In a recent study CMOs identified a number of silver linings that resulted from the pandemic.
The benefits included: improved business processes, faster decision making, less tolerance for office politics, accelerated digital transformation, and stronger employee relationships. Tariq Hassan, CMO of Petco suggested, employees often delivered miraculous results. For example, he applauded his team’s ability to quickly turn stores into distribution centers for online orders. (link below)
Change is driven by leadership mindset, businesses that cling to a legacy thinking mindset 'we can't change because of' type of excuses, or our 'legacy systems can't just be thrown away', or 'our leaders don't do what they ask us to do' are the most common 'blockers' of any change.
Pre-Covid Retail has always had to work hard at getting people through the doors, this is equally true for all online retailers.
What about the superpower of 'Social Media' in all its forms and platforms around the globe that stood at 3.8bn+ people as at April 2020?
Then there's the huge shift in D2C that's seeing brands that were once your supplier choosing to go direct to the consumer, and where 90% of those consumers say they are more than happy to deal with them - todays supplier is possibly tomorrows competitor.
With consumers moving more of their shopping online during the crisis and getting a 'good enough' experience who in your 'Change Making' team are focused on answering the big question around 'how we deliver an outstanding multi-channel' experience post Covid in order to not only maintain that edge, but continue to win out over the competition?
In particular with the rise of 'social commerce' which is diverting traffic that would at one time have gone to your website, or that 'marketplace' you chose to sell your goods through - and they get to keep what you thought was your customer!.
Today's digitally savvy and not so loyal consumer are firmly in the driving seat, it's they who get to choose when, where, and how they interact with us.
When I look to benchmark strong 'social leaders' they all seem to adopt five key behaviours.
1) Authentic – They are “real”; in other words, genuine, believable human beings that you warm to. It’s one of the reasons why leaders are increasingly outperforming brand social media channels.
2) Conversational – They get involved in the conversation, by replying to comments and questions. “Likes” aren’t enough. And, it’s not just a broadcast all about them. Connected leaders listen.
3) Have a purpose that inspires – Connected leaders’ content isn’t just there for the sake of it, or rehashing posts from the PR team. It has a purpose that relates to their core beliefs and mission.
4) Share insights – Leaders haven’t got there by accident – it’s because of a lot of hard work, commercial acumen and talent. People want to know how they got there. So their insights and opinions are invaluable.
5) Present – This is both about having a regular cadence of posts and activity (no drive-by Likes) and thinking holistically about their digital footprint and public profile. For top leaders it’s not enough just to be on LinkedIn. They need to think bigger and more broadly.
So, how does your socially Covid leadership team stack up?
“The way CMOs respond to this crisis is a defining moment that will be remembered for decades,” said Margaret Molloy, Global CMO, Siegel+Gale. “Our respondents stressed the importance of avoiding the ‘empathy washing’ trap by engaging in meaningful actions supported by messages that are clear, authentic and useful. Covid-19 is a cognitive tax on people. These CMOs realize that brands need to reduce the cognitive effort required of customers to interact with them. This is manifesting in a renewed focus on simplicity.”