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  • Andrew Grill

Pivoting to digital

When we’ve run out of adjectives to describe this ‘unprecedented’ time - we will still have a business to run and staff to pay - so what can you do now?

How can we pivot to digital when we can’t access our physical stock and offices?

My view is that any business that can run online must now run online.

News that low-cost retailer Primark closed their doors without an online shopping presence should be a wake-up call that your business needs to immediately pivot to digital, and you can use this time to prepare for a digital-first world when things return to the new normal.

Yoga studios in Australia are now offering classes online - the demand for exercise is the same, but the delivery is digital.

Public speakers will not have a physical audience for some time, but now more than ever there is a demand for information on how to adapt to this new world, and this is now being delivered digitally.

Even my own church, Christ Church Kensington in West London has immediately pivoted to digital, broadcasting their morning and evening services online.

The learnings from this were eye opening. Firstly, more people than would normally attend the services watched online - instantly increasing the reach of the church. Secondly, people who would not normally watch online education were drawn to the service and remarked that it was a better experience than they had expected, and they are more likely to come back and also share the content with their friends and family. These learnings can be applied to your business as well.

My overarching message is that we are all now being forced to move our products and services online. You can also so this rapidly if you follow a disciplined approach.

One practical example involves a company I’ve been working with that is developing a new challenger (online) bank. As they won’t have physical branches, they can be up and running very quickly. They are utilising existing core banking and personalisation software to get to market quickly without having to write their own code, customer care can be delivered online 24x7 almost anywhere in the world - as can the training of new staff.

At Namier Capital, we have been watching the Covid19 situation unfold rapidly and providing advice to our clients about how to adapt. We are seeing those companies that have already gone digital as leaders because their business is proving resilient when workers go online from their home.

For other companies, the outlook will be not a case of IF you need to pivot to digital, but WHEN you can pivot.

Think about the following:

· If you hold physical product, is your digital fulfilment up to scratch? Is there an existing platform you can utilise today to effect this?

· Do you have the tools and processes to move your sales and customer support functions online?

· With most people confined to their home, they will be hungry for best practices and thought leadership - how can you provide this content online which proves your proficiency in this space?

· Advertising as we know it will change - we will move from interruption messaging to valuable content that can inform and educate us - do you have a library of content you can share online?

· Podcasts will become more valuable as people have more time on their hands in isolation - what insights can you being your clients that might encourage them to buy?

· Can you interview key people in your organisation for a podcast series and educate your clients and give yourself a reason to contact them other than with a normal advertising message?

We’re all in this together, and you can ensure your resilience over the next few months by pivoting to digital. If you’ve already made the pivot, plug into the collaborative ideas not just generated from your own teams, but from your customers and suppliers in how to provide even better products and services online and bring them to market in an agile way.

If you are after advice on how to rapidly take advantage of the new opportunities from digital then please get in touch with one of the team.

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