Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Business Survival - Efficiency vs. Innovation," illustrates how businesses are reacting to COVID-19, and more importantly, the most common reactions companies are exhibiting. Every sector that is having to deal with the effects of the coronavirus may have varying responses across industry segments. As we move forward with news updates detailing how the nation is dealing with mitigation, containment, and economic challenges, one thing on everyone's mind; "What comes next?" Every business sector has experience forecasting, upgrading, conducting SWOT, supply chain methodology, R&D, customer service, customer experiences, and the personalization of marketing strategies. Those tasks and processes are not going away any time soon. However, plans for surviving the current state of the pandemic and looking ahead to the future bring up a new consensus that appears to solidify a position among business leaders worldwide.
Our Quote of the Day: "Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." – Winston Churchill
Useful Preparation Leaders, regardless of what they are leading, be it an iconic brand, community food bank, sports team, government agency, bank, school, or any entity that requires a leader at the helm, all share one thing in common. Experience and time in roles gave them knowledge and wisdom to not only do their job but to take deep dives into the inner workings of that industry. Likewise, businesses go through exercises that will aid in their quest to remain competitive, gain market share, and of course, add to their customer base and bottom line. Further, preparation also points to streamlining efficiencies, while keeping the innovation process healthy, at least as healthy as possible, given the current crisis.
One can argue that efficiency and innovation complement each other. Otherwise, innovation for the sake of innovation runs the risk of forsaking significant efficiencies that deliver a reasonable return rate.
That brings us to this point; "Regardless of whom we've spoken to there seems to be a common consensus across every industry where we see two distinct reactions from businesses," as stated by Alan Porter, Director of Product Marketing:
Hunker down and hope to ride it out
Use this opportunity to look at how we can be more efficient with what we have and prepare ourselves for a leadership position in the future.
Mr. Porter states that "The companies that are using the current situation to take a step back and look at existing processes continue to produce and serve existing customers, as well as being flexible enough to meet new demands or deliver existing services in new ways. But does focusing on finding efficiencies mean we have to give up on innovation too? Not at all, innovation and efficiency improvements go hand in hand."
The following are a few examples of efficiency and innovation working together that we've have seen and heard about over the last few months include:
Acceleration in the application of 3D designs and digital supply chains eliminates the need to move samples and other physical objects from location to location.
Growth in the use of tools like Digital Asset Management and Content Management platforms has become almost exponential as they spread across the enterprise (reports of upwards of 17 or more touchpoints).
Executives, who are now working remotely, soon realize the value of connecting directly to DAM and CMS platforms to access corporate assets.
Digital Asset Management & Content Management Platforms
Digital asset management (DAM) systems enable one to store, share, and organize digital assets in a central location. It amplifies the benefits of original files such as images, videos, and other media. DAMs also provide an efficiency factor that saves time, money, and resources when any digital asset is needed.
Marketing organizations that fully organize digital assets can respond to client requests for these assets in a timely fashion. Businesses that deploy DAM platforms reduce search, locate, and send turnaround times, thereby improving efficiencies.
A content management system (CMS) is typically thought of as a software application or a group of related programs primarily used to create and manage digital content. CMS platforms are generally in play for enterprise content management (ECM) and web content management (WCM) systems.
That said, executives are now beginning to understand the value of DAM and CMS systems, as many executives work remotely from home. This eye-opening experience for executives will have long-lasting effects on business insights well into the future.
Nearly everyone is aware of how digital devices, media channels, apps, and tools have become the mainstay of business and a means to keep a brand in front of the buying public. One industry that demonstrates how important digital has become during this health crisis is retail. A deep dive can uncover the contrast between traditional and digital innovation.
The news is full of reports detailing traditional retailers that are filing for bankruptcy. Many of the stores facing bankruptcy are iconic brands that traditionally rely on physical, in-person sales. In 2019, Bill Gates stated, "If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business."
Retailers who listened or were fortuitous to leap to eCommerce while instituting better delivery systems realized significant gains. The all-digital fulfillment organizations are prospering. The move to digital fulfillment is the innovation piece of the equation. Almost all innovations moving forward will have some digital interface for both the enterprise and the consumer. Therefore, while the latest data indicates that up to 50% of small businesses still do not have a digital presence, this might be the best time to invest in a CMS platform.
Survival Depends on the Customer
The customer experience is undergoing significant changes, and as a result, a plethora of companies are looking to streamline customer interactions via digital technology. It appears that the sales funnel is being replaced by a digital supply chain.
The new digital supply chain can connect every aspect of the customer experience, including the offer, product creation, design, and delivery while improving the overall customer experience. This faster, improved customer experience or CX is good for the brand, the organization, and the customer.
Every business sector is under pressure to survive while looking to the future. No one knows when this health crisis will abate, or when things will return to normal, or if the worst is yet to come. We do know that business will survive. How well we do depends on our ability to manage efficiency versus innovation. Thanks for reading, "Business Survival - Efficiency vs. Innovation."
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