As daily life in the UK begins to return to some elements of the ‘old normal’ (well, we can go to the pub for at least the time-being in a very controlled way), now offers us the chance to reflect on the past three months and consider what we’ve learnt.

It’s been an incredibly difficult time for all of us. Some of us have lost loved ones, jobs have been at risk and we’ve all been asked to stay at home, isolate and disconnect from our families and friends.

From a business perspective, while continuity has been a challenge for many organisations, some have seen unpredicted hyper-growth in terms of demands on their products and services – from video conferencing to online delivery services, and many more.

If you’re one of those fast-growing organisations - tackling the pains of scalability, expanding your audience-base and competing against bigger rivals - you’ll be familiar with the challenge of punching above your weight. With a seemingly overnight growth in users, you’ve now been thrust firmly into the heavyweight category – and there are suddenly more stakeholders taking interest in, or even being openly critical of, your brand. This presents entirely new tests for you and your comms function.

So now you’re in the limelight, how do you defend against these issues, remain transparent around your possible limitations and continue punching at the heavyweight level so your pipeline carries through post-COVID? Here are a few top-line pointers: 

  • Be transparent - admit your growth has happened faster than you'd anticipated and you're working on making the right fixes as fast as you can. Thank your customers again for choosing you and reiterate the measures you’re taking with real, digestible examples
  • Be humble - if you've short-changed your customers on your user experience, don't go all Dominic Cummings about it. Communicate where you've seen issues and how you're rectifying them. Aiming for good, rather than perfect, might be a better alternative, and subtly conveying this can buy you time with your customers
  • Review and ensure you have clarity on your audience - has your customer-base, and its profile, changed pre- and during-COVID? And will these new customers still be with you in 6-12 months? Now is the time to ask yourself these questions, reviewing your audience and their personas and how aligned they are to your business strategy. This will be key in terms of defining your product and comms strategy moving forwards, whether you need to pivot to drive traction with your new audiences, or whether you can hone in on current activity

If any of this feels familiar and you’d like to chat more, drop me a line (details below).

Alternatively, if you’d like to find out a little more about some of the other trends we’re seeing as we (hopefully) get closer to the end of the tunnel from this pandemic, check out our latest research.

Martin.sparey@hotwireglobal.com

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