Direct PERSPECTIVE Launches a Dialogue on Doing Business in the New Normality

About business, brands and technologies

As much as the future in the Covid-19 world seems uncertain, we will be able to perceive it more clearly if we discuss our expectations, said the Direct PERSPECTIVE team in presenting the results of a survey on business in the new normality.

The survey Direct PERSPECTIVE: Doing business in the post-Covid period in Serbia, which was conducted from May to July 2020, included 189 participants from 14 industries, from different levels of management, from C- level functions to operational and administrative positions.

The survey was conducted by DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions with partners: IAA Serbian Chapter, ICT HUB, Digital Serbia, In Store, Nova Iskra, Serbian Association of Managers and UEPS.

The Direct PERSPECTIVE team hereby presents the key findings of the survey in three areas: Economy and Business, Brand and Technology and invites all stakeholders in the business, marketing, the startup and technological communities to engage in a continuous dialogue on doing business in the post-Covid period:

Innovation and liquidity will be the priorities in doing business

According to 59% of the respondents of Direct PERSPECTIVE, the biggest concern of the business community going forward is the decline of the demand for products and services, while 35% perceive liquidity as the biggest problem. Therefore, it is no surprise that the respondents see products and services innovation, as well as the proper balance between assets and liabilities, as the top ingredients for a successful business. Certainly, not all industries have felt an equal pressure and the end effect will not be the same for everyone. Forty percent of the respondents said that culture is an industry that is and will be the most affected going forward. Culture follows expected choices such as tourism (78%), the airline industry (65%) and catering (46%).

The crisis has encouraged companies to change

The coronavirus has completely reset the hitherto approach to work and employees. Thus, the leading HR strategies businesses will opt for in the future will be based on redesigning organizational structure, modernizing and introducing new ways of working, according to the results of the Direct PERSPECTIVE survey. Twenty-nine percent of respondents see the optimization of jobs as a priority in terms of reducing the number of employees and the redistribution of jobs. A third of the respondents at the median and lower levels believe that a flexible place of work is key.

The chief characteristic of the new age is resilience

The loss of freedom, restricted movement and social distancing make the consumers want to make up for what they are missing. Mistrust and insecurity will be present for a long time, but people are social beings and that is where resilience can be seen the most – through the desire to lead a normal life. Regardless of the shocks, we were exposed to this year, 85% of respondents of Direct PERSPECTIVE believe that the consumer habits will change little or briefly, after which they will be the same as before.

Brands need to go local

Campaigns of support to local producers during and after the first wave of the pandemic set the groundwork for what could be the commitment of buyers in the long term. A strong sense of local patriotism and belonging emerged, as observed by as many as 50% of the respondents, who believe that consumers will turn to local products. Companies believe that the state will encourage the purchase of local products.

Businesses are moving rapidly towards technological progress

From the viewpoint of the respondents of Direct PERSPECTIVE, consumers have already accepted online channels in all spheres of life – communication, shopping, finance, entertainment and education. Therefore, it is no surprise that 50% of the respondents expect the acceleration of the process of digitization going forward and the intensive use of business technologies. More than one third have implemented several digitization projects in key business segments, while 45% of them started one or several projects.

E-commerce is the main focus of transformation

The historical breakthrough of E-commerce will change some habits in the long run, and therefore the way of doing business. E-commerce will be the first project which the respondents in the Direct PERSPECTIVE survey will invest in, but not the only one. The digital perspective also drives businesses in the direction of developing digital products and creating a better customer experience and CRM. At the same time, by observing the environment they know that the organizational culture must change, as yet another of the imperatives of a successful digital transformation.

The focus on hygiene and social distancing will speed up the changes in banking

The future of payment is digital and our respondents believe that banking will be the industry that will experience the largest technological transformation, along with retail. Therefore, it is not surprising that the respondents of Direct PERSPECTIVE saw the technologies that characterize payment and finance as the ones that will create change.

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Direct PERSPECTIVE was implemented by the multidisciplinary team of professionals of DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions in the field of: data analytics & insight, media, brand communication, HR and corporate communications, in cooperation with partners.

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