at our Digital Virtualocity event— which you can watch on-demand here.

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3 keys to building business resilience

1. Take Care of Your Brand

For many industries, economic turbulence means low demand. This creates a highly competitive environment. Your job as a marketer in these moments is to hone in on exactly why customers want to interact with your brand. 

Johanna breaks this down by demonstrating that brands need three things when it comes to building a resilient brand communication strategy: relevance, empathy, and value. 

Covid-19 radically re-shaped consumers’ lives; their reasons for buying and their concerns shifted in a matter of days. Brands that didn’t pivot their messaging quickly were left with tone-deaf messaging. Brands that couldn’t show that they were listening to their consumers’ concerns about safety, for example, lost out to brands who showed their commitment to safety. 

Even for companies that have cut back on marketing efforts, there’s still communication that needs to happen. Every communication should be relevant, empathetic, and deliver value when you’re trying to craft a resilient brand and messaging strategy. 

2. Reassess and Adapt to the New Normal

As things change— and change fast— the new normal(s) requires a new north star: Johanna recommends organizing around trust. While your products may not change, everything that goes around your product— the customers’ wants and needs, the customer experience, your digital transformation— needs to change to meet the new normal. Showing you’re listening can help build that level of trust with your customers.

Adapting requires us to ensure that these foundational elements— our understanding of the customer and the data foundation that helps capture the customer experience— remain strong but malleable. This requires us to be creative about how we interact with customers. When restaurants were forced to switch from a dine-in experience to a to-go model in a matter of days, many went beyond selling their own food. They saw their customers needs had changed as many found basic food items were lacking in stores. By selling grocery staples, restaurants not only got creative to meet the needs of their customers, they found a new source of revenue in a challenging time.

In the times of change, when uncertainty slows things down, Johanna recommends using that time to focus on doing things that will increase your resiliency— for marketers, new messaging and improving your data foundation are paramount.

3. Real-Time Data-Driven Reactivation

It’s so cliché at this point to say that we’re living in unprecedented times; but it is important to note a key takeaway from that observation. Companies are going through, and may continue to go through, a series of starts and stops, and each time they need to reactivate (new) normal operations.

Many of the decisions we make as marketers are based on our historical understanding of the market and our customers— but what do we do when we have no touchpoints for where we’re at now?

Johanna recommends reassessing anew the “what,” the “when,” and the “who” for each reactivation. What do customers care about right now? When is it appropriate to get in touch? Who are you going to talk to? 

For Barceló, they’re answering these questions using the power of a Customer Data Platform to build out new Audiences to meet the moment. As they adjust to the new reality of when and where travel is safe, they need to segment out the data to create relevant campaigns based on that data and customer signals.

For marketers, the adaptive part of resilience comes from thinking differently— and thinking differently needs to translate into new messaging, new processes, and new data points to make decisions from.

A data foundation for business resilience

Whether you’re pivoting your brand’s messaging, reassessing what business is like in the new normal, or trying to find creative ways to thrive, you need a data foundation that is as resilient as your team: a strong foundation with adaptability to move in real time.

Many brands have the strong foundation with historical data but can’t take action on it, let alone new data, in real time. From collecting data about your customer experience to putting it into action through your customer touchpoints, you need the technology and the processes in place now to adapt to the constantly changing “new normal.

Watch Johanna’s entire presentation, “3 Keys to Building Business Resiliency in the Year Ahead” for all of her insights and tips. And then sign up for a demo to see why so many companies are choosing Tealium to help build a resilient approach to marketing.

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