One of the best pieces of business advice I ever received in my professional career came from my Dad. He told me "son, the key to long term success is not knowing how to survive the storm but learning how to play in the rain".
Have you ever "wished" for the world to stop long enough so you can get caught up in your business? Thinking that everything was just "too hectic" to allow you the opportunity to stop and evaluate current business practices, implement new strategies, or make improvements to existing operations? I have.
As of today, COVID-19 has infected more than 180,000 people and killed over 7,100 worldwide, according to The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. And while I pray for the healing of those who are sick and comfort for those affected, I also think now is a good opportunity to stop and evaluate the way you are currently doing business. So that when this pandemic is over, your organization will be better positioned to achieve business success.
Technology "leadership" is ephemeral in today's travel and hospitality landscape. It's essential to understand how quickly and to what degree technology can improve the business of a hospitality or travel organization. For a technology solution to truly stand-out in the crowd, it must effectively communicate that improvement capability in its go-to-market message and embed that value in its applications. For companies that are financially viable and have the resources to survive this current storm, now is a good time to ensure its technology, products, and solutions are meeting these criteria.
No matter what stage of growth a company is in, management will always be challenged by seemingly conflicting opportunities.
- New product or features?
- New market or geography?
- New pricing strategy or model?
- New industry or vertical?
- New sales or commission model?
- New marketing or branding?
- New client base or targeting?
- New channels or partners?
A core tenet to growth is strategic marketing. Implementing strategic marketing into an organization requires purposeful, tactical business development and marketing plan aligned with the core business growth strategies. Consider these four ways you can improve your organization's go-to-market messaging during this temporary slowdown in the business world:
- Perform a Marketing Audit to include a review of your brand style guide, website, and sales enablement materials. Do they effectively communicate your solution's value proposition and its benefits?
- Review your 12-month Strategic Marketing Plan (assuming you have one). The Plan should include insight on talent, dynamic growth planning, tactics, marketing communications, product roadmap, pricing, operations efficiency, competition, and other business issues. The strategy should also contain potential costs and timelines associated with the implementation and delivery of the Plan throughout the organization.
- Develop a Target Prospect Listing of industry analysts, consultants, trade press editorial, travel and hospitality executives, etc. so that you can effectively and frequently communicate the Unique Value Proposition of your technology, products, and services.
- Retrain your sales organization on how to present the solution, its technology and benefits. Make sure everyone is delivering the same message to your potential customers every time.
As a result of these efforts you can expect to see increased brand recognition, improved product positioning, identify potential opportunities for new sales, and the ability to achieve your growth and scale objectives.
With the normal of social distancing, the beauty of a strategic marketing program is that it can be executed effectively through "remote collaboration", not requiring face-to-face engagements during this unique period. If your organization needs assistance with developing a Playbook around these objectives - we are here to help.
This current situation we are in will soon end and it will either be back to business as usual or back to business as an effective go-to-market enabled organization. It's time to play in the rain - at a safe distance.