By Hermawan Kartajaya
COVID-19 outbreak is putting the world in the middle of a global crisis – perhaps, the worst in the past two decades. For humankind, the pandemic is a war against humanity. While for businesses, the crisis is a shifting factor to the market as an impact of changes in technological, socio-cultural, political-legal, and economic aspects that it brought. As a result, it drives the changing of customer behavior and competitor movement. The dynamic is putting the business landscape in the middle of volatility, uncertainty, and complexity, which brings ambiguity for companies.
During this desperate time, business leaders must demonstrate their professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle the dangers, as well as to capture the opportunities that the circumstances possess. MarkPlus, Inc. offers a strategic framework to handle the current situation based on the SPA (Surviving / Servicing – Preparing – Actualizing) model that we originally developed.
In the short-term, a company must identify its position during the crisis. Whether the condition has put the company in the middle of the storm that brings a decline in the company’s performance, or the situation has put the company in the middle of windfall resulting in the company’s growth. For companies that are declining, Surviving by planning Marketing Continuity Brand (MCB) is the top priority to ensure its continuity. While for companies that are growing, Servicing by planning Marketing Sustainability Brand (MSB) becomes essential. It is to show that business is not all about monetary value, but human values.
As we know that the pandemic will eventually come to an end, companies must consider the Preparing step. The company needs to revisit its business in terms of its QCDS (Quality, Cost, Delivery, and Service) to prepare for the post-crisis.
In the long run, after the crisis has finally ended, it is the momentum when the market will eventually recover. Companies should start the Actualizing step, where they begin to execute its post-marketing strategies and tactics to deliver value and values to customers.
It is not certain that the Coronavirus outbreak will be the last hard hit to mankind and businesses in this century. But we are sure that after this crisis ends, it also marks the end of the marketing and business as usual.
Customers, which become more quality-conscious, more values demanding, and desire more seamless offline-online interactions, will shape the post-normal.
Indeed we need to survive this crisis, but it is imperative to prepare ourselves for the post-normal with the post-marketing because “it will never be the same again.”
Hermawan Kartajaya is the founder and executive chairman of Markplus, Inc., one of Southeast Asia’s leading marketing and professional services firms. In 2003, he was ranked among the “50 Gurus Who Have Shaped the Future of Marketing” by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the U.K.