This year has been quite an unpredictable ride, and it’s not over yet. Looking ahead to the uncertainty of Q4, it’s our mindset of pessimism or optimism which determines the tone of our reality. We say, “It’s not over yet” with either exasperation or determination. Frankly, they’re both understandable at this point – but we prefer the latter.
Regardless of your current mindset, today you get to choose how to move forward. This choice will be a deciding factor in whether you’re reactive or proactive through the rest of the year. This choice will shape your goals, influence your level of confidence, and ultimately define your future.
Here at MacKenze, we’re optimists. Always have been, always will be. We’re determined to seek and find opportunities wherever they are, and it’s our mission to empower brands to convert those opportunities into success stories.
By leveraging customer insights and data analytics, we guide brands to intelligent business decisions focused on their unique objectives. Considering the current state of uncertainty, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of wait-and-see. But with no definitive end in sight, persistent hesitancy will only put you further behind the curve and slow stunt brand growth. Now is the time to take the reins and establish a proactive, strategic approach heading into Q4 2020. Here are a few ways of doing just that:
Establish a set of measurable goals and success metrics
Part of navigating uncertainty is maintaining agility. In order to shift and adjust as surrounding variables change, regular check-ins and benchmarks will reveal areas of strength and areas in need of attention.
This is why goals, whether short-term or long-term, need to be measurable. This may seem like an obvious statement, but the measurements we’re talking about are more than the end-result; they’re ongoing throughout the program or initiative’s lifespan. Not only will you gain valuable comparative insight looking backwards, you’ll build a data-driven framework to guide decision making moving forward.
When creating a list of goals, dig into the measurement details and outline how each specific metric will be used. This process will spark important dialogue around the goal itself and establish a framework for agile decision making along the way.
Update your customer personas and journey mapping
After 35 years working with consumer insights, we’re tuned into the evolution of consumer wants, needs, and behaviors. But it’s our personal, first-hand experiences as customers during this unprecedented time that highlight the need to revisit what we know (or what we think we know) about our target audience.
Lifestyle preferences, purchase patterns, brand perceptions, and media consumption are just a few of the customer attributes that have significantly changed over this past year. Add in customer experience disruption and shifting expectations, we’re moving further and further in uncharted waters.
Revisiting your existing customer personas and prioritizing two-way communication will ensure your understanding of customer wants, needs, and behaviors are up-to-date. This information, paired with external market conditions and variables, will support customer journey mapping that is relevant within the modern competitive landscape.
Focus on opportunities, not obstacles
The brands willing to adapt and evolve heading into Q4 will have a competitive advantage over those who aren’t. The world is changing, consumers are changing, and so must we in order to maintain relevance. By focusing on opportunities rather than obstacles, we’re more likely to see solutions rather than roadblocks.
However, changing just to change is an ill-advised approach. Forcing evolution in an effort to feel proactive will do more harm than good. This is why we seek and capitalize on opportunities, because changing and evolving for a purpose is how we maintain relevance through times of uncertainty.
Since 1985, we’ve been empowering brands to achieve their goals through actionable customer insights and meaningful analytics. Now more than ever, it’s vital that decisions are made with clarity and confidence. If you’re ready to adapt and evolve your brand, we’re ready to too. Give us a shout to get a conversation started.