With COVID-19 and lockdowns showing signs of turning the corner, here is a holistic list of business and technology solutions to help businesses find the path forward.
Over the last year, your business has been through challenges like none other. In order to stay alive, you've had to cut down essential costs, innovate new ideas, and defend your bottom line.
The world will never be the same after COVID-19, and neither should your business – if you want it to survive, that is. Here are some ways to help your business recover after the panic and recession caused by the coronavirus.
1. Industry 4.0 is coming – and it will need better data.
COVID-19 disrupted the shipping and manufacturing business in a major way. With so many industries and warehouses out of commission, the supply-demand chain broke down in a very public way. The rise of Industry 4.0 seeks to prevent this from happening ever again.
Industry 4.0 is a method of harnessing communication technology and big data to feed machine learning systems over time. This will inevitably lead to smarter, faster, more cost-efficient production times that put high-quality products back into the market.
Data intelligence from Industry 4.0's industrial internet of things (IIoT) will drive incredible changes that could support the post-COVID rebound of your business. There are various ways to get involved with the era of interconnectivity, but first you need to take a look at your company data.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my data interconnected between all departments of the business?
- Do I have Industry 4.0 worthy data coming from both internal and external partners?
- Is my data relevant and fidelitous?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, it's paramount to begin the auditing process right away.
If the answer is yes to all, you can start transitioning into the future by implementing high-fidelity CAD data. Not only do these systems revolutionize the future of business, but they equip you to succeed in the post-COVID recovery period.
2. Your email marketing platform needs an update.
Developing an email marketing system is hard, but finding the right email marketing platform is even harder. The pandemic quickly taught us how important email and other forms of digital communication are to our society. By 2024, an estimated 361 billion emails will be sent daily, with no signs of slowing down. For 90% of businesses, according to the Content Marketing Institute, email is the top metric to measure engagement with created content.
The statistics on email marketing ROI are incredibly motivating:
- Shoppers choose to spend up to 138% more on products after receiving a targeted email offer.
- Every $1 spent on email marketing nets a return of up to $44. That's a cool 4,400% net gain.
- Email marketing campaigns generate over 40 times more customers than lead generation from Facebook and Twitter combined.
Your email marketing platform will say a lot about how your company is positioned to thrive in the coming recession. The system you choose must be able to supply metrics that speak to your industry and professional niche. Ultimately, they must be able to get you closer to your goal without jeopardizing your post-COVID company.
Look for ways to update boring or unpersonalized emails with snappy, brief and relevant copy. Do some A/B testing and geolocation to segment your market by demographics. Finally, look for a platform with integrations, automations, mobile optimization and list segmentation support. You'll be doing your business a favor. [Not sure where to look? Start with our reviews of the best email marketing services.]
3. Say goodbye to tradition and hello to the future.
It's no secret that some industries will have a harder recovery period than others. Some businesses will be impacted by redirected sales or recession spending. Others may be forced to adapt to changing consumer sentiment. Many others will need to contend with the growth of technology in the commercial sphere, making it more difficult to compete.
Take the auto insurance industry, for instance. Insurance companies have always relied on a system of risk factors and metrics to determine premiums. The more of a "risk" a person is, the more they will have to pay. Younger drivers, male drivers, and drivers with a history of claims may find themselves paying nearly twice as much as low-risk drivers.
The development of autonomous vehicles will drastically change the way auto insurance is made. Massive databases tracking consumer driving habits and collision statistics will accurately calculate risk levels. Manufacturers of self-driving vehicles may begin to issue no-fault or split-fault insurance policies directly to consumers. As a final blow to traditional insurance, every new upgrade or AV model will reduce the cost of no-fault insurance premiums, making expensive traditional plans nearly obsolete.
This sobering information should be a motivator for businesses recovering in a post-COVID world. The future can bring anything; you need to be prepared for whatever happens next.
4. Make your business stand out, or rebrand.
To compete against larger businesses that suffered less during the pandemic, you will need to distinguish your branding from that of the competition.
The psychology of business names is incredibly nuanced, and in an age when so much can be misconstrued, it is a vital part of brand recognition and success. If you plan to open a new business, it will be wise to consider how your brand will appear in marketing collateral, social media handles and more. If your business is well established or already off the ground, it would be helpful to reevaluate your brand perception among your target audiences.
Rebranding a company is an expensive task, but it's better to pay upfront than address backlash or legal issues in the future. In a world after the coronavirus, brand recognition will be more important than ever. Equip your business to do better with a solid name.
Times may be tough, but your business must be tougher.
Surviving a countrywide recession, a worldwide pandemic and a series of international lockdowns is nothing to scoff at. However, your work is not over just yet. We have a ways to go until the economy is out of the woods, meaning that you'll need to work hard for some time. But there is hope; it will just take a little extra thought on your part.
Focus on what it means to optimize your data for Industry 4.0. Update your digital marketing system with an email platform that spreads the word. Think toward the future, and don't be afraid to wave goodbye to traditional systems. If the world has taught us anything, it's that things change quickly. Finally, completely reestablish what your business means to the people who choose to shop with you.
As we press forward into the later years of the 2020s, intentionality will be everything. Be intentional about your recovering business in a post-COVID world, and help it to thrive in a brighter, more hopeful future.