Demand is both the problem and the solution to the complex predicament now facing the global economy. What began as a public health crisis quickly became a demand crisis that has affected categories and companies in different ways. But every business now faces the challenge of reactivating demand.
Companies will have to act decisively in several key areas. The Kantar Blueprint for Recovery provides a framework of eight priority areas across foundation, strategy and organisation in which companies must take bold, decisive steps.
The foundation of market knowledge has been upended. There is little about the marketplace any longer that is settled, which has pushed insights organizations to the fore in guiding companies through the successive waves of this disruption.
The uncertainty of the moment means that marketing and sales strategies are being reinvented at speed. What informed business plans before the pandemic is no longer relevant. Portfolios, formats and business models are being adapted. Omnichannel is surging. Trade pressure is mounting. Shopping habits, brand relevance, usage occasions, entertainment pastimes and even payment methods are changing. Fears about health and hygiene are holding consumers back. Companies must do more for diversity, sustainability and community.
All of this change means that companies must remake their organizations to enable success in new and different ways. Digital is being fast-tracked. Marketing and sales are being brought together. Improvements in organizational learning and new skills are now imperative. Remote working has sparked a wide-ranging reevaluation of the workplace. An unusually rich talent pool has been created by redundancies in vulnerable sectors or by weakened competitors. Fresh approaches are being taken to KPIs and planning.
Even with the challenges of today’s turmoil, bold, forward-looking companies will win by putting first priority on reactivating demand. Winning companies will commit to an integrated, eight-part, demand-led Blueprint for Recovery.