Tomi Saikkonen-Williams is the Vice President at Liana Technologies Middle East, a global digital marketing automation software company. Liana Technologies has launched a series of global CSR initiatives to support its clients around the world to maintain business as usual, in this time of social distancing. Saikkonen-Williams advises businesses across the Middle East to move or ramp up all communications online, while social distancing becomes increasingly enforced:
The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It is also having a growing impact on the global economy and so naturally affecting us here in the UAE. We want to provide business leaders with a perspective on how to tackle the evolving situation and the economic implications for their companies.
Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, COVID-19 has left companies unsure of how to communicate most effectively with both internal and external stakeholders. And while corporate leaders may be unsure of how to proceed, it’s imperative to communicate with customers, investors, suppliers, business partners, and employees to share compassion, show responsiveness, and demonstrate strong leadership. What that means for you as a business leader, is ramp up your communications and provide information that will reassure and help your customers at this time.
The guiding principle for all stakeholder communications is to listen first, followed by empathic and useful responses. It is important to understand the perspective of your customers and employees, and what they need to feel reassured and safe. Taking time to practice compassionate communication during times of stress builds trust and underscores commitment at multiple levels. Here are our top tips for how companies should be communicating with both external audiences and internal audiences:
In times of stress and uncertainty communication is necessary. Don’t be afraid to communicate because of the changing nature of this epidemic or assume your stakeholders don’t need assurances. Show true leadership by providing open conversations and compassionate communications with your customers, investors, suppliers, and employees. If you were sending email newsletters monthly before, don’t be afraid to increase that to weekly for the time being. Keep your content fresh and informative, but automate the dissemination because it will allow for much better targeting and audience segmentation.
In collaboration with marketing automation tools, you need to ensure it’s integrated with channels from which data can be pulled. Once you have the data, it needs to be analysed and segmented to an individual level, and then utilised for personalised customer communication via marketing automation. Every part of this process should be speaking to the other parts for maximum efficiency, information and results.
Depending on your business your data collection channels can be:
Your goal as a business leader during this down time should be to increase customer engagement and position yourself as a reliable, value-add partner who goes above and beyond during difficult times.
About Liana Technologies
Liana Technologies is a European software company founded in 2005. We are specialised in digital marketing and communication software and one of the fastest growing companies in Finland. Our offices are located in Oulu (HQ), Helsinki, Dubai, Munich, Hong Kong and Stockholm.
Liana’s marketing technology stack is used by more than 3,500 customers worldwide including companies such as Hertz, Toyota, Ikea and Starbucks. Our mission is to provide all our customers with the best possible solutions fo