We are a full year into the recovery from the economic fallout from the Global Pandemic, and just over one year from Black Monday II (March 16, 2020). During the past year, Clear Seas took several steps to keep stakeholders apprised of the changing economic conditions and brought real time research access to thousands of B2B brands across the globe through our Industry Perspective on the Challenges of Today surveys and reports. We are now excited to present new data in the massive shifts that have occurred across multiple verticals, and how they are presenting immense opportunity for brands that have invested and taken advantage of these new economic realities.
First: Industry professionals are less concerned about the economy, business goals, and business stability relative to one year ago - the start of the pandemic. In fact, the economy and business growth & development have rocketed back to pre-pandemic levels.
Second: Skilled labor shortages and IT cybersecurity are of greater concern. While roughly one-third expect no change in their workforce, almost half are expecting to hire. This represents one of the most striking aspects of our data and findings: companies and brands are now struggling to find talent and the competition for finding skilled labor has increased faster than any other category.
Third: Business activity is up; spending is up; marketing budgets have increased significantly. As usual, the brands that kept their focus on their Customer Journey and Customer Experience during the darkest days are the first ones to have seen financial gains, and in many cases they have taken significant market share and grown their customer base to previously untapped prospects.
Finally: Relative to June 2020 – today there are significantly more users of video chat/conferencing software, cloud services/computing, video surveillance, wireless sensors, and robots. Many brands have taken advantage of these shifting and growing opportunities, by either adopting these new technologies or becoming service providers themselves.
In conclusion, it would appear that the economic recovery has switched into a higher gear. The opportunities that have come out of the Global Pandemic appear to be highly correlated with new technology, improved digital customer experiences, and increased ability to communicate and work with remote workers. One thing that has not changed is the importance of listening to customers to uncover where they are shifting their spend, and why.