Industry Specific Advice in a Time of Crisis from the Chief Outsiders CMOs
These are challenging times. The actions you take now and in the coming weeks will have a huge impact on what happens to your company, your customers and your employees. Some of the challenges we will face during this crisis will apply to all sectors, but some will be industry specific.
To help you decide where your focus should be, we assembled panels of Chief Marketing Officers from our Tribe at Chief Outsiders who have spent their careers working in your industry with companies like yours, to discuss what CEOs need to think about doing, right now.
The following summary encapsulates the highlights of our panel discussion for the Industrial Manufacturing industry, hosted by Art Saxby and featuring CMOs Dawn Werry, and Dennis Bailen. For the full benefit, view the discussion video in its entirety (19 minutes). Short of time? See the discussion highlights (6 minutes).
Industrial Manufacturing Industry Panel Discussion – Summary
This discussion covers critical tactics for communication, supply chain agility and other pertinent advice to keep your business running today and ready for tomorrow.
- Construct a FAQ to anticipate the key needs your customers have right now and what questions they will have for you. Disseminate to all team members so customer communication is consistent. Remember that some customers need more communication than others
Supply Chain Awareness and Agility:
- Understand all aspects of your parts supply and ability to fulfill orders – inform your sales teams and clients on how you will make adjustments to accommodate orders
- Be prepared for things to continue for some time, there will be backlog in shipping and fulfilling even when things do get back to normal
Is it Possible to Keep Selling?
- Yes, but look for alternate ways to bring in leads if you rely on trade shows – virtual presentations and tradeshows, online events, offer webinars for training on new systems
- Prepare more written content and revamp your content strategy to suit virtual delivery and consumption
- Watch for opportunities to provide other services to your customers
Help Employees Deal with Anxiety
- If anything, over-communicate. Silence feeds fear and anxiety. Many factories are still running with social distancing rules – help people know what this means, what protective measures you are taking to create a safe and hygienic environment.
- Make sure everyone understands their medical and PTO benefits and how they will be supported in case of illness
- You may have to change some policies – if you don’t have a work from home policy you may need to create one. Ensure you have the right tools and training in place to keep people productive
- Help people feel comfortable with working remotely and engage frequently to minimize feelings of isolation and maintain some degree of normalcy
Model the Right Behavior
- Maintain transparency with honest and frequent communication to employees, customers and suppliers
- Develop a sustainable communication infrastructure, internally and externally
- Discover how you and your company can help – in your community or in the business world at large
- Know your worst case / best case financials. Be prepared for negative impact and determine what can be cut for the least damage. Keep marketing those activities that have a strong ROI
If you enjoyed this summary and would like to hear the full discussion, watch the video in its entirety (29 minutes), or the discussion highlights (6 minutes).
Art Saxby, CEO, Founder and Principal, Chief Outsiders
Dawn Werry, Partner & CMO, Chief Outsiders
Dennis Bailen, Partner & CMO, Chief Outsiders