COVID-19 has driven global markets into a scramble. As traders, entrepreneurs, and investors comb through stocks to find out which ones are worth buying, business leaders should be focusing on a different kind of investment: internal. As the world grapples with the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, companies need to be doing what they can to prepare for the next chapter.
Even so, it can be difficult to know exactly which aspects of your business warrant investment during times like these. While the answers will be different for every company, there are still a few key areas of operations you should consider, such as:
As the physical world closed up in March, the digital world became the place to be for many companies. A study done by BrandMaker and Marketing Dive found that half of marketers felt as though their previous investments in digital marketing innovation and automation helped them transition more easily into digital spaces at the onset of the pandemic. If something like COVID-19 were to strike again, wouldn’t you want to be prepared?
Other institutions are aggressively following this trend as well: colleges and universities have significantly increased their digital ad spending since COVID-19 struck according to a report published by marketing firm Kivvit. Any company that doesn’t get on board with this trend is putting itself at risk of obscurity in an increasingly digital age.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, so do the threats against your business. IBEX IT Business Experts, a company known for identifying security vulnerabilities in everything from Microsoft Office to Zoom video chat, saw COVID-19 as a wake-up call for businesses worldwide to protect themselves and immediately invested in their team of tech experts in order to provide better training and services for their customers.
Investing in your tech team’s cybersecurity training is something you should seriously consider. Cyberattacks rose by 37% in March of this year — an unprecedented increase that served as a harbinger of things to come. As you begin to make internal investments in response to COVID-19, remember how catastrophic a security breach can be and protect yourself appropriately.
The COVID-19 crisis may have caused unemployment to skyrocket, but don’t expect that to make your hiring process any easier. As businesses struggle to keep operations running in these difficult times, top talent is in greater demand than ever before.
In order to keep up with the ways COVID-19 has changed recruitment, you need to be prepared to fully invest in the process. Promoting your LinkedIn listings, reaching out to headhunters, and participating in digital networking events are all crucial to ensuring that the best potential employees all know you’re hiring — the first step to getting them to join your operation.
Search Engine Optimization
Over the last few years, SEO has stopped being a subset of marketing and quickly become a category entirely its own. Search engines, Google chief among them, now play such a huge role in the arbitration of knowledge that companies simply cannot afford to ignore it any longer. The best time to invest in SEO was years ago; the second best time is now.
Marco, a company that helps businesses outsource their IT responsibilities, took the SEO investment plunge several years back. Within 12 months of fully committing to their investment, they were able to increase blog traffic by over 2,500% — a bump simply unheard of in traditional marketing channels. If you have content you need to promote as a business, there are few options out there that will give you more bang for your buck than SEO investment.
As hard as COVID-19 has struck your business, it’s struck your customers even harder. Consumer spending dropped over 13% in April, and many people are still wary of returning to their old habits lest another lockdown become necessary. If you want to gain the lasting trust and loyalty of your customers, it’s time to invest in them.
One of the wisest CX investments a business could make right now is in AI-driven solutions: “While not short-term, we may see a faster adoption trajectory for AI-driven, software-based products that can help companies deliver digital, personalized experiences for customers.” says Jennifer Wise, experience design analyst at Forrester Research. By using tech to make it personal, you’re connecting with your customers in ways that mimic the human touch you had before the pandemic struck.
COVID-19 has made it difficult to know what even the next day will bring, so businesses need to stay prepared for any and all possibilities. By investing in these 5 key areas, you’re future-proofing your company in ways that will ensure healthy returns far down the line.
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