Article

Jeremy Harvey
Jeremy Harvey 13 March 2019
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Tackling Disruption & Implementing Change

Change is nothing new. Talk of the increasingly noisy, fragmented market, and how difficult it is for brands to gain cut through, isn’t new either. What is new is the speed of change. That’s the point of difference in recent years, and it’s happening for a host of reasons. The impact on consumer behaviour has been dramatic, meaning brands need more help to cope with these changes and navigate the new environments they find themselves operating in.

Tackling all this in an effective manner requires many things. Actionable insights – from global trends and market dynamics through to customer and staff behaviours – are an important first step. You then need to employ the right tools and take the right approach to deal with whatever the data is telling you.

In this world of disruption, it’s not surprising we’ve all become data obsessed. But acting on that information and utilising it to your advantage can be a challenge, particularly for larger businesses that often have more data than they know what to do with. Getting it right can be a game-changer, but clear-thinking strategy (our founding principle) and the creative work that follows the analysis is key.

Employing the correct processes to allow you get a clear picture of the challenges you’re facing is vital, but it’s only when you combine that insight with provocative, exciting, thought provoking creative that you can illicit the behaviours (whether from team, customers or both) that take your business where it needs to be.

I mention team for a reason. Internal change management isn’t always an immediate priority during times of disruption, but it should be. We’re often brought in when a new process or system is required, and the client needs help to embed it all. Implementing change – whether it be the introduction of a new CRM system, adoption of information security behaviours, a new CSR initiative, introduction of a new business critical system or something else entirely – can only ever be successful if you win hearts and minds internally first. You can’t expect customers to adapt if you’re teams haven’t. 

By looking at the behavioural economics of the teams within a business and generating compelling communications designed specifically to create positive interventions in people’s days, you can motivate teams to proactively adopt the purpose of the business they work for. That’s when it all becomes powerful. The results can be transformative, regardless of the type of organisation or the disruption it is facing. New values or a brand refresh are obviously different in nature to the types of challenges I outlined previously, but the need to roll them out internally remains the same.

So many businesses find team motivation and customer-centric delivery a frustration. They put costs at the heart of their proposition and its delivery. But wider market issues are impacting this approach. Internal changes and restructuring are needed to cope with disruption and make businesses fit for the future. That requires a different approach. Engaged teams are always at the heart of any meaningful change.

Forbes noted that just 14% of employees understand their organisation’s strategy, and less than 10% of all organisations successfully execute that strategy. Those are terrifying statistics. The brands who play by yesterday’s rules are in danger of becoming irrelevant, evidence of this is can be seen in the almost daily headlines announcing yet another household name brand is in trouble, or worse going into administration. Having real customer centricity at both a proposition, promotional and service level ensures brands recognise the shifting dynamics of their customers contexts, their technologies, and convenience expectations and can adapt accordingly. All that is key to ongoing success and relevance in the long term.

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