Understandably there is an unbelievably high amount of social and business conversation around the BREXIT vote and the shadow of uncertainty which it casts over the UK’s future and business in particular.
“Calms Seas Never a Good Sailor Made”
From a financial perspective there are some things we know for certain…anything which we purchase in USD is likely to cost us more. But…as is always the case with these “problems” it will have some good results too. There is an old saying which goes “calms seas never a good sailor made” so perhaps we need to take this “Brexit austerity” period and think about how we can make our money, our technology and our business work harder for us.
Make you Capital Work Harder
We have already seen a number of scaremongering reports from top “analyst” firms including such lines as “see if any project for 16/17 can be postponed until the full impact of the Brexit vote can be assessed”…in other words stop developing your infrastructure and trying to gain competitive advantage and sit on the fence to see what happens!
Clearly we don’t know what the future holds in terms of recession, growth, exchange rates…but what we do know for certain is that we will not be able to waste resources and cash in the way that we previously have and we know that business continues. Boom or recession businesses are fighting each other for every customer and deal, so to sit still seems like corporate suicide. Spend the money, do the projects, but just do them smarter.
So what can a Business do in such Times of Uncertainty?
Clearly you need a plan, here at the Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we think you need to brainstorm all the sources of uncertainty, in terms of magnitude and duration. Looking at:-
- Political Process
- Financial Economy
- Real Economy
- Opportunity for Disruption
From this you should attach and value a create an “Uncertainty Map” , then work through scenarios and create a risk plan.
What about Digital and Social?
Even with BREXIT, your customers are going to be online, there is no change there. In fact, most of the BREXIT discussion has moved more people on-line to social channels. In addition, with the various comings and goings of political figures this to has meant that more people are watching news in “real-time” either through a news 24 channel or on Twitter and Facebook. Clearly social media is what we’re going to “selling” but think about the benefits in a time of uncertainty.
Everyone there…now, more than ever, your customers are on the social channels – perhaps demanding another referendum perhaps cheering…but they’re there. So I can think of no reason whatsoever that the social channels aren’t where you should be.
Cost…a conversation on Facebook (or Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube…) is free. Yes, it costs you your time and thought and effort but there’s no invoice to you having that conversation.
Measurability…unlike advertising or direct mail you can measure whether people are engaging with your messages and then turn that in to a conversation. What a great way to create some content, tell your brands story and engage.
Our Customers are on All Channels all the Time – We have to be there too
Integration…the opportunity to seamlessly tie your social conversation in to those within your CRM for a true omnichannel experience is (and has always been) there.
Recessions are scary things, companies go out of business and consumers (both b2b and b2c) spend less, but that doesn’t mean that your business needs to suffer, it means you need to be prepared and you need to be better than your competition. Invariably the answer is digital transformation.
So, my advice is rather different to the analyst firms, my advice is to surge forward, to make these changes with a real degree of urgency. Not to spend more, but to spend smarter. Use the resources and skills that you have and think about how social can deliver the increased revenue and cost saving that your business needs and for that matter deserves.
….. and if you would like some independent input from leading social and digital practitioners, you know where we are.