Covid-19 – Open Roundtable Session

Click on the link above to listen to our recent open roundtable session where we discuss the most common industry problems resulting from Covid-19 pandemic.

The main learnings of the session were as follows…

Challenges faced at present:

  • Trying to understand the changes in their customer’s requirements. Businesses need support in finding out what has changed for their customers, what they need now.
  • One of the sectors that is seeing a lot of challenge is food; should people be using local suppliers rather than big food suppliers? How do you change perceptions and buyer behaviours?
  • B2B and consumer have seen radical changes in customer base. Either they can’t deliver in their services or they have to pivot. Looking to communicate that marketing is important in a way that ensures that people know it’s a helpful message rather than a plea for fees.
  • How to market events that don’t yet have a start date?
  • How to strategies marketing around this change in circumstances that used to be generated from word-of-mouth?
  • How can we accommodate for current customers and how can we anticipate our future customer needs? Focusing on how we can anticipate market changes and get ahead of the curve.
  • The problem they have is that they need to maintain their demand and keep customers ordering, how to gain new customers, but also to keep working safely.               
  • What does the keyword of ‘effectively’ mean when it comes to hibernation?

…these produced a number of key solutions:

  • Your organisation’s ability to judge the mood is very important. The mood is changing from hour to hour. A positive start to the day might lead to a negative end to the day as the world continues to change around us. Three potential outcomes were discussed:
  • Do nothing and fail.
  • Hibernate effectively. Use this time to think about how to come out of this ready to go.
  • Pivot. How can you take what you do now and change it to do something completely different.
  • Learning that accepting failure is not an option.
  • Educate people in ways of pivoting and taking their businesses online. . Find and identify opportunities that are outside of your business’s usual remit and take advantage of them
  • Make small shots on target to make sure if you hit or miss. People could try and pivot their whole business and it might be the wrong choice. Pivoting is an overstated term but it’s relevant and true today; move models and move businesses online, create virtual opportunities.
  • Seize natural opportunities when they come your way. For instance, virtual events, delivery opportunities. Don’t market where people aren’t going to engage, but pivot into something that is different but is still tangentially related to your business
  • Hibernate parts of your business that you aren’t very good at, or that aren’t lucrative for right now. Pivot and focus onto the things that you can make use of right now. You can’t afford to do nothing right now, so find the thing that you can do. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re going into hibernation when you are actually doing nothing.
  • It’s a good time to make sure that your offer is very clear and tiered and to sell the benefits rather than the process.
  • Sell the benefits of your business when pivoting to a new area.
  • Target seasonal opportunities, as well as changing to the demands focused on what people need now.
  • Personal training and safety is invaluable
  • The public conscious is likely to change to seizing opportunities when the can.
  • Set the vision and the direction and the tone for your company. Consider what people need, don’t be afraid to mention the negatives – highlight it and control the narrative in a careful and considered way.


I welcome any comments or additional remarks about the session, alongside further ideas and suggestions to help businesses to succeed during this challenging time.