Not even halfway through 2020, and it’s already a year for the history books. One thing we know for sure, the landscape has changed on all of us. Leaders in marketing, IT, and other group are faced with changes to 2020 plans that they could never have dreamed of.
So here we sit in June 2020, thinking about the second half (2H) of the year is like starting fresh again. How do you plan and rationalize the initiatives that were in the works or being planned?
The inputs to your planning for the 2H of 2020 are numerous. And on top of that, the landscape has changed in more ways than one.
1. Business Landscape Changes
Some businesses have had some interruptions such as people working from home to clients delaying decisions. On the opposite extreme, some businesses in many industries have been uprooted, for example, hospitality, retail, and others. But one thing is for sure, going into 2H 2020 is potentially much different than imagined last New Year’s Day.
The focus is now on taking the business landscape and minimizing the damage and/or maximizing the opportunity of the new (albeit perhaps temporary) world.
- How is COVID-19 impacting my clients? My employees? My partners?
- What is the supply chain situation now and through the balance of the year?
- What new opportunities can we potentially capitalize on?
- Will the trend to digitize and automate the business accelerate?
- Are some of these changes and opportunities permanent?
2. Data Landscape Changes
The data needed to drive the business also is changing. Some team members may need access to data that was never needed or tracked in the past. Or, maybe the data was only hosted on internal systems that did not have access by remote teams. Or, perhaps management is asking for reports on the new trends which require data from systems that were never intended to be integrated.
Either way, the data needed to drive the business in 2020 is probably different than the data needed just a quarter ago.
3. Project Landscape Changes
System and digital marketing initiatives changed almost overnight in March 2020. Some leaders had to entrench for a few weeks and then decide how to move the new priorities forward from there.
Leaders are now looking at 2H 2020 and beginning to rationalize all the projects that were, are, and could be. If it seems daunting, you are not alone. Many organizations we talk to are challenged because every day brings both more clarity and unknowns at the same time.
4. Resource Landscape Changes
The changes to staff, teams, and outside contractors are another moving target. Many firms have had to downsize, furlough, cut new hires and stop internship programs. Some people are doubling up on roles that were not even planned, such as remote team management, business continuity planning, return to work protocols, crisis communications and more.
Leaders need to look at the changes that were either executed by them (or to them) and decide how to adjust moving forward. To accomplish that, they may need a combination of SMEs, business analysts, architects, developers and more which are all time and budget-constrained.
Focusing on Relationships
On top of all of that, many of us are also focusing on relationships for both our personal and professional lives. For good reason. The time has been given to us to rethink who and what are important to us and how we can best engage with them now and going forward.
This may be as simple as reconnecting with a former colleague for a Zoom happy hour, to a range of initiatives within the organization:
- Improving connectivity within or across departments to improve engagement.
- Reviewing the messaging and communication methods to clients.
- Connecting with past clients to revisit relationships.
- Ensuring team members have access to the right data to make decisions and feel empowered.
- Evaluating the current and planned partnerships. Evaluating what works and adjusting or changing the ones that do not.
Improving these relationships will provide a stronger foundation as we come out of the pandemic in (hopefully) the near future.
Back of the Napkin
So, the ultimate question is how to best meet the company’s revised goals and maximize the opportunities.
Some of our clients are taking a step back and looking at their digitalization strategy and priorities with a new light given the landscape changes. To accomplish this, we work with them to review the priorities as if they are starting fresh again on the back of a napkin.
Starting fresh, we work with our clients to draw out what would be the most ideal digital project set to accomplish in 2H of 2020 that would move the needle forward. We then help prioritize the initiatives by criticality, cost, resources and impact.
This process helps define the most cost-effective initiative that would address the priorities. Whether that is 100% via an internal team or if we partner to architect and develop the solution, we are here to help our clients to succeed.
We know better times are ahead and the landscape before us will be green and luscious again. Until then, we are here to help maximize the current opportunity of today and prepare for the digitalization future of tomorrow.