“Instead of guessing or seeing how things play out, use data to give your organization the best chance of success and potentially gaining market share, even while other companies struggle,” says Lisa Apolinski, author of the book Grow Your Market Share In A Zombie Apocalypse (2022, Indie Books International).
Apolinski is the CEO of 3 Dog Write, Inc., a full-service digital consulting agency she founded in 2012. She works with Fortune 1,000 companies that want to accelerate revenue and take market share using digital means. As a speaker, she teaches business leaders how to affect sales growth with their digital-content strategy.
In the last ten years, Apolinski has helped her clients create nearly $1 billion in revenue growth. She works with household name brands such as one of the top five banks, one of the top five wealth management and financial services firms and a billion-dollar Japanese electronics organization. Here are four areas to study to bullet-proof your business, even from the walking dead of a zombie uprising:
Area #1: Economic Conditions Affecting Your Customer. Before looking at your company’s position in the economy, it is important to look at what effects the current economic conditions are having on your customer base. Review this data:
- Website traffic: Is website traffic increasing or decreasing? Is traffic coming from other geographical areas? Are you seeing different website patterns, for instance, different pages being reviewed?
- Contact form: Have you seen an increase or decrease in the use of your contact form? Are the requests more urgent, or more of an exploration of options? Have the products or services requests shifted in any way?
Area #2: Economic Conditions Affecting Tangential Industries And Vendors. Looking at adjacent industries and vendors can help to assess how widespread the economic condition is, how quickly the condition may impact your organization, and what effect any supply-chain disruption may have on both adjacent industries and your industry. Review this data:
- Media mentions: Have there been media reports on other industries that are related to yours? What is being said about those industries? To track media mentions, set up Google alerts on adjacent industries, including key business players that lead the industry in terms of trends and overall health.
- Emails: Are you starting to receive emails from your supply chain, or from companies in the same economic circle, encouraging you to “keep calm,” or to show solidarity?
Area #3: Economic Conditions Affecting Unrelated Industries. Industries that are unrelated to your organization at first glance may seem to be irrelevant. However, stress on one sector may have a cascading effect on another. Review this data:
- Global news trends: Keeping abreast of global news trends can give you a clue to what is transpiring, and what the ripple effect may be in your industry. This includes information on global trade and domestic changes, such as weather-related impacts.
- Public policy chatter: If you are not keeping tabs on changes in public policy, there may be legislation that will change tax laws, labor laws, or financing options.
- New business growth: New business applications have been steadily increasing over the last decade, with 2020 having a record number of new small business start-ups.
Area #4: Economic Conditions Affecting Your Company And Competitors. The last crucial area reviews how the current condition is affecting both you and your competitors. By being aware of the actions taken by any competition, your organization can either adopt a similar strategy, modify the strategy, or go in a different way entirely. Review this data:
- Competitor digital communication: While a competitor analysis and review should be a standard practice in your digital communication strategy, this review becomes even more important when there is a sudden and severe change.
- Email campaigns: To see if your customer base has shifted focus, a quick trend review of open and click-through rates of your last few email campaigns can highlight any distractions that have caused your audience to shift gears.
“In every situational assessment, these four areas should be part of the review to provide a thorough picture,” says Apolinski. “These areas are measurable so that data trends can be tracked, new trends can be detected and data application can be conducted to maximize the benefit of the outcome.”
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