For some, the past few months have been impossibly challenging. For others, new ways to operate as a business have emerged. Many companies have reprioritized their objectives, and pivoted their product and service offerings. It’s been common to see profit taking a backseat to community outreach.
With lockdowns coming to an end in several countries around the world, and employers poised to restart national and global economies, it’s now time to look to the future. For companies in every industry, the goal must be to come back stronger than ever, with technology and processes that are resilient to change.
Progress Toward the Next Normal
COVID-19 has been widespread and unpredictable. Even now, months later, there’s no tried-and-true way to respond to the pandemic successfully. It’s up to businesses to assess the situation to the best of their knowledge, and make their next move.
The Salesforce platform is expansive, robust, and reliable. It can help support re-growth and safe reopening — and so can Pardot and marketing automation.
The COVID-19 Response Playbook outlines where we’re coming from and where we’re headed.
Stabilize, reopen, and grow may seem like a simple framework, but when it comes to marketing operations, the journey through these phases may not always be a simple one.
Phase 1: Stabilize
Crisis response center
In this phase, you likely played a key role in mitigating short-term risks within your organization and for your customers. Communication was key to stabilizing operations, and your marketing automation platform became indispensable.
Phase 2: Reopen
Workplace command center
This phase deals with preparing for a return to the workplace. Extra planning and coordination is required, because the way you do business has probably changed.
You may have many new marketing initiatives,, especially campaigns that bring visibility to new or reimagined products and services. Even during the reopen phase, you may sometimes circle back to the stabilize phase at certain points, due to new events or information. No matter which phase you’re in, stay confident that you’re laying new foundations with established processes for marketing automation and internal teams.
When reopening, listening is key to success. You can ask your team to listen through surveys, one-on-one virtual meetings with customers, analysis of customer service trends, and more. Keep listening, and make sure to translate insights into action.
Phase 3: Grow
Next normal transformation office
The grow phase requires you to look forward with a longer-term vision. There’s no defined endpoint to this phase.
Different business units might cross from one phase to the next at different speeds. Not everyone will reach the grow phase at the same time. This means marketing teams have to be versatile as they support other teams.
That’s why marketing can really shine in the grow phase. Once your team has successfully pivoted, you’ll have an unprecedented chance to rebuild customer journeys from the ground up to reflect your reimagined products or services, and improve overall customer experiences.
Marketing’s Seat at the Transformation Table
Salesforce recommends every business leader assemble a dedicated crisis response team, made up of people representing different teams in the organization. At many companies, we’re already seeing this steering committee evolve from a crisis response team into a transformation office.
Marketing owns the customer experience. They’re responsible for keeping the experience consistent and meaningful in all stages of the customer journey — from new inquiry, to post-purchase onboarding, to renewal. That’s why marketing deserves a seat at the (virtual) transformation table, and should be consulted on all decisions as the business finds its feet.
Organizations’ arrival at the grow phase will depend on their industry, geographic location, and even on team morale. Your marketing team’s objectives for the next normal will be different from those set by other marketing teams. But no matter what your goals are, it’s essential to have the right tools and strategies in place.
In part two, we discuss how tools and strategies from Pardot can help prepare your organization for messaging and content, data segmentation, and campaign distribution in the next normal.
This blog post is an adaptation of the original, published on The Drip.