As brands continue to focus on the future, business leaders are facing key questions about how to best anticipate what comes next. Questions like:
- Will human mobility continue to stagnate, return to a pre-COVID normal, or meet somewhere in the middle in the next 6-12 months?
- What implications do these scenarios have for my business?
- What implications do these scenarios have for the ecommerce portion of my business and/or the new route to market we just launched?
- Will we run into any out-of-stock issues if we are near the extremes?
While it is impossible to predict the answers to these questions perfectly, it is possible to increase the odds of success through holistic measurement and scenario planning, which we will cover more deeply in our upcoming webinar. The key is to make informed assumptions, iterate through what-if scenarios, and continually test and learn to be prepared for multiple potential outcomes. In fact, research from the Analytic Partners ROI Genome shows that brands that adopt measurement programs and scenario planning for decisioning achieve a 25-70% increase in ROI.
But taking these best practices from theory to practical application can be a challenge. That’s why we took a deep dive into three different business cases exemplifying the most common situations brands are facing right now. From surging growth to slumping sales, to staying ‘status quo’, there is no such thing as a brand that should not be planning to the future, regardless of current situation. It’s time to take a closer look at how scenario planning can meet a multitude of business needs.
Business Case: Surging Sales
Achieving success is a challenge. Maintaining it amidst global disruption is even harder. In our first example, an online health & wellness brand was seeing sky-high demand and surging sales in 2020, but it still had critical questions to answer. If its growth was going to be sustainable, it needed a full understanding of the true drivers of the business, the risks and opportunities at hand, and how to foster long-term success.
The Insights: A comprehensive approach to measurement and scenario planning allowed the brand to better understand the role that each controllable and non-controllable driver had on performance.
Outcomes and Actions: The scenarios were able to showcase how a 80% / 60% / 40% return to pre-COVID human mobility would impact demand for their business, and equip the brand to be prepared for different possible outcomes with decision trees.
Business Case: Slumping Sales
A hospitality brand was dealing with slumping sales as a result of the global disruption seen in the past year. The question became how and when to activate marketing to stimulate growth.
The Insights: Through a holistic analytic framework and scenario planning, we were able to isolate the role that different disruption factors had on performance for this brand.
Outcomes and Action: Through scenario planning and war-gaming, the brand has been able to inform management of what sales outcomes to expect in 2021 and will be prepared to activate as different triggers arise.
Business Case: Sustaining Sales
In this situation, an omnichannel brand with short term disruptions was still able to maintain a sustained level of sales. However, the brand needed to understand what swings in online and offline, sales and traffic, and out of stocks might mean for the future.
The Insights: While overall performance remained steady with only a brief uptick in spring sales, online and offline traffic and sales patterns showcased extreme swings of + and - 50% relative to history.
Outcomes and Action: An omnichannel go-to market plan was created by demonstrating how upper funnel tactics and performance marketing drove sales and traffic. As a result, the organization was able to move beyond theoretical and siloed debates on whether to invest in brand or demand.
Get the full story behind each of these business cases and learn how to apply scenario planning to your brand in the latest ROI Genome report.