At time of writing this blog (20th April 2020) the UK Government have opened up the platform for businesses to apply for the employee furlough allowance. During the first 30 minutes of the portal being opened over 67000 businesses logged on to apply.
This is an unprecedented move by the UK government and has also been extended until June 2020!
They have also pumped £300bn of cash into the banking system in order that businesses can apply for a variety of grants and loans. From feedback seen on social media it seems that whilst this is a great initiative the banks are falling way short in the communications and assistance required to get this cash to business TODAY.
In the past, consumers had no choice but to pay attention to what brands had to say across a handful of radio or television channels. Today, and especially throughout this crisis every single Instagram page or Twitter account is a media outlet in its own right.
Social media has democratized share of voice; people are no longer passive consumers, but creators in their own right. Consumers are now dictating when, where and how they engage with brands, and they are beginning to use this newfound power to voice their concerns and boycott brands that don’t share their values and belief.
When you hear the term 'disruption' what comes to mind?
For most companies this means that a competitor, or worse still a start-up has taken their existing business, driven a bus through it, and what was once a sector they previously owned was now being 'disrupted' by an external entity which has mainly focused on the following 3 things;
1- The Customer
2- The Process
3- The Market Gap
Very few companies will purposely set out to 'disrupt' themselves, in my experience they are always in a constant state of what I would call 'protectionists ignorance' which in simple terms means let's keep doing what we've always done, so its no surprise that most disruptive innovation comes from external sources - a key reason that the banking system is now under a key period of innovation by challenger banks.
Who saw this crisis coming?
Over the years I've been involved in the periphery of financial services, it's a highly regulated sector and most meetings I've ever attended have been 90% about compliance, and 10% around actually getting stuff done, and that's just the internal way of going about things - not sure if anythings changed?.
Because of all that regulation they also have an awful lot of jargon to deal with, unfortunately a lot of that jargon get's spilled over when trying to gain our attention, which inevitably ends up turning us off, which clearly wasn't the intention in the first place.
A few years ago I produced an number of extremely expensive video campaigns for a number of financial services companies, the biggest being Co-Operative Financial Services (link to a few video's here) which sadly didn't get aired due to an internal crisis associated with them selling out to another firm.
In today's crisis driven climate we all just want to know what to do to gain access to these funds. The communication needs to be helpful, informative, educational, intructive and authentic.
Used correctly, social media can provide those banks and financial advisers with an outlet to showcase their expertise, network with their peers and meet potential clients.
Social media is one of the really great places to be able to connect with existing customers, and in particular when trying to uncover new ones, but to do this requires not just the company, but also it's employees to understand the true Superpowers that can be used, providing of course that it's within the framework of an integrated social media strategy, which also includes up-skilling the workforce to leverage the 3 key pillars of a great social media presence;
Because we all have a 'corporate speak' bullshit alert built in, showing vulnerability actually makes them more authentic, and both employees and customers alike tend to relate to them because, well, they are like us.........