The words ‘unprecedented times’ is on track to become the phrase of 2020. With one shock after another companies and marketers have found themselves in uncharted waters courtesy of the pandemic as well as upheaval in domestic and international politics.
However, while absolutely nothing is the same seven months into 2020, VIoN’s Senior VP of Marketing, Liz Anthony, took some time out to talk to Lee Andrese of Akathame about why all is not lost despite the upheavals. As an experienced marketing professional, Anthony has seen her fair share of disruptions both technological and economic and, based on this experience, she’s confident that as well as being unprecedented times, these can be transformative times for marketers.
For Anthony, the primary job of marketers in these unprecedented times is to focus on building relationships and providing an exemplary customer experience built on empathy. As she sees it, there are three phases to building and delivering on this customer experience.
1. Responsive Phase: This was the period immediately after many state governments issued ‘shut down’ orders in mid-March. With the possibility of severe disruption to the mission and core services with the immediate need to shelter in place, this was the time for technology partner to reach out and reassure existing customers that they were a priority and would remain fully supported.
2. Recovery Phase: Anthony described this as our current phase, where the initial shock has worn off and operations are somewhat stable. This is the time to dig into continuity planning with your customers to ensure that they are prepared for the next few months as periods of disruption are likely to increase.
3. Reinvention Phase: Starting now – particularly for federal agencies as they head into buying season – but intensifying in early 2021, it will be time for agencies and organizations to think about their needs for the new period ahead. Because both phases 1 and 2 have seen a rapid acceleration in digital transformation spurred by the pandemic, think here of the rapid deployment of technology to support remote work, contactless services, and telehealth, federal agencies, but all organizations have moved digital transformation forward by about a decade in just a few months. This opens up exciting opportunities to deploy AI and other data-driven solutions far more quickly than might have happened without the pandemic.
“There is no going back,” said Anthony. “We’re headed into a new place with new opportunities to look at things differently.” At the core of success in this new place is how well technology partners and organizations can deliver an exemplary customer experience. With a reputation and track record of trust, reliability, and empathy technology partners and other organizations will be able to drive success in these unprecedented times.