I had my friend, Martin Gammeltoft, from Activity Stream on The Business of Fun recently to talk about the new ‘Activate!’ email marketing tool that they’ve built into the Activity Stream platform.
As always, Martin is fun to talk with and we learned some new things that can be helpful to you as you work to figure out how to grow your business after the pandemic.
Here are 5 key ideas that I took away from our conversation last week:
Look to Australia, New Zealand, and the East for patterns:
These countries did a good job of getting things under control more quickly at the start of the pandemic than countries in the West. So they’ve had a chance to re-open earlier than we have. This means that they are starting to see new buying patterns and what matters and doesn’t to customers now.
Time to insight is shorter:
Martin says that the data shows that you can learn lessons that are applicable much more quickly right now. What Martin called “Time to Insight” is a good way of building a framework around your thinking process to focus you on diagnosing the problem, looking at the data, making a decision, taking action, and re-evaluating your decision in a constant loop. Something I call the “Insight Loop”.
For me, the key is to recognize that this loop happens all the time and build that into your work.
Empathy is going to be a key to getting people back:
There isn’t a straight line to recovery. And, one of Martin’s key insights was the need for empathy as a tool to help folks come back to shows and events.
Because everyone experienced the pandemic differently. Everyone has a different take on risk. And, we still don’t really know some of the financial, emotional, or ongoing health issues that may be a part of recovery.
So lead with empathy and understand that people are all getting to their decisions in different ways.
The businesses that win will experiment as a natural course:
In a talk I gave in the before times, I often talked about change as not really being a choice. The choice with change was that you could embrace it or you could hide from it. But you never got away from it.
Martin talks about the need to experiment and explore now. Martin calls this “learn fast” and I like the idea because we can often see people become afraid of tests because they feel like they have to have the issue solved and perfect before they do anything.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. You test, learn, and test again. It is an ongoing conversation with your market.
Focus on behaviors now:
I’d tell you to focus on behaviors at all times, but even more now.
You need to look to find the drivers of behavior.
You need to understand what is making someone do something or not do something.
You can’t just expect that because people were doing something or acting in some way before the pandemic, they will continue to do that after the pandemic. That’s not going to pan out in every situation, or most. But the real answer is we don’t know what behaviors will change or stick. Anyone telling you differently is likely lying.
So you have to get comfortable experimenting, looking at behaviors, and listening.