In less than six months, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe in ways no one living today has seen. The human toll – lost lives and livelihoods – has been devastating. More than 470,000 deaths worldwide. Millions out of work; almost 46M in the US alone according to the latest Labor Department report. Businesses closed. Many of those jobs and businesses won’t come back. And we are officially in a recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
But there are reasons to be optimistic. Really. I’ve read McKinsey & Company’s insightful COVID-19 briefs since the pandemic began. The May 27 note was encouraging: “The world is turning from ‘resilience’ to ‘return.’” Pent-up consumer demand is being released: “Despite ongoing public-health concerns, the desire to spend and shop is palpable.” That forecast was corroborated last week when the U.S. Department of Commerce said that retail spending jumped 17.7% in May. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, a weekly confidence measure, rose to 40.2.
But consumer behavior has changed. There has been a massive shift to online transactions as employees work from home and self-quarantine, and trips to “essential” brick-and-mortar stores that remained open are kept to a minimum. No shopping therapy during a pandemic. Barron’s called the new paradigm the “social distancing economy.”
I spoke earlier this month with an expert who put the situation in context. More importantly, with use cases and data, she provided specific actions you should take now to prepare your business for a return to economic normalcy.
Sheryl Kingstone is a 20-year veteran of 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. She manages a team covering Customer Experience & Commerce and oversees Voice of Connected User Landscape research. Sheryl is also Head of Macroeconomic Research at the firm. Her professional accolades include being the first woman inducted into the CRM magazine Hall of Fame.
At a high level, Sheryl’s take on mastering the data-driven digital economy is this: Enterprises entering economic recovery with a customer data foundation that supports digital transformation have an edge. Data intelligence and enrichment, a unifying platform, and real-time agility are requirements of any platform designed to aggregate, manage, propagate customer data.
- Experience, not products, are what this economy is about. And emotion is at the heart of experience. But how do you viscerally connect with physically remote customers?
- Personalized, interactive engagement across all channels, including social, is the best way for businesses to regain their footing. Where to start is surprisingly basic and what good marketers do best.
- Potential for smart digital transformation to capture or create more than $300B in revenue.
- Digital leaders choose cloud solutions for digital transformation because it is the fastest path to digital transformation. And time is not your friend.
Webinar Replay and Content Download
Sheryl's recommendations for getting back to business and highlighting use cases that will deliver measurable business benefit made for an informative 45 minutes. You can download the slides and watch the webinar here.
To learn how Reltio can help you master the data-driven digital economy, visit our Transformations page.