In these uncertain times, there are few things for sure. One of them is that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to go digital from scratch or to speed up their pre-existing in these never seen circumstances. In this way, the new coronavirus has made much of what was “impossible” just a few months ago materialise.
Faced with this uncertain scenario and radical changes, it is common for many brands to lose sight of the fact that to achieve effective digitisation focused on the needs and concerns of their consumers, it is first necessary to make internal changes that help them transcend digitalisation, in such a way so that the processes of change are simplified and an awareness of the “new normal” gets quickly picked up by collaborators and managers alike.
Why go digital? Resistance and evolution.
It is not only about resisting, but about evolving. The fresh ways of working and living must bring tangible benefits that, with companies, can be among others. Strengthening the strategies of the analogue world, which can apply to the retail sector, for example:
- Improvements in delivery times.
- Optimisation of processes.
- Increased profitability and productivity.
- Savings in energy costs. Moving from local to regional, or even international.
- A deeper knowledge of customers, becoming a brand with a data-driven approach.
- Take advantage of creative tools on social networks and collaboration with influencers, such as Facebook Canvas, Instagram Stories or the multiple elements of TikTok to create viral challenges.
It is worth stopping at this point to highlight that in an environment in which is increasingly difficult for the client to discern between the immense offer available to them, digitisation represents a primary tool to lead to innovation in experience, and therefore, to differentiation, which gives relevance to brands.
The bases of efficient external digitisation are in the internal processes of the brands, and for this, we have to talk about people, because although technology is key to transformation, it is only a tool for organisations.
Therefore, it is essential to understand how brands are willing to learn and adapt quickly, from the internal point of view to new work processes and cultural changes that have to do with:
- Redefinition of roles
- Innovation in processes
- Integration of agile methodologies
- Definition and measurement of objectives
- Work schedules
- New self-management communication channels
- Cohesion between business areas
- Decision-making, among other aspects
Once changes are welcomed and applied in inside the organisation, it will be easier to translate them into a better experience for 21st-century clients, who are you are more used to the fact that distance or physical barriers do not block for buying. In fact, most times their entire customer journey is digital, from the search for information and the consideration of the purchase to the transaction itself and the delivery of the product or service.
In this context, some areas of opportunity that have to do with external digitisation are:
- Opening and start-up of call centres or e-commerce, or strengthening them, if they previously exist.
- Local commerce
- Support and customer service
- Automation of the purchase and different payment gateways
- Logistics and messaging
- Use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand the consumer and anticipate their needs
Regardless of the size of the brands, have the opportunity to take advantage of the current situation to innovate and strengthen, both internally and externally, through technology and digitisation. However, the most important aspects to achieve transcendence will continue to be the innovation, anticipation, creativity and value that they can bring to their consumers with each of their actions.
Likewise, given this panorama of changes, it is essential to incorporate into the communication strategy a series of public relations tactics (media tours, interviews, press releases, presentation events, etc.) to transmit and inform key audiences of all benefits that they can get and the innovations of the brand, to familiarise them with the change and contribute to the efforts of creation and consolidation of image.