Are the Roaring Twenties making a comeback? Leading economists project that U.S. GDP is poised to expand by a whopping 10% in the second quarter of 2021 alone and top 6.6% overall by year-end. And the boom shouldn’t fizzle out anytime soon. Projections show strong growth well into 2022 and even 2023.
Manufacturing is at the forefront of these gains, and consumer-driven service industries are expanding as well. If it continues, this rising economic tide will lift many industries to higher levels of prosperity than they enjoyed pre-pandemic.
These rosy projections are exciting, and they come as stark relief after enduring the pandemic. But what does it mean for your brand? As a marketing leader, are you ready for the added pressure that rapid growth will bring? Are your teams prepared to respond?
You’ll need to pivot quickly in order to optimize your marketing and brand teams for success, a challenge that will demand as much creativity and energy as you demonstrated during the pandemic.
You may need to support organization-wide efforts to recruit new talent, hire and onboard new agency partners, and even manage the complexities of a potential M&A — all while continuing to launch campaigns that engage your target audience.
Here’s how to get your marketing and brand team ready so you can make the most of the opportunities a post-pandemic economic boom may bring your way.
Bolster your brand & marketing operations for rapid growth
The pandemic forced some marketing leaders to reduce their spending. Whether that led to staff reduction, eliminating external contracts with agency partners, or putting marketing campaigns on hold, you had to find numerous ways to do more with less.
But now? As the market heats up, it’s time to reinvest in your team and foster a renewed commitment to a growth mindset. Whether you’ll be launching extended product lines, entering into new markets, or growing through a merger or acquisition, you need to invest the resources necessary to support your brand’s overarching strategy and direction.
Begin by taking an honest look at your marketing and brandoperations. Does your team have the tools and technologies they need to do their job well? Are your processes efficient and repeatable? Have you put an effective brand governance infrastructure in place?
How to evaluate the current state of your brand operations
While you work to ramp up your marketing operations to best-in-class, it’s important to make sure you have effective brand governance operations in place to ensure the consistency of the brand experience in market. This helpful quiz provides an objective evaluation of where your brand governance stands and gives you insight into the areas you should strengthen. You’ll explore the following questions (and more):
- Does your leadership team signal that brand governance is important? Have they allocated sufficient funding to this area? Does your brand function as an extension of your overall organizational strategy?
- Are your brand operations centralized or decentralized? Is your brand consistently applied in all regions and across all business unit levels? Is work streamlined or is there unnecessary, wasteful duplication of effort?
- Are your brand guidelines, processes, and templates clearly documented and stored in a central, easily accessible location? Have you invested in technologies and workflow systems to automate brand management?
- Do your employees function as the living, breathing representation of your brand? Do they understand that your brand is more than a logo and that it represents your company’s values and ethos? Have you fully trained and empowered them so that your brand is integrated into their everyday roles and responsibilities?
Answer the above questions and allocate appropriate resources within the context of your brand’s strategic goals. Focus on the areas that will have the largest impact in propelling your brand strategy forward.
Extend the impact of your internal resources with smart agency partnerships
Managing agency partnerships can command a great deal of time and attention. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate your agency partnerships periodically. Are they positively impacting your bottom line? Are they delivering the results they initially promised?
Just as many individuals took stock of their life choices as a result of the pandemic, now is the time for you to closely evaluate your agency relationships. It might be time to end a contract with an agency that no longer adds value to your renewed marketing strategy. Likewise, you might discover an untapped area for innovation or growth that could be realized by hiring an external expert in that area.
Evaluate your current partnerships by asking:
How many agencies are in your portfolio?
What types of work are you currently outsourcing?
Are your agency partners delivering innovative and creative work that is moving your marketing strategy forward?
Are you measuring the impact of your agency partners work?
Using external resources wisely is an excellent way to shore up your marketing operation’s overall capacity. Discover where they’ll make the biggest impact by exploring:
Are there people on your team who are underutilized or misaligned in their role?
Could they pick up some of the work you’re currently outsourcing?
Are there talented individuals on your team who need to be freed from mundane tasks so they can focus on more strategic marketing efforts that will drive results (including you)?
Are there agencies who could take those tasks off your teams’ plate?
The booming economy is likely to bring enhanced revenue to your organization. Make sure you are equipped with metrics and data required to ask for the budgetary resources you need. This will help to ensure the internal and external members of your team are positioned to tackle the challenges and opportunities that are coming your way.
Position your brand to seize post-pandemic opportunities
The next few years could bring unparalleled growth to the national and global economy. After a difficult period, organizations are seizing new opportunities to evolve their brand strategy and meet their business goals. If you want to stay at the forefront of your industry and ensure your brand reaches its full value potential, now is the time to equip your team for all that lies ahead.
By staying focused on your strategic goals, optimizing your internal processes, and making wise use of agency partners, you can position your brand to make unprecedented market gains in the months and years to come.