As the people of the world forge into the future, businesses must find ways to adapt. Adapt to meet the customer where they listen, watch, and spend. With challenges, come change and opportunities. One thing is certain, circumstances sometimes force adaptation before the perceived and/or preferred appointed time and place.
The world today seems a lot different than the one we knew yesterday. In times of uncertainty, businesses need to find ways to reach existing and new customers. People change their habits, so here are the three ways businesses must adapt today.
1. Digital Transformation
With employees, students, businesses, schools, and most everyone working from home, internet connection is the proverbial highway to sustained and continued growth. AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson stated recently that “mobile volumes are up 40 percent [and] Wi-Fi calling volumes are up 100 percent.” This means that companies will need to “continue investing in 5G and new technology” to compete. The change agent provides that these investments and preparedness arriver sooner. In some sense, a silver-lining is that governments, academic institutions, businesses and people will shed the fear of moving online out of necessity, which will eventually become the efficient way of doing things. For many industries, there is a stigmatism of doing things digitally.
In the entertainment, media, and sports space, there have been many discussions and reports of cancelling events and instituting force majeure clauses. Per Digiday, where “Television’s most prized programming — live sports — is off the air for the foreseeable future . . . The alternatives that advertisers and their agencies are finding range from redirecting dollars to other inventory controlled by a TV network to postponing deals until play resumes to asking a network to release an advertiser from a commitment.”
In that dark cloud of uncertainty, there is however a bright opportunity. Specifically, Digiday reports that “As viewership continues to shift to streaming, TV networks are forced to find ways to get their advertisers to follow suit without exchanging the proverbial linear dollars for digital pennies.” More specifically, with people staying at home, the push will be towards higher viewership numbers that hopefully reach beyond the traditional live sports model. Verizon reports that “gaming [is] seeing a 75% increase over its networks. Video streaming increased by more than 12% and overall web traffic by just under 20%.” FOX and other companies have offered content for free in the streaming variety and theatrical film windows are shrinking or being cut all together. Twitch is becoming the new platform for concerts and music distribution. The Big3 is looking to implement a test-first approach to hosting a live event with full digital distribution. Interesting, because National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver reports that “99% of people consume our game through some sort of media platform. It’s only a tiny percentage of fans who get to see our games in arenas” meaning the market is already there. Practically, this means that businesses must invest and spend for capital costs now in terms of technology and offering freebees for eyeballs, to eventually turn that model to paid subscriptions as people and the economy rebound. As example, Zoom and related companies are seeing growth in use, meeting the digital revolution today.
2. Civic Engagement
Many companies are acting from a benevolent heart and mind in terms of giving back and helping employees and the public. Where corporate responsibility has increasingly been a part of American culture the last five years, tragedy and uncertainty brings people and companies together. In many ways, people and companies are demanding more of themselves. In this change, there is the higher road to seek, one where all seek to help others out of heart and personal freedom and liberty.
3. Focus of the Heart and Family
Spending more time with loved ones is now the new normal. In life, how often have the words “Too bad it took ‘this’ to bring us together” been uttered at some event. In the vein of civic engagement, current events are like a reset of your Wi-Fi router. Everyone and everything needs a reboot. Companies may look to account for this as they rebuild their telecommuting policies. Interestingly enough, working from home, with discipline and purpose, creates the opportunity to be more efficient and happier, it also saves on a tremendous amount of cost. Namely, saving on travel expenses like gas, insurance, and car payments, increasing time spent not commuting or during water cooler chit-chat, while reducing stress. Home expenses can also be a write-off on your taxes, saving each American money. Safety is increased and of course productivity can be measured through technology and the implementation of ethically-implemented artificial intelligence, data, and analytics.
Of course there are agreed-upon counterpoints to the above and being restricted goes against every fiber of the American Spirit. Knowing what and who one is fighting for is the motor that drives everyone to the future. Knowing that digital transformation and a new way of doing business, or better said, an additional way of doing business is the wave of the future.