We know we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say this past year has been a challenging one. 2020 has been a year of change and challenge, unpredictability, and reactiveness. But as much as 2020 saw the world shift in different ways, it also illuminated opportunities for businesses to learn new ways to work, to re-shape strategies, or to re-think the “way it’s always been done”.
We saw these opportunities for businesses to learn, first hand in our day-to-day work and the work of our clients across the country. Here are 3 of the big lessons we saw 2020 highlight for businesses in Canada:
- Stay Agile, Build Resiliency. In the year of unpredictability, many businesses saw the importance of being able to be agile and being open to new ways of doing business, while trusting in opportunities for innovation or pivots. We always coach our clients on the importance of setting yourself up for success with structured flexibility, which means having the infrastructure in place (such as clear strategic direction, targeted objectives, and brand definitions) that will allow your business to adapt to changes easier and with focus. A focused framework for flexibility and innovation is a critical part of staying ready and able to adapt to the natural changes in the market – a point boldly highlighted this year.
- Relationships Matter. A lot of businesses already knew this as a good-to-do, but 2020 was the year that solidified the critical, have-to-do importance of actively cultivating those good relationships across a business, from sales to service to staff. Stronger relationships, this year especially, are built where brands (both consumer and business) use a humanized approach, with honesty and transparency, to build connections that are rooted in consistency, trust, and authenticity – and, ultimately, creating a stronger opportunity for loyalty and longevity in the market.
- Leverage Digital (Even Further). The potential power of digital marketing for business is not a new idea, but this past year showed many businesses that digital is a vital part of a sales and marketing strategy – and that digital marketing starts, but doesn’t end, with a website. Businesses, including some of our clients, who may have traditionally relied on in-person interactions started to think more creatively about the ways digital tools could help support growth. Whether optimizing (or building) a website, adopting a digital advertising strategy, creating more value-add content for customers or using technology to digitalize (& monetize) traditional business practices, 2020 brought the digital opportunity to the forefront.
2020 didn’t make things easy for many of us this year, but from challenges, we look for opportunity: to learn, to grow, to evolve. What lessons – or opportunities to learn – did 2020 show for you and your businesses? Leave a comment below or drop us a line and share.