From Crisis to Recession
It seems that the Virus Crisis, with its vaccines, is coming to an end, with the economic recession already around the corner, until all economic sectors are back to full throttle again.
With all the recent analysis from Deloitte, McKinsey, BCG, FMI, and OCDE referring that we only start to see some economic recovery from the last quarter of this year, we only have 9 to 10 months to put ourselves in the frontline of our industry, regaining or to consolidate our position in the marketplace, against all odds. It´s now critical, during these next months, that you set up a winning mindset to keep at least afloat and be able to perceive and collect all benefits that are always inside a recession. To do that you need:
- Reduce the amount of general news you consume as they tend to be more negative than positive. Remember: good news don’t buy audiences;
- Do NOT cut back your marketing budget. If you can, increase it. Remember: playing it safe will take you inside the herd and there, you become irrelevant;
- Follow up with the negative thinking peers in your industry. If they are scared and afraid, they are allowing YOU to take over the field they are leaving behind. Remember: a client without service it’s not lost, it’s open to change the provider.
We can increase our level of success if we never let down the service level to existing or new clients. Consider even increasing it as this will be the difference between gaining new clients from the competition or losing them forever. They, like you, are going through uncertain times, needing and appreciating assurance and confidence. The cost of poor service is too high to accept and you should not be afraid to go the extra mile to do the difference.
When it comes to marketing, this will not only secure your current clients but will also put you in front of new ones.
Don’t be afraid to innovate here, or to invest in quality content, positive thinking, and client care.
This recession will go away as well as your peers that will follow the negative trend and fail to innovate and secure their market share.
If needed, re-invent yourself without losing sight of your current client base. They are already familiar with you, right? So, what do you have to lose?
Also, don’t be afraid to look inside your own organization to find and correct the less committed with your own survival and success.
This is a great time to do it.
Remember: attitude is key, skills can be trained.
Do it right! Do it well!
If needed, think again!
Many are the articles, posts, comments, and other interventions all over social media, TV, magazines, newspapers, and other forums about the current crisis, by opinionmakers from all walks of life, experience, and more or less legitimate backgrounds.
However, we like facts and, when assumptions, that they are based on robust and consistent arguments.
We are facing a crisis without precedent, no doubt about it. But, as in all crises before and after this one, it’s not only the crisis that has an impact on the businesses.
Crisis, at the same time, bring to the spotlight hidden problems companies and organizations usually have that impact business more than the crisis in itself: Management fragilities, bad decisions or based on insufficient or no information at all, lack of structure, organizational problems, deficient businesses models, among others.
Everybody’s also talking about the crisis as a source of business opportunities for new or re-invented businesses, distribution models, and new ways of reaching the paying client, if not for success, at least to keep afloat.
Mutatis Mutandis, this is old news and, as a matter of fact, no news at all, except to spread some optimism to society at large, minimizing the fear effect that’s over everybody’s head.
I truly believe the real opportunities crisis can promote are two and interconnected. As usual in an open market economy:
- Darwinism: It cleans the market of the feeble and week, unable to adapt and thrive, at the same time that exposes the truly strong and capable;
- Evolutionism: It gives room for companies with visionary leadership and a flexible structure as well as market-oriented business models to quickly reinvent themselves, adapts to new circumstances, adjusts processes and strategies, to conquer the empty ground left behind by the previous ones.
We are seeing this happen even in strongly impacted sectors by this crisis like hospitality, aviation, and tourism.
What are you going to do to take care of your business, get back on track, to fulfill the gap others are creating in the marketplace? What’s your excuse?
During the COVID-19 worldwide lockdown, one of the key issues national economies faced was the breakdown of international logistics channels, creating an alert at the national and regional level to the dependency of international supply lines.
With China being the world’s manufacturing hub, with 28% of the world’s manufacturing output (as per UN Stats), the effect of the shutdown in China alone lead to supply constraints in various industries all around the globe, not to mention China’s located 81% of technology assembly and 65% of technology components production.
The breakdown of these supply chains was as critical as the pandemic itself as it showed the dependency from China even for such things as surgical masks. For governments worldwide, this should not happen again!
This catalyst effect will break the world into three main regions, that will re-invent themselves, production-wise: Europe (and the EU at its core), the USA, and the Asian Pacific Region (APAC), with the two first ones, swiftly looking for, at least, some autonomy at key sectors production level: Food, Medicine R&D and Health, with the remaining economic sectors on the go, taking advantage of internal discrepancies to keep production prices as low as possible.
Looking at Europe alone, we are already seeing the injection of billions of Euros in the economy, to rebuild the local industrial capabilities of this economical giant, that will spread around their low-income, high-productivity, and highly qualified workforce countries like the southern and former eastern block countries, based on the same rationale that took the production industries to China in the last decades.
This is a huge opportunity for such countries, to rebuild their industrial capabilities for European autonomy, led by the German giant, that is also taking advantage of this opportunity as a leading factor to effectively lead Europe and the European economy, through their weight in the European institutions.
The overall challenge though is not to undermine the Chinese market, not anymore as a low-cost production country but as a consumer market of 1,2 billion, where the European high-end products and brands can keep on answering to their consumption demands as it already happens, due to brand awareness building for the last decades, being the real risk to the effectiveness of this strategy the Chinese government and their centralized decision-making policies, that will definitely react to the new European market strategies, unless Europe will leave behind such sectors as technological R&D and production, at the same time “killing” the American giant, that will lose economical ground due to the new Keynesian policies pushed on by the Trump administration.
We are looking at a time of great opportunities, mainly in Europe, if only Germany can out-weight their liberal rivals in the EU and, at the same time, manage to deal with the socialist southern countries, like Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain.
For many, this can be an awkward statement but it’s true.
Let me explain:
– If you have competition, it means you are in a line of business that has customers, and this’ good news as your marketing efforts to enter the market don’t need to be as harder as if you have no competition at all.
– Also, it means you can look at them to understand where you fit, simplifying your offer to the market to some aspect not covered by the competition, taking advantage of it, at the same time.
– You can even serve the market exactly as your competition does but to a different segment or client profile. Again, taking advantage of it.
– Another advantage, if you plan it well, is the technology factor and/or economy of scale you can put in place, to outperform and outprice an older competitor.
– Having competition can be a tough issue since as soon as you become visible, they will reply with all the ammunition they can get their hands on, just to get rid of you.
– At the same time, if your costumers don’t see the benefits you are offering against the competition – or even if they see it – they can (and will) bargain with you as if you are a commodity. At the end of the day, this will happen to all the players in the marketplace, where only the strongest will survive.
– The above will also happen to your suppliers, but this time the other way around, where they will prefer to sell to the higher bidder;
– Its also normal, in such markets, that many other players want to jump in, to get a piece of it too, as we can see now in many lines of business, where differentiation is increasingly difficult.
The bottom line is:
Having competition can be good news, but remember this can also be a poker game, here who knows how to bluff will win the bet against a better hand.
And like playing poker, you should know when to stay and when to leave, or when to have a different approach.
Playing the competition game it’s not an easy task, but it can be very rewarding with the right tools and the right approach because, after all, what’s life without a challenge?